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Thread: Working on ESA, PIP, Housing/Council Tax Benefit.

  1. #1

    Working on ESA, PIP, Housing/Council Tax Benefit.

    Hiya,

    I have desperately been trying to get information about my situation but nothing seems to quite answer it so i am hoping someone can help. I am currently on ESA- Support group, PIP and Housing/council tax benefit. I have been in this situation for years but it has just been impossible to ever see a way to be able to get back into work. Recently my Mum has been talking to someone who runs an online business and they have suggested with my Mums help that maybe i could start selling just one or two things online to start with and see how i cope and maybe build it slowly in the future. The problem with doing this is that i would need to set up as a sole trader or a limited company (which seems ridiculous) even if i sell one thing a week and then the department of work and pensions will know about it and probably stop my money overnight. Of course i am terrified of even mentioning this to any of the benefits because they seem to do everything in their power to take the money away from you. It might not even work and last a month and then i would have lost everything for nothing. I have had to deal with both PIP and ESA renewals lately and the stress made me seriously ill again so i'm not sure i can deal with them making my life hell again or not being able to pay my bills. It feels like i am going to be stuck in this system forever, made to feel like i don't deserve it yet making it impossible to change it. I would only be working on it a couple of hours a week probably and have no idea how much money i would make if any. neither do i feel like it would contradict with any of the reasons i get the benefits but i know what they are like and just a mention of it makes me think they will be assessing me again or taking money away from me as soon as they possibly can. Sorry this is so long but would really appreciate your advice. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    PIP is not affected by any earnings that you make.

    With ESA you can do 'Permitted Work' up to 16 hours per week, or earn up to £125.50, (16 hours @ minimum wage) before it affects your payment.
    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Permitted-Work-Rules

    With ESA your problem is that this would be self employed work.
    You can do self employed work under Permitted Work rules.
    (I've done it myself in the past, drawing up some building plans for a friends farther's barn conversion. I spread it out over a few weeks so as not to go over the hours or pay).

    The problem is that you would have to constantly (at least weekly to start with) keep the DWP updated with what hours you have done and what you have earned so that they can check you are not going over the limits.
    Basically any week you do more than 16 hours or earn more than £125.50 then you will not get paid ESA for that week.
    There are many oportunities for the DWP to make errors here and stop your ESA payment for a week or two, and this puts a lot of people of doing small self employed jobs.

    Housing Benefit is in the control of your council and different councils have different rules on income before HB payment is affected.
    You could try checking your councils website, or talking to them.

    If you do decide to give it a go then talk to the Jobcentre about 'Permitted Work' before starting. Make an appointment to go down and see someone rather than doing it over the phone.

    (Strictly by law as long as you don't breach the hours or £125.50 you don't have to tell them at all, but if you don't tell them first it can be a big headache sorting it out if/when they do later find out you have been working. They will want to know all about it and see all your records, invoices, any payslips, etc. It's best to be upfront and cover yourself in advance).

    PS. You do get some well meaning but silly suggestions from people who just don't understand how things work, either with benefits or in the 'real world'.
    Self employement is always going to be harder than working for someone, so less suitable for those with problems to start with.
    (I once had a guy suggest that I should come off ESA and become an on-line professional poker player as a job. I don't even play cards).
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-19-2018 at 03:32 PM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  3. #3
    Thanks for your reply. It was really helpful. It does seem a lot of stress though. The annoying thing is all i want to do is sell a few things on amazon which will take a few hours a week and be very unlikely to make much money. I have agoraphobia so i cant go out to work plus my sister is going to help me. I wouldn't really call it a proper job but i would have to register as self employed to sell and it sounds like they would probably find out and it would just end up causing me a whole lot of stress. I wasn't even going to take any money. If i made any i would just buy more stock with it. I hate feeling so much shame of not working and i thought it would be beneficial to my recovery but they don't care about helping people get better over time so they can come off benefits just about finding a way to stop them getting it now. All that happens is you need to claim for longer because you cant work full time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    One of the best ways back into work is through doing 'permitted work'. It's a good way of meeting new people, gaining experience and confidence. You might even find that they will pay for a taxi there and back if you tell them you're agoraphobic.

    Also look at the Governments support service for disabled people who work. It's a self-referral scheme called 'Access to work'

    Check out the eligibility https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/eligibility

  5. #5
    I was literally just going to ask the same question and noticed this thread, very helpful!

    I am considering working up to 16 hours per week, or up to £125.50, I have recently made a claim for ESA and have an assessment in a few weeks, I am wondering what will happen if i fail the assessment and have to appeal, Can i still claim esa and work 16 hours while i appeal and send sick notes? I am also a little unsure how to explain that to my doctor, i require a sick note but i am working? Are they even able to issue sick notes under such circumstances? I am limited to what work i can do due to my disability.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi Mandy,

    The doctors notes would not be a problem.
    They are called 'Fit Notes' these days and are supposed to say what work you could manage (with workplace/hours adjustments) as well as what you can't manage.

    TBH though I would not do permitted work while on assessment/MR/appeal.
    It is allowed but they would just use it as an excuse to find you fit for any/all work.

    If you are still considering it then talk to the jobcenter and get a PW1 form before starting to keep yourself onside.


    The situation with claiming ESA during appeal has been complicated somewhat at the moment by Universal Credit.

