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Etsy / NOTH / website

kitty1029 Member Posts: 4 Listener

I have ME/CFS, depression and anxiety. I claim ESA, PIP, Housing benefit and help with council tax. I have been awarded the highest amount PIP classing me as severely disabled. 

I’m severely limited in what I can do physically and mentally. Relatively recently I’ve been enjoying creating. 
I’m not well enough to start work for anyone but I would love to start selling some creative things. The creative things are not made by me physically so the only real energy used is on my phone. A bit of an input on technology but it’s low energy. 

I want to donate money to various charities or volunteers with each sale, and possibly even have 100% of profits to charity.  

I know ESA and PIP may not change if I start something like this as I wouldn’t be doing more then 16 hours or earning above the weekly threshold. To me it’s more of a hobby then anything. And nice to find something I can do little bits of. And feel useful. Equally when I’m worse I can just leave it, and work around my energy levels and health. There is 0 stress. 

After starting to look into my benefits it seems that if I do go down the route of taking some profit even if small then I would need to declare. This in turn means I could lose benefits (housing and tax help). This will then put pressure on me and selling items. Something I certainly can’t do with my health. Any added stress right now is a no no. The other option is if it’s run as a 100 % profits go to charity or to help others then would it be classed as volunteering? 

I’m in a position where my health is still the same but I have grown in acceptance for the new limited life I lead. And this in turn has allowed a bit of space for me to think of an alternative way to find small things I can do in my own time. 

Do you have any experience of anyone doing any thing similar? It seems if I decide to move forwards in anyway I could find myself in a difficult financial position which could in turn worsen my health. Something I am adamant I do not want to do. Equally for my mental health it feels nice to feel like I can have some kind of purpose even though I am currently sever my disabled. 

I just wanted to do it as a hobby but it seems it’s quite complicated. Energy/brain fog issues make this kind of thing hard. 

I hope some of this makes sense :) 


  • Abdi_Scope
    Abdi_Scope Posts: 230 Pioneering
    Hi @kitty1029 thank you for sharing your experience. It is always hard as we face new challenges. What a good idea you have. It seems you have done a lot of research already. I hope some of our members are able to advise you @Adrian_Scope @Chloe_Scope
  • kitty1029
    kitty1029 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi @Abdi_Scope

    Thank you. It’s nice to meet you and nice to be here :) 
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    Hi @kitty1029, it sounds like you are making some lovely things. You are able to work while being on PIP and this will not have an impact on benefits.

    For ESA, here is information about declaring work:

    You can do some paid or unpaid work while you’re getting ESA and it won’t affect your benefit. This is called ‘permitted work’, or ‘supported permitted work’.

    Any job can be permitted work as long as each week you're working under 16 hours, and earning up to £140. It doesn't matter whether you’re in the support group or the work-related activity group.

    If you’re going to start doing permitted work, supported permitted work, or volunteering, you’ll need to fill in the permitted work form and return this to the JobCentre Plus office that pays your ESA. 

    Please let us know how you get on and if there is anything else we can do to help. :)


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