What benefits am I entitled to?
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becoming self employed and coming off benefits

pabab22pabab22 Member Posts: 28 Listener
Hi I have just published a book on Amazon, I'm trying to come off benefits completely, as an artist I try to stay creative to help with my mental health, and even though I'm housebound, I decided to look into writing a book, I have now published a book and it's going well I sold 20 copies in the first week, and on an earlier post I discussed possibly moving into my own place, it's not going great looking for a place as not many landlords accept housing benefit, I wanted to know if there is any help with the transition from benefits to self-employment, I am going to ring DWP and tell them about the book, but was not sure this counted as work as nothing has changed in my life apart from writing and publishing the book which was all done from home with software from my computer, I am also looking to do freelancing work painting portraits and landscapes from home but I want to let DWP know, is there any advice you could give thank you.

Replies

  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,217 Pioneering
    What benefits do you currently receive?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • pabab22pabab22 Member Posts: 28 Listener
    hi calcotti i receive pip both lower rates and I am in the support group of ESA thanks for your reply 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,217 Pioneering
    You should look at permitted work rules for ESA
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-and-support-allowance-permitted-work-form/permitted-work-factsheet

    If you breach the limits your entitlement to ESA ends completely. I don't know how they will assess the earnings in your circumstances.

    Universal Credit doesn't have this 'cliff edge', it simply reduces if earnings increase.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • LouRoots8LouRoots8 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I would be really careful about coming off completely. Especially if you are looking at being self employed in the arts. As there is no regular income.  You could earn enough one month then nothing the next. It’s also almost impossible to get UC to work when your earnings can vary so much. 

    Do you get the severe disability premium, as the rules are different. 

    I would look at the the hours your allowed to work while on ESA. I was told that this is an annual allowance. Meaning you can work more one week/ month then nothing the next. You could also look at if you have a writing agent that with there agreement they spot your pay. Let’s say you have £500 your agent could give you £100 a week. So you don’t go over the maximum amount your allowed. 

    Good luck with it all. 
  • pabab22pabab22 Member Posts: 28 Listener
    thanks for the advice calcotti ill look at permitted work, hi louroots8 I get the enhanced disability premium, of £17 as far as i know i would be entitled to the severe disability premium if i lived alone, but my dad rents his own room  off a landlord in the same house as me, i also rent my own room in the same house, so not entitled as far as i know,if i was entitled how would this change things, also would i be better off on uc rather then esa, someone told me my pip wouldnt be affected, in an ideal world i would like to come off benefits but it seems a lot harder then i thought  is a writing agent someone who looks after your earnings, because that would be great, any futher  info would be greatly appreciated thank you so much!  
  • LouRoots8LouRoots8 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I was told because I was on the disability premium that I was better on ESA, that they weren’t allowed to put me on UC. 

    A writing agent / literary agent is someone who helps publish your work and get interests into your writing.

    They would take a percentage of earnings from the work you get paid for. 
  • pabab22pabab22 Member Posts: 28 Listener
    thanks, louroots8 i self-published my book, sorry i got confused, i contacted agents to publish my book but did not get anyone who would publish, so i researched how to do it and got the necessary software and published myself, does the enhanced disability premium count as i would just do permitted work, the only reason i would want to switch to uc is if i moved into my own place for rent, but ideally would like to just live from being and author and freelancing but this is tricky,i think im going to contact dwp and ask about permitted work, this seems like a good option, thank you so much to calcotti and to you louroots8, great advice things are much clearer thank you!
  • LouRoots8LouRoots8 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I wouldn’t ask the DWP. Go to the citizens advice. First! Get some impartial advice. 
  • rubin16rubin16 Member Posts: 102 Pioneering
    Hi,

    I tried going self employed a few years ago, and I did it with help through "UC" and I had to tell UC how much I earned each month from it, and if I didn't recieve enough they would top me up. Being self employed didn't work for me though as my disability got in the way, but if you do decide to go self employed I wish you all the best as its not the easiest thing to do.

    I would try seek some advice and do full research to see if your better off, maybe try CAB or phoning DWP themselves for some advice.

    All the best.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,217 Pioneering
    edited July 10
    LouRoots8 said:
    I was told because I was on the disability premium ......, that they weren’t allowed to put me on UC. 
    If you get the Severe Disability Premium that was previously true but the law changed in January and is no longer the case.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,217 Pioneering
    edited July 10
    pabab22 said:
    ...,i think im going to contact dwp and ask about permitted work, ..
    It’s not a case of asking them about permitted work. As you will see from the link I posted, if you do any work you are required to inform DWP as a condition of claiming ESA. if the work is within the rules you remain entitled to ESA. If it falls outside the rules your entitlement to ESA ends,
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • pabab22pabab22 Member Posts: 28 Listener
    thank you louroots8, hi rubinheath16 thank you so much for the positivity, really sorry it didn't work out for you, think I will contact citizens advice, thank you all the best to you too.
  • LouRoots8LouRoots8 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    calcotti said:
    LouRoots8 said:
    I was told because I was on the disability premium ......, that they weren’t allowed to put me on UC. 
    If you get the Severe Disability Premium that was previously true but the law changed in January and is no longer the case.
    What is the current rules around this? Do you know? 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,217 Pioneering
    LouRoots8 said: What is the current rules around this? Do you know? 
    The rule preventing people claiming UC if they receive SDP has been abolished. Therefore everybody can claim UC.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,038

    Scope community team

    Hi @pabab22 :) I can see you've already had plenty of useful replies above. I just wanted to point you towards Scope's page on trying self-employment, as you may find some of the information on there helpful both in terms of the financial side of things, and the business side.
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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  • pabab22pabab22 Member Posts: 28 Listener
    thank you so much tori, everyone has been very helpful, thank you for the further information have a great day!

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