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Thread: ESA Permitted Work

  1. #1
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    ESA Permitted Work

    I've been on ESA WRAG income based for the past eight years, I get the benefit because I suffer with my mental health, with depression and anxiety. I’ve worked for a friend over the past three weeks for four hours a week, and earned £32 a week. She’s afraid of Covid-19, she asked for my bank details, and she’s paid me into my bank account. I’ve just notified the DWP. I know I should have notified the DWP before I started permitted work. I’ve done permitted work before on Income Support and Incapacity benefit and had no trouble. The DWP have treated me well, and been civil. I think it’s stuck indoors trying to keep safe, that’s probably causing me to catastrophise. However, what do people think the DWP will do? Give me the go ahead and say everything is OK, take some money back or suspend my benefit?
    Last edited by Joe2027; 13-06-20 at 19:51.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    From what you say then there is no problem at all.

    Although the DWP call it 'Permitted Work' - to imply that you need their permission - that is not actually the case.

    In the ESA legislation (the law) it is referred to as 'Exempt Work' and there is no requirement to get permission to do it.

    The legislation (law) says that exempt work is - "Work which is done for less than 16 hours a week, for which earnings in any
    week do not exceed 16x National Minimum Wage"


    For ESA purposes 16x National Minimum Wage is currently calculated as £140 a week.

    There are other rules about 'supported' work and unpaid work.

    As long as you are sure that what you are doing fits within 16 hrs and 16x Nat min wage then you don't have to tell the DWP at all.
    (I have done 'exempt' work myself and not told the DWP, on more than one occasion, but I know the rules/law and am probably not typical).

    Of course if you want to be sure then ask for and fill in a form PW1.
    You can do that before you start working or at anytime after you start, there is no time limit to tell them.
    As long as you are not working more than 16 hrs or earning more than £140 a week then you don't have to tell them at all; it's not a problem.

    But you should keep records of what you work and what you are paid in case they ask about it later.
    As your friend is paying it into your bank then that's easy to show from bank statements that it's not over £140 a week if it ever comes up (which it won't).
    Last edited by nukecad; 14-06-20 at 04:19.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    From what you say then there is no problem at all.

    Although the DWP call it 'Permitted Work' - to imply that you need their permission - that is not actually the case.

    In the ESA legislation (the law) it is referred to as 'Exempt Work' and there is no requirement to get permission to do it.

    The legislation (law) says that exempt work is - "Work which is done for less than 16 hours a week, for which earnings in any
    week do not exceed 16x National Minimum Wage"


    For ESA purposes 16x National Minimum Wage is currently calculated as £140 a week.

    There are other rules about 'supported' work and unpaid work.

    As long as you are sure that what you are doing fits within 16 hrs and 16x Nat min wage then you don't have to tell the DWP at all.
    (I have done 'exempt' work myself and not told the DWP, on more than one occasion, but I know the rules/law and am probably not typical).

    Of course if you want to be sure then ask for and fill in a form PW1.
    You can do that before you start working or at anytime after you start, there is no time limit to tell them.
    As long as you are not working more than 16 hrs or earning more than £140 a week then you don't have to tell them at all; it's not a problem.

    But you should keep records of what you work and what you are paid in case they ask about it later.
    As your friend is paying it into your bank then that's easy to show from bank statements that it's not over £140 a week if it ever comes up (which it won't).
    Thanks for your reply, so it looks like it's the black dog of my mind playing mischief. I do get myself into some terrible panic states and expend an awful of lot of energy doing it. I think it's all the bullies I've known in my life, at home with my Dad in childhood, school with some teachers, and at work with some employers, fellow employees.

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