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Work and ESA

Hi everyone Does anyone know if you can work whilst claiming ESA. I’m probably going to be doing a phased return to work starting with 4 hours a week which isn’t going to be much of an income! Can you still claim esa while earning up to a certain amount each week? Thanks Mini x

Hi Mini,

I think so - with its predecessor, incapacity benefit, I was able to claim whilst still receiving three-quarter pay from work - although I know things have got a lot harsher since then.

Another thing to look at, though, is whether you have accrued holiday, from long term sickness. I believe there’s been a court judgement (European court, I think) that means holiday still accrues while you’re sick. You don’t lose it because you weren’t at work. In theory, therefore, you might have a lot of accrued holiday, which could be taken at full pay, for the days you’re not working.

I know there’s a moral argument that you shouldn’t HAVE to use your holiday, when the real reason is you can onlt work limited hours because you’re sick. However, if your company has a policy where holiday unused by the end of the year is written off, and you’ve amassed a big backlog, it could be advantageous for you to take it. That’s what I did, in a similar situation. They said if I worked part-time, they’d only pay for the actual hours (sick pay had run out by that time). So I said: “OK, reinstate me as full time, then, and I’ll just take four days a week as holiday”. I knew they wouldn’t like this, but they couldn’t find a way to stop me, as I did have significant accrued holiday they couldn’t legally cancel, and they couldn’t block me from taking it all by the end of the year, either.

So,one the one hand I don’t agree with it, BUT it worked out well for me. Much better than only being paid actual hours during the phased return, AND potentially losing the holiday too, because I couldn’t use it all in time!

HTH,

Tina

x

Thanks Tina ill probably see about doing that then. It’s such a nightmare! X

There are rules (of course) regarding work whilst claiming ESA. It is called permitted work.

You can read about it at Direct.gov
https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/eligibility

It looks like the maximum you can earn is £99.50 for less than 16 hours.

If you were doing more than 16 hours you would need to look at Working Tax Credits to top up your income.

Jane

There are rules (of course) regarding work whilst claiming ESA. It is called permitted work.

You can read about it at Direct.gov
https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/eligibility

It looks like the maximum you can earn is £99.50 for less than 16 hours.

If you were doing more than 16 hours you would need to look at Working Tax Credits to top up your income.

Jane

I think tha tit depends what rate you are on. You can work up to 15 hours on mimimun wage and not earn than personal allowance which is the amount you can earn before you start paying NI.

If you are in the WRAG then you can do it 52 weeks and any longer than that and they will consider you fit for work. If you are in the Support group then you can do what is called SUpported Permitted Work which means that you have someone who checks up on. As far as a phased return to work I am not too sure so it maybe worth looking on the CAB website.

Andy

If you scroll down this to Welfare Benefits http://www.dls.org.uk/advice/factsheet/factsheets_download.html it will tell all. Depends on before or after 28/4/2011when it changed.

George

Thanks so much for info guys x