Running own business with ME - been told to stop? Help! — Scope | Disability forum

Running own business with ME - been told to stop? Help!

magpieisworking Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited October 2017 in Work and employment
I have been running my own little business for a year after my M.E diagnosis and when my lifelong Chronic Hypotension got a lot worse ...its small and I don't make a lot of money , but it gives me something to focus on and makes me feel some self value . I sell my artwork and a few craft handmade bits ..but on my last universal credit meeting they said because I don't meet the minimum income floor I should stop trading and just go "on the sick"(thier words not mine!) ..I'm devastated and feel I have no choice but to stop my little business , I cannot survive without my benefit payment and despite my efforts I can no longer work properly . I worked solidly from my teens ..fighting my condition until my body started to break down and I had an adrenal crisis just over a year ago . They've given me next to no info about where to go from here's not about the money for me it's keeping my business which makes me feel like a valued member of society and brings me joy and motivates me everyday to not just give in to the pain and the fatigue ..but I honestly don't know what I can do ..has anyone else been in this situation ? Did you manage to continue and still get financial support ? If so which ? In a perfect world I'd work 5 days a week and earn my wages with a nice healthy body ..but that really isn't an option ..(I've had that "why don't you just get a job?" Question thrown at me a lot)  being self employed is my way of being able to work and work around my disabilities and I really don't want to give it up . 
Sorry for the panicky post! It was quite a shock ! 
Any help and support gratefully received 


  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,154 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @magpieisworking

    I'm so sorry for you !!!!!!!!!!

    I think it's called "the more you do the less you get"  

    That's crazy with a capital C isn't it !!!!!!!

    There must be something that we can do ??????

    Please Please let me know if there is anything that I can doooooo. 
  • magunra2k
    magunra2k Member Posts: 46 Connected
    Realistically you have two choices, either claim benefits designed for those who cant work and make your business more a hobby, by that i mean you make and sell things to cover the cost of the materials, keep your earnings from it minimal , i believe its possible for people on benefits to earn extra cash through a small amount of work without it impacting on benefits as long as you inform the necessary department with a form to fill in, do a search for "permitted work"
    i believe you can earn upto £120 per week working upto 16 hours.

    Or Go fully Self Employed and not claim 
  • Pia_Scope
    Pia_Scope Scope Support to Work service Posts: 41 Courageous
    Hi @magpieisworking

    When you are claiming Universal Credit there is no "permitted work".
    Instead they have a ‘Minimum Income Floor’ (MIF) based on you being  gainfully self-employed, and that your business has been running for more than 12 months. The MIF is an assumed level of earnings that is based on what we would expect an employed person to receive in similar circumstances.

    your self-employed earnings are below the MIF they calculated for you, they will use the MIF to work out your Universal Credit award instead of your actual earnings.

    The term gainfully self-employed means that you must be self-employed in a trade, profession or vocation that should be your main occupation. It must also be organised, developed, regular, and carried out in expectation of profit.

    I suppose this is where they decided that your self-employment is not expected to be profitable and therefor advised you to end your self-employment.
    (You can ask to be reassessed in the future, and they will look at your evidence, earnings and hours of work again.)

    At this time my advise to you would be to think of ways that you could possible increase your earnings in order to reach the minimum income floor.

    You can also call Scope Helpline on 080 8800 3333 for further advise.

    Thank you for your question & I wish you all the best.

    Scope Employment Advisor
    Phone: 0300 222 5742
    Email: [email protected]

  • Simondo9
    Simondo9 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Are you receiving ESA and been assessed for work capability? Its an absolute disgrace that self employment is so discouraged by the DWP and this governments claim they are helping the disabled back to work is quite simply a lie, I know this from first hand experience and even attempting to get a work capability assessment is impossible, regular enquiries over several months are responded with you will just have to wait as we have no one available. I have in the last 12 months found zero support from the DWP regarding advice around self employment and you could just as easily be accused of earning too much and being too successful at your endeavours as earning too little its utterly maddening 
  • magpieisworking
    magpieisworking Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I've been waiting for them to sort out my ESA and Pip claims for about 5 months now , but with them "not receiving " paperwork which was actually given to them in person ..scanned and sent off WHILE I was stood in the office I seemingly seem be lead along . We finally complained as I reached the very embareaajng point on tears of grief at my last appointment after the advisor said he could see "nothing in the notes on the system ." Its atrocious the way they have dealt with the case for encouraging new businesses ?what a farce , as you say they are less than helpful and even punishing at times .