Not sure self employment is for you? Try Permitted work and remain on your benefits

Permitted work helping handPermitted Work is a scheme for people on incapacity benefit who wish to try working in a limited capacity. It was designed so people could see if they were physically or mentally capable to work without it affecting their benefits. For entrepreneurs on incapacity this could mean they are able to trade whilst still claiming their benefits, thus testing their idea whilst still having financial support.

Under permitted work rules it is possible for a person on incapacity benefit to work for up to 16 hours and earn up to £88.50 per week profit without it affecting their benefits. You may be able to stay on Permitted Work for 12 months and by then, you should be able to make the decision whether to go self employed full time.

£88.50 does not sound a lot to earn, but it’s worth remembering that’s £88.50 of profit per week! So in your first week you could have an income of £200, if you have costs or expenses of £111.50. £200 income – £111.50 expenses = £88.50. You expenses could be anything from rent, petrol, insurance, stock or phone bill.

Permitted work could be a good way to try out your business idea and give you time to build up your customer base. After the scheme finishes you could be eligible to join other schemes such as Test Trading to extend your time receiving benefits whilst your business grows.

For more information and to see if you are eligible for the scheme, contact a Personal Adviser or Disability Employment Adviser at your local Jobcentre or Jobcentre Plus office.

9 Responses to “Not sure self employment is for you? Try Permitted work and remain on your benefits”

  • Sandra:

    Thanks Jon…
    Im on contribution incapacity benefit and found the above information very good.
    It answered alot of my questions I had about being self employed and permitted work.
    The bit about £88.50 per week was an eye opener.
    So if my busines expenses were £200 per week I could earn £288.50 per week without it effecting my benefit? As the £200 were expenses?
    Am I correct?
    I am definitely going to give it a try.

  • Sandra:

    Thanks again Jon…
    But can permitted work be done with via a franchise or companies such as Avon/Kleeneze?
    As the products are already there so to speak…could this be a fast way to get back into work?
    I shouldn’t see why not.
    If this is a loophole. Please get back to me

  • Jon:

    Hi – I don’t see why not, but i would not recommend taking on a franchise when you can only would 16 per week and only earn £92 profit. Permitted work is designed to get people back into work gradually. If you want to go full time i suggest Test Trading.

  • Wendy:

    I have an opportunity but are getting stressed about it.

    I have the opportunity to facilitate sessions of 5 hours at a time which is £92 a session. I had a breakdown due to caring and financial stress. I cant work full time in my life because of my mental ability over the years. I am on the higher level of incapacity benefit and I am trying to find a way to build up different jobs to create a flexible way of living due to my disability. The problem being if I get 2 sessions a week i will get benefit taking off me yet I may not work for another 4 weeks. The benefit regulations states weekly £92 or £88 per week and up to 16 hours.

    In effect I would only be working 10 hours ion a week for 2 sessions a week yet it would work out more and then it would cause more stress getting money taken off me again when i am trying to build my confidence and mental status up as well as my finance problem.

    my dad pays half my essential bills a month at the moment as incapacity does not cover these. (This cant go on much longer as he is in financial difficulty too.) It seems the in between is not possible……the time to try and build up work and help pay my dad until i am getting enough to live on and not cause the stress i’ve lived with for 15 years in poverty while caring for a relative unpaid.

    There is such potential for me to create, over time, part-time sessions also teaching art and design to organisations which i am hoping to study this year too which could be built up but I really have to be careful i don’t work too much trying to help myself and feel better then for all the work to make me feel worse as money will then be taken off me. I worry about that stress I have tried to juggle with for years trying to push myself to work yet to have all the extra stress when it gets taken back off me….then for me to just stop trying nd get very low again and ill. A constant battle.

    How and what do you suggest for me to do in this situation with government procedures, rules and regulations and schemes to help me get these little ideas and projects off the ground (and this in between time and support)before my mental status is better and the money is enough to live on? I also want to try and paint and sell some photography.

    Please help, if you can with anything.


  • Nigel:

    Just been to working links and heard about the permited working.

    using this permited work so I can start trading. The issue around the less than 16 hours, who is going to check if you work for yourself? The limit now of £93 per week is not an issue if you are limited as you do not have to tkae a wage and use the money as cash flow. I see it as win win but not to be abused longer than necessary.

  • […] amount you can earn whilst on Permitted Work has increased from October 2008. Previously a disabled entrepreneur on Permitted Work could earn […]

  • Mina:

    I have been on incapacity for months and no one ever told me about this scheme.
    It would help people to come off benefits gradually without feeling unsecure!
    I were wondering if the scheme is still available? And how it would affect your housing benefit?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks every one for the helpful information.  

  • Mike:

    You need to contact your DEA at the job centre. Benefits can be complex and you need advice from an expert to ensure your other benefits are not effected.

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