    If you are found fit for work at the ESA assessment and want to challenge it then the first step is a 'Mandatory Reconsideration'.
    Your ESA payments stop and so if you want to keep receiving benefits then you have to claim JSA or Universal Credit during the MR.

    You can only claim JSA if it's Contribution Based 'New Style JSA', or if you live in a 'Live Service' UC area (and there aren't many of those left).
    The fact that you say you have claimed ESA (not UC) says that one of those 2 conditions does apply to you.
    But note that 'New Style JSA is only payable for the first 6 months, so if you have already been waiting that long since claiming ESA then you would not be able to claim 'New Style JSA'.

    If the MR doesn't change anything you can then appeal to the independent tribunal.
    If you have managed to claim JSA, or managed without claiming anything, then you can go back onto ESA assessment rate once you appeal is lodged.

    If you have had to claim UC then that's it; you stay on UC.

    Hopefully your assessment will go OK and you won't need that information.
    Last edited by nukecad; 08-25-2018 at 02:32 PM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Hi Mandy,

    The doctors notes would not be a problem.
    They are called 'Fit Notes' these days and are supposed to say what work you could manage (with workplace/hours adjustments) as well as what you can't manage.

    TBH though I would not do permitted work while on assessment/MR/appeal.
    It is allowed but they would just use it as an excuse to find you fit for any/all work.

    If you are still considering it then talk to the jobcenter and get a PW1 form before starting to keep yourself onside.


    The situation with claiming ESA during appeal has been complicated somewhat at the moment by Universal Credit.

    If you are found fit for work at the ESA assessment and want to challenge it then the first step is a 'Mandatory Reconsideration'.
    Your ESA payments stop and so if you want to keep receiving benefits then you have to claim JSA or Universal Credit during the MR.

    You can only claim JSA if it's Contribution Based 'New Style JSA', or if you live in a 'Live Service' UC area (and there aren't many of those left).
    The fact that you say you have claimed ESA (not UC) says that one of those 2 conditions does apply to you.
    But note that 'New Style JSA is only payable for the first 6 months, so if you have already been waiting that long since claiming ESA then you would not be able to claim 'New Style JSA'.

    If the MR doesn't change anything you can then appeal to the independent tribunal.
    If you have managed to claim JSA, or managed without claiming anything, then you can go back onto ESA assessment rate once you appeal is lodged.

    If you have had to claim UC then that's it; you stay on UC.

    Hopefully your assessment will go OK and you won't need that information.

    Thanks for the reply, i don't use the internet much and only just checked back on this,That is slightly worrying, i always thought you kept getting ESA while you appealed i wasn't aware it stopped during the mandatory reconsideration phase, Do you know how long the mandatory reconsideration takes? i really don't want to have to claim JSA as i hear you have to attend the job center constantly and apply for jobs constantly etc. Unless they can pay for my taxi every time i won't be able to attend the job center that frequently, going to see my GP every couple of weeks isn't a big deal as i can pay for taxi's when its once every few weeks but i can't even walk to the nearest bus stop from my house which is what i would need to do to get to the job center.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be that bad as you seem to be eligible for Contribution Based JSA so can avoid Universal Credit.

    What you would need to do, if found fit for work at assessment, is:
    Claim JSA.
    Wait for the claim to be accepted, (wait for your first payment to be sure).
    Then go sick and provide fit notes, which you can do for 13 weeks on JSA by which time the MR should be over and done with and your appeal lodged if needed.
    Because you are sick and providing fit notes you should not have to go to the JC or do any jobseeking.
    Once your appeal is lodged with the court, and the DWP have that in writing from the court, then you can go back onto ESA while waitig for the appeal.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    It shouldn't be that bad as you seem to be eligible for Contribution Based JSA so can avoid Universal Credit.

    What you would need to do, if found fit for work at assessment, is:
    Claim JSA.
    Wait for the claim to be accepted, (wait for your first payment to be sure).
    Then go sick and provide fit notes, which you can do for 13 weeks on JSA by which time the MR should be over and done with and your appeal lodged if needed.
    Because you are sick and providing fit notes you should not have to go to the JC or do any jobseeking.
    Once your appeal is lodged with the court, and the DWP have that in writing from the court, then you can go back onto ESA while waitig for the appeal.
    Thank you so much that is really helpful indeed, I had no idea you could be classed sick on JSA for 13 weeks, That would be a huge help if it comes to the worst. That gives me a lot of peace of mind thanks again.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    It shouldn't be that bad as you seem to be eligible for Contribution Based JSA so can avoid Universal Credit.

    What you would need to do, if found fit for work at assessment, is:
    Claim JSA.
    Wait for the claim to be accepted, (wait for your first payment to be sure).
    Then go sick and provide fit notes, which you can do for 13 weeks on JSA by which time the MR should be over and done with and your appeal lodged if needed.
    Because you are sick and providing fit notes you should not have to go to the JC or do any jobseeking.
    Once your appeal is lodged with the court, and the DWP have that in writing from the court, then you can go back onto ESA while waitig for the appeal.
    Today i got the dreaded letter, 0 points! i am going to ring them tomorrow and start a claim for JSA, do you know how long it takes for my claim to be accepted and receive my first payment before i can go sick while i wait for my appeal?

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