Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Starting my own business and moving from ESA


I’ve been on ESA (basic allowance) for a number of years. I have one of those “invisible conditions” and my whole life has been destroyed by it.
I am bow thinking if starting my own business is crafting and moving from ESA to becoming self employed. 
I’ve kind of been left with no real contact with any support (although I’m not fit to work in full time employed basis). I have a plan etc but is there any support from DWP to help this  transition? I need to move forward with my life and working for myself from home will give me some control and also give me the needed Time off without repercussion’s if I’m poorly a few days each week?
can anyone sign post me to who I need to contact?


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    I'm not sure what you mean by "basic allowance" for ESA. Which group are you in and when did your claim start? and is your ESA income related or Contributions based?

    Firstly, have you looked at doing permitted work? Providing you work less than 16 hours per week and earn no more than £140 per week after deductions, you can continue with your ESA claim. Although do be aware than if the work you do contradicts the reasons why you're claiming ESA then you could be reassessed early and the decision could go against you once it's made

    Or you could claim Universal Credit and your ESA award will be honoured in UC and you'll receive the work allowance of either £512 if you don't claim for help with any rent or £292 (per month) if you do claim for help with any rent. This means that you can earn that amount of money before you start to see the 63% deductions in your monthly UC entitlement. Although with being self employed you will need to report your earnings and expenses on your journal each month. I'd advise you to use a benefits calculator to check entitlement to UC before you do anything else because once you claim this you can't ever go back.

    Scope also have a support to work programme, details of this is here. https://www.scope.org.uk/employment-services/

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
Sign in or join us to comment.