Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is paid by DWP and usually attracts Class 1 NI credits.
A year covered by 52 Class 1 NI credits will usually be a ‘qualifying year’ which means that it will count towards pension entitlement.
However as the credits are awarded by the DWP, who also calculate pension entitlement, they would be able to give a definitive answer to this question.
I am sorry you were not able to speak to an advisor when you called us on 0300 200 3500.
This is the NI helpline, it is usually quieter between 8am and 9am. Someone on this line would be able to look at your record and check if Class 1 NI Credits had been awarded, however if they have not been awarded, HMRC would be unable to say why, this would be a matter for DWP.
You can check your current pension position by opening a personal tax account (Personal tax account: sign in or set up
) or by calling the Future Pension Centre (part of the DWP) on 0800 731 0175.