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ESA, Permitted Work, and self-employment!

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Immiscibility
Immiscibility Community member Posts: 13 Connected
Hi all!

After many years on ESA, and now PIP, I am now at the stage where I would like to start doing some kind of work.

I would love to do pet sitting, as I feel that would allow me to combine my love of animals along with helping my communications skills and it would help keep me active. I know there's a need for it because of the increase in pet ownership over the last few years. It would also allow me to be my own boss in terms of how much I do, which is vital.

I know about the Permitted Work scheme for those on ESA, but everything I read about it is focused on someone taking on a regular, structured job as an employee. I don't want to take on that kind of role again, as experience has shown that it's not healthy or supportive for me.

Has anyone undertaken self-employed work through the ESA Permitted Work scheme before? 

I have lofty goals of having my own pet sitting company and being officially self-employed one day, but am well aware that it's a case of needing to walk before I sprint off into the distance!

Thank you in advance :smile:

(For reference, I have ADHD, anxiety, asthma, dyslexia, dyspraxia, hypermobileEDS, mixed personality disorder, osteoarthritis, and Sjogren's Syndrome)

Comments

  • Immiscibility
    Immiscibility Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    edited July 2022
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    Hi all - hope you're keeping as well as possible in this heat, if you're affected!

    I have been on ESA for a number of years, and recently was awarded PIP. Following a number of eye-opening diagnoses and medication additions/changes, I'm getting to the point where I'm able to tentatively think about the future...

    My current project is finding out as much as possible about the Permitted Work scheme for those in the Support group of ESA - in particular those who have done self-employed type work under it!

    Other than that, I spend my time knitting (when I'm able to), doing accessibility-friendly Pilates, listening to audiobooks and spending as much time around animals as possible :smile: 

    (I have ADHD, anxiety, asthma, dyslexia, dyspraxia, hEDS, osteoarthritis, and Sjogren's Syndrome)
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,763 Disability Gamechanger
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    I work self employed on UC LCWRA which is equivalent of ESA Support Group but doesn't have any rules on work so I can't help with that I'm afraid. But it sounds like a great idea and I hope you manage to get into it!! <3 
  • Immiscibility
    Immiscibility Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Have you had a reassessment since starting self-employed work, and if so did it affect the assessment in any way? I'm honestly so anxious that they'll use my ability to do a few hours work a week as "proof" that I'm fine and can work full-time no problem and then take away all my support  :/

    Thanks so much for your reply!
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Immiscibility

    Wishing you a warm welcome to the online community, how are you today? I hope you're coping okay in the heat yourself, it's scorching out there!

    Thank you for telling us a bit about yourself, it's good to hear that you are now able to turn your attention to the future, it can be really difficult when it feels as though you're in a moment where you can't do that. In regards to the permitted work scheme, you can read an information page here on the Turn2Us website that provides an overview of how it works. I don't have any experience of self-employment as permitted work, but I hope that others can share any relevant experience they may have.

    This is a very supportive and welcoming site to be a part of so I’m hopeful that you’ll find it to be a positive outlet. Feel free to have a look around and get involved wherever you’d like 😊 I have included below a few of the pages I’d recommend having a look through to get used to things:

    • The virtual coffee lounge which is one of our categories, in which we play games and talk about general subjects such as hobbies and interests
    • The recent discussions page, which shows an overview of everything happening across the community
    • The categories page, which shows a full list of discussion groups on the community

    If you have any questions at all then don’t hesitate to ask.

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  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,763 Disability Gamechanger
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    Have you had a reassessment since starting self-employed work, and if so did it affect the assessment in any way? I'm honestly so anxious that they'll use my ability to do a few hours work a week as "proof" that I'm fine and can work full-time no problem and then take away all my support  :/

    Thanks so much for your reply!
    I have, yes. They asked me the last time I worked and I explained I was currently working. They asked questions about the sort of work I do and I could tell they were making assumptions so I explained in detail how the work I do fits in with my disability and doesn't contradict my reason for claiming because I allow myself a lot of adjustments and working self employed allows flexibility around my capability each day. 
  • Immiscibility
    Immiscibility Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    edited July 2022
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    Hi all

    I've just found this category and I'm hoping someone can help me (I posted in another place the other day but I think this might be a better place!)

    I'd really love to hear about people's experience undertaking Permitted Work while claiming ESA.

    I contacted the DWP helpline email yesterday and they've replied that it is possible to undertake permitted work in a self-employed role. This is something I'd really love to do but I'm also so anxious about balancing health requirements against Jobcentre requirements, especially as I have mental health difficulties and a number of neurodivergent conditions.

    Any advice would be very gratefully received - thanks!
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2022
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    Duplicate thread here
    https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/93683/esa-permitted-work-and-self-employment#latest

    Perhaps mods could merge on ESA forum.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Immiscibility
    Immiscibility Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Have you had a reassessment since starting self-employed work, and if so did it affect the assessment in any way? I'm honestly so anxious that they'll use my ability to do a few hours work a week as "proof" that I'm fine and can work full-time no problem and then take away all my support  :/

    Thanks so much for your reply!
    I have, yes. They asked me the last time I worked and I explained I was currently working. They asked questions about the sort of work I do and I could tell they were making assumptions so I explained in detail how the work I do fits in with my disability and doesn't contradict my reason for claiming because I allow myself a lot of adjustments and working self employed allows flexibility around my capability each day. 
    That is great - thank you so much! I can see that I need to do a lot of thinking about how I believe this will help me but also why this is the best way to approach it for my own personal and mental wellbeing.

    I really appreciate your reply, it's been really helpful :smile: 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 55,990 Disability Gamechanger
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    Permitted work for ESA is different to working while claiming UC and LCWRA. For ESA you must make sure you work less than 16 hours per week and earn no more than £152 per week. https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/permitted-work-rules
    You must tell DWP that you're working and you'll need to fill out a form and return it to them.
    Can't advise on how you report your earnings though.
    Yes, you need to be carefull that the work you do doesn't contradict the reasons why you're claiming ESA and only you will know those reasons. If they do contradict then it could go against you when you're next reassessed.


    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
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