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What happens to my ESA if I start my own business?

Hi there,

I'm currently on PIP, which is ending in February 2020, and I'm in the ESA support group. I'm very keen to come off all the benefits completely. I've made the rather bold decision not to reapply for PIP. 

I have an idea for a business plan, which I could execute from home. How will this work on my ESA? The goal is to come off the ESA when I'm certain my business idea has credibility. I won't be earning a wage from my plan for quite some time, so technically I won't be entering into paid employment. I want to come off the ESA before I reach this milestone, but I don't want to be doing anything illegal in the meantime. I'd be very grateful for some clarification on what I'm allowed to do, or how I should proceed. 

Has anyone else started their own business whilst on ESA? How has it gone? Any advise would be great.




  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,075 Scope community team
    Hi @HarriStarling and a warm welcome to the community!

    You are able to work and claim PIP, so you are able to reapply and go ahead with your business plan. What is the idea, it sounds really exciting. :)

    You would have to tell ESA that you were starting to work, here is more information about the process and what would be acceptable. It is important to note that the work you do cannot go against why you claim ESA.
    Any job can be permitted work as long as each week you're working under 16 hours, and earning up to £131.50.  It doesn't matter whether you’re in the support group or the work-related activity group.
    I hope this helps. :)
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  • LaughingLollyLaughingLolly Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
    Dear @HarriStarling. Please tell us more about your business venture. It's always good to hear positive news! 
    A laugh a day keeps the psychiatrist at bay. 
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