Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Permitted work - does applying trigger re-assessment?

NY19NY19 Member Posts: 14 Connected
Has anyone been re-assessed for ESA because they applied to do lower level permitted work?

My partner and I both get ESA (paid only to me, but for both). My partner is thinking of selling some digital files he's created, via a website. Obviously he would have to get permission to do this by filling in a Permitted Work form. The amount of money will be tiny and variable (no more than £5 in a good week, probably!). In other people's experience, does putting in a Permitted Work form trigger a re-assessment? My last 2 re-assessments have resulted in appeals, and we can't face that again - so if there's a chance of him being re-assessed because of applying to do this tiny bit of permitted work, he will just choose not to sell his stuff at this time.

Replies

  • livrose86livrose86 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    I am on ESA and attempted some work (permitted work within the guidelines) but it backfired. They didnt send me any forms after calling them to notify them. They just stopped it. I also didnt continue the job as it triggered the reasons why I am on ESA to begin with! My advice is to really consider what is best here! Good luck. 
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,327 Disability Gamechanger
    It shouldn't, if in the support group you can do permitted work if you are able following DWP guide lines and earn upto £120 per week with out losing any benefit from ESA this is what I was told at job Center plus. Check before you do anything.
  • livrose86livrose86 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    I know. What I am saying is I wasnt given a chance to. Baffling! I re applied anyway. This was last year. 
    Thanks.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi there NY19, livrose86 and wilko

    It's true to say that undertaking some work can trigger a new work capability assessment. The thing to be very careful about would seem to be that any permitted  work  (PW) you are considering should not directly contradict what you have got established by any work capability assessment that you've had so far.

    So an over-simplified example would be a person says that they want to do PW as a lunchtime supervisor when they have been put into the support group because of anxiety issues so great that they  cannot have any contact with other people. The lunchtime supervisor's job is a particularly people-centred job so there would be a likely contradiction there.  So it's best to be clear about why you are in the support group.

    Otherwise, I'd agree with what others have said, you are allowed to do work under these rules, but you do need to tell the DWP about it.  Sadly there can never be a guarantee that you won't come across a DWP official who sets a train of events in motion. 

    It is definitely time that we stopped making people feel  worried like this.

    Best wishes

    Gill
    Benefits and Finance Specialist
    Scope Helpline
    Tel: 0808 800 3333 




  • NY19NY19 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Thanks @Gill_Scope - that's what I feared. My partner actually hasn't been reassessed since we were moved onto income-related ESA, because I'm now the sole claimant (terrible system!). So I'm also worried that anything that reminds them of his existence will trigger reassessment and then he may have to deal with the Work Programme etc (we are in the WRAG). It won't be worth all that difficulty and stress for the tiny amount of extra money. The 'benefits trap' is real!
  • teawithmilkteawithmilk Member Posts: 1 Listener
    My experience: I have been claiming ESA since 2015 - before this I claimed for 2 years - but had a 6 month break whilst I tried to do self-employed work. Back in May of this year , I applied to do permitted work. 2 weeks after sending in the completed pw1 form. I received an appointment letter for a CDHA reassessment. At the time of the interview I had only done 3 (intermittent) days of work - I explained on the form and during the interview that I was working infrequently with an agency - and one of the good things about working with the agency is that there is no contractual commitment to work regularly - I can turn down any work that they may offer me if I am not feeling well enough - on the understanding that I only will be paid for the work I actually do. As I said at that point in time, it was 3 days of work in a 2 month timescale. On the government website, it says you can do up to 16 hours a week - so long as you don't earn over £120 pwk. 
    It took over 2 months for me to receive the outcome of the health interview, which I got today. I have been given 0 points in total. All of the reasons why I got 0 have centred on the fact that I am now working - it has been written in a way as if I am working full time. 
    I do plan to appeal - but I just wanted to share my experience. Incidentally, I live in an area where universal credit is now in place. I spoke to someone this morning when I asked for a mandatory consideration form who told me that if I claim universal credit whilst awaiting the outcome of the reconsideration - even if I am successful, I will not be able to return to ESA - instead I would go on a higher rate of universal credit. Permitted work is not allowed on universal credit.
    So in summary, yes I would also tell others to carefully consider applying to do permitted work - it reminds me of the ChildCatcher in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' - speaking as one already in the cage.
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @teawithmilk- great username!

    Goodness, I'm so sorry to hear about your experience- I can't imagine how frustrating it must have been for you to have found something that works for you and then have this be the outcome. Please do let us know how you get on with appealing, and we'll advise where we can. 
  • NY19NY19 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Thanks so much for sharing your experience @teawithmilk - it's exactly what I've been imagining happening if I were to apply to do a tiny bit of work. I've been through 3 appeals in the past and it's certainly not something I'd bring on myself voluntarily! So, I'll have to be confident that I'm well enough to deal with a significant amount of work and all the associated DWP hassle as well before I think of trying any permitted work. Good luck with your appeal.
  • RipplesRipples Member Posts: 189 Pioneering
    @teawithmilk Which ESA group were you in prior to your previous assessment? As previously pointed out in this thread it isn't just that you can do permitted work it is the kind of work you might be doing that is relevant.  The rates for 'New style  ESA''  as on UC are comparable to legacy rates but not better as far as I know. For example in legacy support group you would be getting £16.40 extra with EDP which you will not get on UC.
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