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ESA and self employment

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've had such a struggle at trying to find out this information - I've been to the CAB, asked my support worker and no one seems to know.

Both me and my mother are in the work group for ESA. My mother has been self-employed for 20 years, and I want to become self employed. We're trying to find out what the rules are about how much we can earn, how the benefits get changed once you're working above 16 hours, what help we should be entitled to, how we work out how much money we earn (because for example, before i make any profit I have a large amount of kit I need to buy of myself for the business). I'm not where near the stage of working more than 16 hours but i want to try and do a few hours a week doing photoshoots, but no one has spoken to me since I won my tribunal in May, so i haven't a clue if I'm allowed to or not.

Any ideas?


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok, I've just spoken to the CAB again and they've just said they don't know anything other than the hours limit is 16 hours, but they said the earnings limit is £5...not what I've heard before but they have just passed me on to another organisation and said call the job centre. GRrrrrrrrr
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Off the top of my head the earnings limit is £20 but we're back to the situation where if you're well enough to work you will not meet the criteria for ESA. you May be eligible for tax credits though on am assumed income of nil.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is where I'm getting mixed messages - the DWP want people back in work yet if you have any inciative and want to make use of support on offer then you're back to square one? I'm in the work related activity group so surely I'm doing the right thing?

    I managed to get through to someone after I posted this and they said that there are 2 levels of permited work - earn up to £96 a week doing up to 16 hours but you can only do that for a year or up to £20 but she didn't specify how many hours, but thats indefinately. She suggested I should start on the lower level and see how I go. But I aparently need to go and see the disability specialist at the job centre. I get panicy about just thinking about that place.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I looked at getting a paid job a while back when I was in one of my better phases but it was just not going to work out. If I worked up to 16 hours earning £96 I would be quite limited in the type of work I could do and the jobs I have experience for pay a bit more than that. Earn too much and you lose housing benefit as well. Also could only do it for a year and I know there's no way I could get a full time job in a year's time so it seemed too risky.

    I am in the support group but do voluntary work when I am well enough, I have declared this to the dwp my hours and what I do and they haven't said I'm well enough to work although I have been volunteering for about two years now.

    Anyway, I think the paid job thing would have been a step too far for me because I have not been consistently well. It was the best decision as I have had periods of very ill health since then.

    But they don't make it easy to get off benefits so that's why people get stuck on benefits.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there Miss_Riot,

    Sorry to hear that you're not getting the answers you need.

    It must be frustrating having to go from one place to another and still not finding the answers. *hug*

    I was tying to find somewhere that you can go to for advice specifically aimed at disability benefits.

    I found this forum > http://www.youreable.com/
    You could post your query there and you may get a more specific answer from others who are going through similar things.

    I also found this list of different advice agencies on the Advicenow website > http://www.advicenow.org.uk/finding-help-html,314,FP.html

    For example the Community Legal Advice website - http://legaladviserfinder.justice.gov.uk/AdviserSearch.do
    Here you can search for 'welfare benefit' advisers in your local area by putting your postcode in and selecting 'welfare benefits'.

    I'm not sure of any specific answers to your questions but I hope the above helps.

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