Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Studying IT and want to work from home.

Hi. I am studying IT part-time at the moment online and I want to work from home but don't know if working from home will affect my ESA income-related and in the support group. And what I need to report only if I make money. 

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    This will come under permitted work and you need to get permission before doing any work. You must work less than 16 hours per week and earn no more than £131.50 after deductions. https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Permitted-Work-Rules

    Any weeks you earn more than that amount then you won't be entitled to ESA.

    Do be aware that if any work you do contradicts the reasons for your ESA claim then you could be re-assessed early and it could go against you when the decisions been made.

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Hi. So even If I do part-time IT course online and do permitted work it won't clash together because I was told it would both be counted as full-time work or full-time commitment? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    A part time IT course online is not the same as doing permitted work. They are both completely different.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Is it possible if I fill in the permitted work form after I have started my business because I don't know how much I will make in my first month?
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Because I don't know if I should set up the website first then report permitted work. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    Ideally you should fill out the form before starting work. As for permitted work and self employed then you'll need to get expert face to face advice regarding this because there's very limited information on the internet regarding self employed and how the earnings are worked out.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Who should I ask DWP or Job Centre Plus?
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Also on the form, it's hard to fill out since I don't know how soon I will start and when my first payment I will get?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    DWP not your local Job centre. As long as it's filled out before you start then it doesn't matter. Any earnings you receive will need to be reported to DWP. I just have no idea how they work out self employed earnings for permitted work because there's very limited information.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    It says here that I have to talk to my Job Centre work coach is that true before I start my business up?

    How can permitted work change your other benefits?

    If you’re getting another benefit because you’re not working (for example, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction), then your benefit may be reduced or stopped if you do any sort of work. Talk to your Jobcentre Plus work coach before you start any work.

    If you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction and you’re thinking of starting permitted work, you must talk to your local council straightaway, as the amount you get could change.

  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    And it says here that I could lose benefits if the criteria of the type of work I do isn't classed as permitted work?

    Details

    If you’re claiming ESA, fill in the permitted work form before you start any paid or unpaid work.

    Send it to the Jobcentre Plus office that deals with your benefit. They will tell you if the work you want to do meets the permitted work conditions.

    You could lose your benefit if you do any kind of work that doesn’t meet the conditions. If you can’t send the form before you start work, send it as soon as possible after starting work.

    If you can’t use this PDF form for any reason, contact the office that deals with your benefit.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 1
    You're in the Support Group which means you do not have a work coach.

    Have you read the link i posted above? I'd advise that you read it and scroll down. It states that earnings from permitted work are ignored completely for housing benefit  BUT you must NOT earn anymore than £131.50 per week and work less than 16 hours. If you go over that amount then your ESA will stop.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Oh, I see. I haven't read through it properly sorry my health issues stopped me. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    You should still contact your local council regarding your council tax reduction when doing permitted work though because all local councils have different rules for council tax reduction and i won't be able to advise you on that.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    What does this part mean? 

    You could lose your benefit if you do any kind of work that doesn’t meet the conditions. If you can’t send the form before you start work, send it as soon as possible after starting work.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    It means what i advised in another comment. If the work you do contradicts the reasons why you're claiming ESA then you could be re-assessed early and it could go against you once the decision is made.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Okay, so what should I put in this part for the form under this link https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/800904/permitted-work-form-pw1.pdf? Because I don't know how much I will earn if I only started it up. 

    How much will you earn after tax? This is the amount after income tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions are taken off.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    You will be self employed so you tick that box. They won't expect you to know what your earnings will be but you will need to report those earnings once you start work.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    On the same form, what about this part should I leave it out On what date did you start work or will you start work? If this date changes, tell us?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    Put the date you think you're going to start. As you'll be self employed then you don't have to give exact dates. Once you start earning then report the earnings each month.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,477 Scope community team
    Thank you for your support here @poppy123456 and a warm welcome to the community @Will33! Just to let you know that I have removed your duplicate posts and everything is now in this thread. :) 
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Thank you, everyone, here for helping me and thank you, Chloe! But I still have other questions though. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    Will33 said:
     But I still have other questions though. 
    What other questions do you have?

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    What happens if I earn more than the amount of permitted work in my first week because I wouldn't know how much I would expect to earn in my first week?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    Any weeks you earn more than the maximum amount then you won't be entitled to ESA for those weeks and it will stop. Being self employed you need to report your earnings to DWP but you need to make sure you don't earn more than £131.50 per week.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 473 Pioneering
    They don't seem  encouraging,  if in effect they are setting traps. A self employed business could do work in stages over a long period,  then wait a long time to be paid, and then go a long time without any more contracts.  The week the invoice finally cleared into the bank would be a week when on first sight, the earnings were high. But averaged over the whole period,  it might easily be well below  the limit.   

    Is there a way to have the business somehow as a holding trust, making small steady payments out of the occasional unpredictable income receipts?   At the end of the trading year,  there would be a fairer and better basis to adjust any over or under payments of benefits.  (Unless it is obvious from the start there will be great profits rolling in, making it pointless to continue with claiming housing benefits etc.)
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    @newborn
    who doesn't seem encouraging? 
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    @newborn
    could you tell me more and tell me what you meant, please?
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 473 Pioneering
    Those setting the rules. Self employed businesses are a pretty good idea for the economy. Working from home is ideal  for many disabled people.   
    Therefore,  a little help would be better than rigid rules operating too inflexibly.  Of course, nobody wants people who can earn buckets of money to be claiming benefits.  It isn't what you want to do. You just sensibly want to make  sure your best efforts at being independent don't  turn into a trap.
    One person  we knew years back on benefits had inherited money,  but the lawyers set up a trust to provide a small steady top-up to her benefits,  within a permitted amount for gifts.
    That was in the back of my mind.  

