What benefits am I entitled to?
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How much can I earn/make?

foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
I am a Disabled Person (DLA Higher mobility, Lower Care) and am the sole unaided care provider for my wife (DLA Higher both). We get income support and Carer's benefit.

I was self employed for decades before I became a Carer full time for first both father and mother, then father, mother and wife and now just my wife.

I had/have a reputation of being able to rub two pennies together and come up with a five pound note, so can/could generate income if allowed to without risking my benefits.

As I understand the situation, I can only 'earn' £10 a week before I lose Income support at a pound for pound basis. Is this still correct? That's less than an hour and a half on minimum wage so a bit daft - if not working from home the bus journey to and from work would probably double the hours worked.....

I have also heard horror stories about legitimate expenses being disallowed by DWP so that people end up with less than they had on benefits. What is the situation? I have heard that one of the schemes which is 'schemed' by some is to be time limited to avoid long term unprofitable 'enterprises'.

Are there any advice organisations that I can contact?

If it was just me I'd 'roll the bones' and take the risks, but I have responsibilities to my wife to get the best I can for her from life. OK so I'm a bit 'dated' but I am 62 and old fashioned even for my age.....

Jon

P.S. I've produced my own accounts to the satisfaction of the Revenue and closed my last business without debt. Surviving for a working life in self-employment tends to make one cautious when calculating risk, as does having the responsibility for the wellbeing of another person.


Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi foxuk (Jon),

    You keep £20 a week of your net earnings before the rest comes off your Income Support £1 for £1, because of being disabled/a carer.

    As regards self-employment, expenses etc, the DWP should allow expenses which are 'wholly and exclusively' incurred for the business - where something is used for both business and private reasons (such as a telephone), the cost may have to be apportioned.

    The stories you've heard may be about the assumption sometimes made by the DWP and HMRC that self-employed people make a minimum amount for the hours they say they are working, but don't worry, that policy doesn't apply to you. However, you do need to be careful that you don't work 16 hours or more (as your Income Support would stop if you do, regardless of income).

    You can always contact an advice organisation of course - Carers UK might be a good place to start. 

    Another thing to bear in mind is that before too long either you or your wife will reach the age where you can claim Pension Credit instead of Income Support. And a few years after that you will receive your state retirement pension (you won't be able to get Carer's Allowance in full at the same time as your pension, but it is worth continuing to claim it). The same £20 disregard  of your earnings will apply, but Pension Credit doesn't have hours rules, so you wouldn't need to be so careful about staying below 16 hours a week of work.

    I hope this helps give you some context for the decision.

    Will 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    Thanks for the info,

    Just to clarify - the DWP would be the final judge of deductions not revenue and customs?

    The thought of some youngster with no real experience of the costs of self employment making that sort of decision really makes the decision not to take the risks.

    Jon

    P.S. I'm very cautious as a friend of mine who is profoundly dyslexic is being threatened with sanctions regularly for not doing enough job search online. The idiocy of such actions is beyond belief.

    P.P.S. Carer's UK are great on most things but like most charities their eyes glaze over when it comes to self employment and making money...... They were marvelous when when my dad (now passed) lost his teeth.....
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi Jon,

    Yes, when it comes to Income Support, the final decision would rest with the DWP not the HMRC. However there would be a right of appeal to an independent Tribunal if you disputed the decision.

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    Just one more question (or a couple).

    The earnings limit. Is that based on a weekly 'profit' or is the profit calculated yearly and then averaged weekly? 

    There's also the 'Tax Point' problem, to HMRC this is invoice date not payment date. Do DWP work on the same basis or do they just make up the rules as they go along?

    I'm 62 so have a couple of years to go yet for the pension rules to kick in. I probably will not get a full pension as I rarely earned enough to pay NHI contributions as a full time Carer and self-employed. I even had a few years of no benefits (except Carer's Benefit and DLA) as I spent too much time away from my own home and it was classed as an asset even though, at the time, with negative equity. 

    Being self-employed gets complicated as one gets older.

    Jon


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