ESA and Self employment - anyone I can call for advice?

ESA and self employment appears to be a grey area where they don’t give out much information. I have also struggled with Tax Credits and Self employment and found it difficult to source information about what happens with sickness etc.

Can anyone advise if there is anyone I can call for info as its pretty specific. I’m not sure the CAB (i worked for them) would have the info to hand. I want to know what counts as income in the permitted work section is it net or gross!!! I know whe calculating your income for income based contributions they go on net figures…

Its all so difficult!



It is very difficult to get information when your questions are specific and outside the norm. DWP are barely able to answer the mundane accurately so it’s not surprising that you got no help there.

As you say generlist CAB advisors probably won’t have the info to hand but they can access their own benefits specialist and the CPAG advisory service so it’s worth a try.

For my own two penneth I would say that the “income” in permitted work would be profit – actual money that you have available to live on not the gross income generated by your business. However the rules regarding permitted work are somewhat wooly and indicating that you have the physical and mental ability to do work might jeopardise your ESA claim It is so hard to prove eligibility that it might be risky to volunteer a reason to turn down your claim.


Thanks Jane, I might ask the CAB for help.

Hi Claire,

Someone at the EHRC may be able to help; if not they will tell you who will.

I entered ‘self employment and ESA to get this but if you go to the home tab there is a phone number for contact.


Hi Is there a DIAL anywhere near you? they are areally good and seem to be on top of all the problems.

Good luck Yvonne