Help with benefits

When thinking about whether it is the right time for paid work finances are an important factor. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is a useful tool to help with information around benefits and support. You could also find Diverse Abilities and Citizens Advice useful resources. Another site worth investigating is Benefits and Work.

The DWP link to independent benefits calculators that can help you to find out:

  • what benefits you could get
  • how to claim
  • how your benefits will be affected if you start work

Overview of benefits

Employment Support Allowance (ESA): if a person is ill or disabled, this involves a Work Capability Assessment. On ESA an option is Permitted Work - this means you can work up to16 hours a week so long as you earn less than £143.00 (figures correct April 2021). There is no limit to how many weeks permitted work can last for. However, you must get approval from the DWP before going ahead. Read more here.

Job Seekers Allowance (JSA): if a person is available for work, actively seeking work or work on average less than 16 hours per week.

Further advice and guidance is available via the links below:-

Universal Credit : will eventually replace ESA and JSA and is for patients on low income or out of work. It is being introduced in stages and is currently available to all single people. Rather than Permitted Work, there’s no limit to the number of hours that can be worked. However, unlike ESA, your payments will reduce gradually as you earn more.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP): you may be able to get help with some of the extra costs caused by long term ill-health or disability. PIP replaced disability living allowance. PIP is not affected by any income you are receiving; the amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

On most forms of employment benefit a person can start to build up work slowly which may not affect their benefit or there may be a phased impact.

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