These are our interpretation of the rules affecting benefits, we can not guarantee their accuracy or that they are up-to-date. We strongly advise contacting your local social security office before undertaking any work, as the ability to do any kind of work even voluntarily can lead to a review of your benefits. If you stress that the work is therapeutic and a way to getting back into employment then they are likely to be sympathetic. If you thinking of self employed work we believe the earning amounts to be profit.
The Permitted Work Rules came into effect in April 2002 replacing Therapeutic earnings. This arrangements allows any person claiming benefit, based on incapacity, to do some paid work without the need for approval from a doctor. They will still need to tell the office, which pays them benefit, about the work before they start it. Any person will be able work:
No one will have to undergo a medical test just because they are doing permitted work.
People will be able to carry on getting IB or SDA while doing permitted work without it affecting their benefit. People getting Income Support, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit will have their benefit reduced if their average earnings are more than a set amount each week.
You can earn of up to £20.00 a week for an unlimited period.
In supported work you can earn up to £67.50 a week for an unlimited period.(See below for details)
If you are to work for less than 16 hours a week, on average, you can earn up to £67.50 a week for a 26 week period. The period can be extended for another 26 weeks if a person is working with a Job Broker, Personal Adviser or Disability Employment Adviser who agrees that it will help towards work of more than 16 hours a week. There will be no limit to the number of times someone can do permitted work in this category during the currency of a claim; but there must be a gap of at least 52 weeks between periods. A Job Broker, Personal Adviser or Disability Employment Adviser must support all subsequent periods of permitted work from the outset.
Supported Work. There are special arrangements for disabled people who are being supported in work. People, such as those with learning disabilities, whose condition is unlikely to improve over time will continue to be able to combine indefinitely some work while receiving their incapacity benefits. Under the new rules people who work in the community with ongoing support or supervision from a professional caseworker (employed or engaged by a public body or voluntary organisation) will not be subject to time limits. The new category will be called supported work and will include, for example, people who are: on the enhanced Care Program Approach of the National Service Framework for Mental Health; or employed by Social Firms via Support centers; or in touch with a Care Coordinator or Employment Development Officer; or have had a Social Services Assessment. This is intended to help those people whose disability means that their work capacity is limited to less than 16 hours a week, but is more than the few hours covered by the £20 per week option. Under the current therapeutic work rules they can do some work indefinitely with their GP's support. These are people with conditions that cannot be cured but may be amenable to control/management by medication/therapy. This category will also include people who work in a sheltered workshop or as part of a hospital treatment program.
The Benifits helpline on 0800 882200 are able to let you know about permitted earnings.