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Thread: 16 hours of work cancels our couples ESA - can he claim income support & carers?

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  1. #1
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    16 hours of work cancels our couples ESA - can he claim income support & carers?

    Hi Everyone

    Hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

    My partner and I claim ESA as a couple. He has sole custody of his three lovely girls and I moved in with them last year and we starting claiming as a couple rather than separate ESA. We were both support group, but last June I begain doing permitted work from home for £100 a week.

    I recently was switched to the WRAG group as I am doing permitted work so they therefore say I am capable of doing WRAG - fair enough.

    I was also recently awarded PIP daily living and my partner began to claim carers allowance.

    We also get full housing and council tax and he gets child benefit and child tax credits.

    Anyway, I just want to know what might happen if I was to take on more hours. After many treatments and medication changes I am finally feeling good again and I want to do more work. If I take on just one hour more a week I will lose my permitted work allowance.

    I'd like to increase to 16 hours. I know between 16-24 hours I will be eligible for the disability working tax credit. We would lose ESA. I am wondering if he can claim income support and carers though?

    Also, will we lose housing and council tax if I work 16 hours a week from home at 12.50 an hour?

    The whole system is so confusing. I did the calculators and it sort of seems like I am better off not taking on more hours and staying on ESA and permitted work but I really want to aim to go back to work.

    Thanks for any advice in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    As you rightly say, doing more than 16 hours or earning more than £115.50 a week would take you above the permitted work rules.

    The rest gets complicated as usual.

    I'm assuming that the joint claim is on his Support Group rather than your WRAG?
    It will also make a difference if the joint ESA claim is Contribution Based or Income Related.

    If you go over 24 hours then IR ESA would stop altogether, but I think that between 16 and 24 it would be reduced pro-rata to your earnings (16 hours @ £12.50 would probably wipe it out).

    If it is CB ESA then you would have to come off the joint claim but he should still be entitled to a single persons CB ESA in his own right.

    Your PIP will not be affected, you can work and claim PIP it is not means tested.

    I'm not sure just how it would affect the HB, council tax, and child benefit stuff.
    It would depend on what basis these are being paid.

    Is this 'working from home' your own business idea, or is it for a company, a franchise or similar?
    There could be extra help available if you are moving from WRAG to employment or self employment.
    Eg. New Enterprise Allowance https://www.gov.uk/new-enterprise-allowance, or Access to Work https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/overview

    To be honest I think that you should get some proffessional advice from CAB or similar.
    The online calculators are OK but they can only give an indication, theyare for general advice they don't know your full details.

    If you make an appointment with CAB (or similar) for a 'full benefits check' they will be able to see your paperwork and so see just what basis your existing benefits are being paid on and advise you about the best way of moving back into work.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

  3. #3
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    I went on contribution based ESA Support group in Jan 2015. My partner was on income based ESA Support Group already.

    When we did the joint claim we claimed ESA Support Group as a couple and they said it was classed as income based now for both of us as it had been over a year but that I'd still get the contribution based NI award? Whatever that means?

    And now I am getting WRAG and he has an assessment later this month to see if his ESA will continue and if its Support Group or WRAG (though now with him being a carer for me I am not sure if that effects his ability to do WRA)

    The work from home - I registered as a sole trader. The work is for another sole trader and I am not an employee. Would I still apply for the New Enterprise or Access to Work if I have ben doing permitted work as a sole trader since last June? The hours increasing would still be for the same person I do the work for now, just more hours

    I will book a benefits check. Just in the meantime its stressing me out!

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I don't think that that would qualify for New Enterprise, that is for new businesses.

    Access to Work might pay something or might not, you can only try.

    Good that you are booking a benefits check, like I say they will be able to help more when they can see your paperwork and just what your current benefit circumstances are.
    Make sure you let them know that you are thinking of starting working more hours so they are prepared for that before they see you.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

  5. #5
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    Hi kerribella,
    CAB do a live chat online now and I had a benefits check recently with them. It was under 5mins to wait for an advisor, maybe a quicker alternative to trying to get through on phone or to see them and will ease your mind faster.

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