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Portfolio Career advice

helenbolland Community member Posts: 8 Listener
edited July 2023 in Work and employment

I have been unemployed since my PTSD got really bad in 2011. I was put in the ESA support group and last December I was transferred to UC and their version of the support group. I have multiple health conditions which mean that traditional working isn’t sustainable for me in the long term.

 I have read about something called a “Portfolio Career” which is basically just working here and there but I guess on a self-employed/ consultant basis. I would be working with charities and organisations providing advice on veterans with disabilities using my lived experience. It may also involve renumeration for a Public Appointment which requires 1 day a month involvement.  

Can I do this under permitted working? This income would not necessarily be regular as it would work around my capability to work, so maybe one month I work 5 days, another I work 6 hours, the next month 0 hours. How would this all affect my Universal Credits? Would I be able to use the Access to Work Scheme? What happens if my health can’t keep up with it and I have to quit? Do I need to start with all the benefit assessments from scratch, or can I be kept on hold?



  • Guy_Scope
    Guy_Scope Scope Posts: 26 Courageous
    Hello @helenbolland
    You are allowed to do permitted work while claiming ESA or Universal Credit (UC). However, under UC there is no specific 'permitted work' rule, instead, you can do some work, even for a few hours a week, if you can manage it. There is no time limit to how many weeks you can work and you can keep some of the earnings if you have a work allowance. More on Permitted Work.  You can use Access to Work if you are Self employed , some more information on that can be found here 

    Employment Team Manager
    Scope's Support To Work
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,777 Disability Gamechanger
    Just to add, I was working self employed (and a while employed) while on UC with LCWRA. i continued to get LCWRA and when self-employed I just had to report my earnings each month to UC and any allowable expenses. When employed directly they took my earnings from HMRC and I didn't have to do anything at all, just check my statements as they came through to ensure they'd recorded correct amounts.

    When I stopped working, I just reported it to UC and continued to get my LCWRA, no need for reassessment or anything :) 
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