    Is the money earned by two month's  work counted as income for the week the invoice is paid,  or is it counted as income for two months, or even for three or four months, if no further work has been done?

    We have also encountered  a claimant who was owed a back payment of a year's  worth of benefits wrongly underpaid.   He had spent the year nearly starving, on a fraction of what was deemed minimum income to sustain life.. The benefits people  then stopped his entire benefits because he the backpayment meant he  had 'assets' in the bank.  They also declared to the tax people that he had a lump sum therefore ought to pay tax.

    That seemed harsh because the payment was a whole year's worth, and averaged over that time,  it would have been  far less than taxable.   His overall  circumstances had changed in no way, so it also seemed harsh to treat him as a rich person  not allowed benefits,  from the day  the overdue money arrived in his bank.  Maybe he could or should have appealed.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    @newborn
    what do you think I should do?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    newborn said:

    We have also encountered  a claimant who was owed a back payment of a year's  worth of benefits wrongly underpaid.   He had spent the year nearly starving, on a fraction of what was deemed minimum income to sustain life.. The benefits people  then stopped his entire benefits because he the backpayment meant he  had 'assets' in the bank.  They also declared to the tax people that he had a lump sum therefore ought to pay tax.

    That seemed harsh because the payment was a whole year's worth, and averaged over that time,  it would have been  far less than taxable.   His overall  circumstances had changed in no way, so it also seemed harsh to treat him as a rich person  not allowed benefits,  from the day  the overdue money arrived in his bank.  Maybe he could or should have appealed.
    That's really not relevant in this case because the thread is about permitted work and not about benefit underpayments.

    Also a benefit underpayment is disregarded for 1 year from all means tested benefits.

    DWP would not have declared the backdated money to HMRC because it wouldn't have been taxable income.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger

    As you will be self employed then you will need to keep accounts, which will need to be sent to DWP on a regular basis. Items which you purchase for your business will come under expenses which will be offset against your income.

    As i advised earlier on in the thread you will need to get some face to face expert advice regarding this.

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Do you think I can sort it out myself when I start to fill out the permitted work form and inform council tax? because my care coordinator and doctor wouldn't want my ESA to stop and housing benefits. I also get PIP and I don't know who I could ask to support me because if I asked my support workers they could say making money from home online isn't safe etc etc. But I am doing a franchise business. 
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Well, I haven't started it yet just need to sort out a few things. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    I have no idea if you could sort this out yourself but you most definitely need face to face advice because if you do earn more than the maximum amount then your ESA will stop because you will no longer be entitled to it. This could also stop your housing benefit and council tax reduction.

    I'm afraid i have no knowledge of a franchise business and i won't be able to give you any further advice regarding this.

    You also need to be careful that the work you do doesn't contradict the reasons you're claiming ESA, as i previously advised.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    I remember an advisor said to me to make money first then report it as working from home has many things to report. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    As you will be self employed then you will need to keep accounts, which will need to be sent to DWP on a regular basis. Items which you purchase for your business will come under expenses which will be offset against your income. You will also need an agreement with DWP which items will come under expenses.

    I honestly don't think you're fully understanding all of this. It's not as simple as just starting a business while doing permitted work.



    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    No, I meant that I don't need to do permitted work but just do the business first then make money then report everything?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    Will33 said:
    No, I meant that I don't need to do permitted work but just do the business first then make money then report everything?
    No, sorry but that's not how it works. Doing that and you definitely risk having all your means tested benefits stopped. Please get some face to face advice as i'm unable to help you further because we are just going round in circles.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,477 Scope community team
    Hi @Will33, please seek face to face advice about this. I hope Poppy has been able to help here. It is vital that you disclose doing permitted work before you start earning, rather then after.

    It would be great to hear how you get on. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    Well, the people on this website are right but the people who support my health are saying that if I do IT part-time online course that means that if I do permitted work it will be classed as if I can work full time and my ESA will stop completely and another advisor said I should make money first then report it. The people offline aren't very helpful I don't know what to do? They are professional people also but don't seem to know much about what I need to know and help me well. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    As you're doing an online part time course then this shouldn't have an affect on your ESA claim BUT as i did advise previously that what you do if this contradicts the reasons why you're claiming ESA then yes it could go against you. This includes the college course AND working. It's exactly the same as if someone is either in college or working or both, the same rules apply.

    The advice about "should make money first, then report it" is completely wrong. All changes need to be reported and that includes permitted work.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    What happens if I make money then tell them will I just have to pay back the ESA and then the ESA will totally stop and what kind of other things will happen no law convictions or anything like that?
  • Will33Will33 Member Posts: 41 Listener
    I am not going to do it but just curious. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,364 Disability Gamechanger
    Will33 said:
    What happens if I make money then tell them will I just have to pay back the ESA and then the ESA will totally stop and what kind of other things will happen no law convictions or anything like that?

    You need to fill out the PW1 form like i advised and then send it to DWP. As you will be self employed then you will need to keep accounts, which will need to be sent to DWP on a regular basis.

    If any earn more than the maximum amount allowed then your ESA will stop, i have advised this a few times.

    If you don't tell them your earnings and you have weeks where you go over the maximum amount then you will have an overpayment which will need to be re-paid back. There won't be any convictions.

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
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