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

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Permitted 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.

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