Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Effects of working on support group ESA

Hi all,

looking for some advice. I’m currently not in a position where I can feasibly work much (other then selling the odd bit of art which makes next to nothing), but in the future I would like to be able to at least work to some degree.

im currently in the support group, and my health is pretty much still declining, so I am hoping my benefits won’t be removed at present, but I want to start thinking about life in the future and what I could achieve whilst not impacting my finances too badly!

i guess the biggest question is weather if I got to a point where I could do some permitted work, is this likely to get me removed from the support group at my next assesment? Do they use it as a way to try and force you into more hours then you can actually manage?!

ideally I would like to do some part time study to be able to do a small amount of counselling or art therapy - but obviously I am concerned that it may lead to them assuming I’m able to work more then I really can.

my other idea would be to start selling my art etc more frequently but I would need a lot of support in this as I am unable to do more then actually creating the art work, so any of the running about and packaging items etc would have to be done with a lot of help from others. I also know I couldn’t possibly cope with anywhere near 16 hours in the near future and there’s a likelihood I will always need to be part time if I want to keep as well as possible.

I have pressure from family surrounding finances, and would like to be able to show them I am trying to function to some degree, but I am worried it would imply that I no longer should get the support group allowance and I may trigger a change - this would end up having a massively negative impact as I would end up more financially dependant on my family and will likely cause too much stress to cope with…

I don’t want to give in to living purely on benefits for the rest of my life, but can’t work enough to go full time and can’t risk triggering a change that may swap me onto UC - especially as I struggle hugely day to day with pain, energy and numerous physical and mental health issues.

I am terrified of taking a leap into trying but equally I hate the fact I am too worried to try to at least do some small form of work!

any advice would be appreciated!
many thanks!!


  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,205 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    As you have said you can do permitted work but this can prompt a reassessment 

    However at some stage you will be reassessed anyway 

    It doesn't mean you will lose support group 

  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,220

    Scope community team

    Hello @lottiekins

    Thanks for posting, I hope you're doing okay today.

    Have you considered starting off with something small and with much less pressure like volunteering? There are so many opportunities on offer and it would give you a great chance to build confidence.
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