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Etsy selling and Benefits?

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djn2023
djn2023 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
Hello! I am looking for anyone who currently has an Etsy shop that also gets benefits?

I'm really nervous. I suffer from GAD, BPD and I am autistic, I am on ESA (and PIP), and I am very craft orientated. I have never done anything like this before. I have read everything and rung the DWP and they said as long as I dont make over £167 a week I will be fine, I just have to report to them, but I'm worried they will rip everything away from me and I'll be homeless just because I decided to sell fridge magnets I want to make.

They want me to report to them weekly or monthly with earnings and I don't know how to do that. I don't want them to suddenly decide I'm ok to work because I make things out of clay in my bedroom. I don't know how to report earnings at all, I havent even started. 

If anyone currently sells on Etsy, please reply. I feel sick just thinking about starting. 
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Comments

  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @djn2023

    It would be best to book an appointment with the DWP so they can show you how they would like for you to report any earnings. Have you already started selling on Etsy? There are plenty of people who have small businesses or sell via Etsy or Shopify and claim benefits whilst building their business. My local job centre has appointments to give advice when setting up your own business. It may be worth asking them if yours do that too :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • jhorner
    jhorner Community member Posts: 20 Connected
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    @Hannah_Scope are there any case studies, or surveys, or people who are willing to discuss their real experiences 1:1? Most of us have bad experiences from the assessment system that how the DWP react in reality is different from how they’re supposed to respond. Does this extend to issues around self employment? 

    I’m going to start a new discussion thread asking how the ESA legislation is applied to different forms of self employment and which will be least stressful under the current legislation. 
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    @jhorner The only place I can think of is Facebook groups, for talking to other people who have set up a businesses from/with benefits. Crafting groups would be a good place to start :)

    It's hard to gauge because I have had both a really bad experience with my job centre and then a really positive one. I spoke to one person about work, if I'd ever go into self employment when looking at work surrounding my disability and he was very knowledgeable and lovely to talk to. 
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • jhorner
    jhorner Community member Posts: 20 Connected
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    @Hannah_Scope yes based on my previous experience with DWP staff I think it would be a lot down to the luck of who you get. That’s why I want to be sure how it should work before I contact them. Also I’m too ill to go into a jobcentre and speak to someone in person, so can’t build a relationship with them (I get paralysis episodes which come on quite quickly sitting or standing upright, so I’m housebound 98% of the time but I can do some stuff unreliably and horizontally).
  • jhorner
    jhorner Community member Posts: 20 Connected
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    Oh dear I wrote a long post for a new discussion related to this and then it disappeared when I edited it. Did I press delete accidentally? I don’t think so 😞 
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @jhorner don't worry, it got caught up in our spam filter, but I've returned it now for you :) 
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  • jhorner
    jhorner Community member Posts: 20 Connected
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    @djn2023 see discussion I’ve started on different business models and ESA here: https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/684371#Comment_684371

    It seems to me that a key aspect of dipping your toe into self employment and ESA Permitted Work is to not have to worry about unpredictable, uncontrollable income over the higher limit.

    Do you have an Etsy shop account yet? I don’t and I’d be curious to know what the settings are. How much control could we have? You could potentially limit your stock on the site so that if people suddenly bought everything in one week you still wouldn’t go over £167. Then add your new stock only as old stock is sold. If like me you fluctuate in ability to do stuff, that might also help you create a backup stock which you can gradually upload, even when you’re not well enough to do the creating. 

    I’m thinking of selling digital products, which don’t have any real stock limits, but can I make the settings limit the current stock of digital products? 

    Of course at the point we can consistently earn around £165 a week it could be time to risk removing the limit, but no one wants to lose their ESA over a fluke month. This is especially relevant for people like me who wouldn’t be entitled to Universal Credit. 
  • barton85
    barton85 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Hi djn2023 did you ever go ahead with this ? I’m in the same situation I’m wanting to start an Etsy business but at the same time worried about the problems I may face to payments etc 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,114 Disability Gamechanger
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    barton85 said:
    Hi djn2023 did you ever go ahead with this ? I’m in the same situation I’m wanting to start an Etsy business but at the same time worried about the problems I may face to payments etc 
    If you start working you must tell ESA and you’ll need to fill out a PW1 form. Full details here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-and-support-allowance-permitted-work-form/permitted-work-factsheet
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • jhorner
    jhorner Community member Posts: 20 Connected
    edited July 2023
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    barton85 said:
    Hi djn2023 did you ever go ahead with this ? I’m in the same situation I’m wanting to start an Etsy business but at the same time worried about the problems I may face to payments etc 
    Did you catch the threads I started on this topic? https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/105073/which-forms-of-self-employment-are-least-stressful-under-current-esa-rules and https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/104502/self-employment-passive-income-affiliate-links-and-esa#latest

    I’m slowly doing market research type stuff and creating what I’m going to sell. I want to check I can do the tasks required before drawing any attention to myself with the DWP. I’m almost at the point of writing to them with the form - a letter seems probably more important to explain, as the standard form just isn’t designed for this. 

    I’ve asked advice from a couple of disabled Etsy sellers and they say that it is possible to limit your current stock (even if digital products) so that even if you sell out within a week you’d still be under the top threshold for permitted work. It just requires a bit of extra maths. They advise also pausing the shop if you’re selling too much, as a different strategy. 

    Something I noticed somewhere in the rules is that you can’t do more than one type of paid work. That’s an obvious boundary when you have an employer but a bit tricky with Etsy type income. I’m thinking about how to word it so I don’t box myself in too much with a specific Etsy shop - perhaps saying that I’m looking to sell art, digital products and surface design products using both my own designs and curated, antique art? I think I’ll have a couple of opportunities to sell locally too, so hopefully that wording gives me flexibility to sell in different ways. 
  • barton85
    barton85 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Hi poppy it’s uc I’m on not esa . I’ll check out the other thread new jhorner thanks 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,114 Disability Gamechanger
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    barton85 said:
    Hi poppy it’s uc I’m on not esa . I’ll check out the other thread new jhorner thanks 
    Then the rules are different for you. Permitted work rules do not apply to UC. This thread is about ESA and not UC.

    If you start working you need to report a change of circumstances. Then tell them you’re working. As self employed you will need to attend your local job centre for an appointment for newly self employed. You will need to report your earnings and expenses in the last day of your assessment period. If you don’t then your payment could be affected. 

    If you have the work allowance it means you can receive that amount of earnings each month before the 55% deductions apply. If you don’t have the WA then earnings received will reduce your UC by 55%. See link for work allowance. 

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
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