ESA and earning £400 a week???

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Thankfully this is not about me, but a friend who does not have access to the internet.

He is in the Support Group of ESA (Contributory based)

He is married.

Neither work and no other benefits are in payment.

He is working as a sole trader under the Permitted Work rules. The DWP are happy with the type of work.

He has the opportunity of expanding the business which will mean that his income will go from £100 a week (net) (4 hours) - to about £400 a week (net) (16 hours)

To keep his ESA he knows that he cannot have an income of more than approx £115 a week. The hours are OK. If he was to take his wife into the business as a partner with a guaranteed income of £300 a week would this be accepted by the DWP as legit so that he could continue claiming ESA?

Doing this would keep HIS income down to £100 a week but the household income would go from £100 to £400 a week.

My stance on this is that it might not be illegal but it certainly is immoral.

But I promised I would ask the question.

 

1 like, 14 replies

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry I meant to say his wife doesn't work - not both of them don't

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  • Posted

    in what way do you mean immoral? the fact that he can work 4 hours a week and be in receipt of esa. it's they who set the rules. he's played by by their rules. end of. what's this about morals? do the folk who set the rules also set the morals? or are you saying the folk who set the rules are immoral for allowing your friend to beat them at their own game? so who do you think is immoral Les? your friend, for being honest with them.. or the powers that be for allowing it. which?

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    • Posted

      From what I can gather from him is that he is trying to increase the household income whilst at the same time maximise what he can get out of the welfare state.

      By bringing his wife in he is trying to divert his excess earnings to her so that on paper HIS earnings still remain at below the threshold for CA, I can't see anything wrong, legally, what he is attempting to do, but trying to 'hide' another £300 of income AND still want the Carers Allowance is being a tad bit greedy in my opinion and certainly is not what was intended when they set up the Permitted Work/Carers Allowance rules.

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    • Posted

      If everyone decided to continue claiming benefits they're not entitled to because the government are morally wrong for cutting them, the benefits bill goes up and those of us who need to use benefits because we are no longer able to work after 30 years of contributing to the pot suffer, why? because the government are wrong??

      The only people to suffer in this are genuine people in real need of help. The government don't care and the claimants who receive benefits they don't deserve including those cheating PIP and everything else don't care. They believe they deserve to rip the taxpayer off. They are not beating the government at their own game, they are kicking those in need, as well raising the tax bill for people who work - and most probably don't earn £400 week.

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  • Posted

    I understand exactly where your coming from., but its more a question of what is the maximum.permissable in earnings before benefits are affected , i think its £115 per week but no more than 16hours so either or.

    All things are not equal ...more so when you concider the north south divide yes it even applies to benefits ...london having a higher benefits cap to the tune of £24,000 per year

    Reason i mention this is location can play a role in any decision

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  • Posted

    Hi les,

    I am with you on this one.

    Your friend should be in politics, that is the way a politician would play it. Nothing ilegal , has your friend got any sons or daughters he could claim as special needs or p.a.

    It is laughable that we have been dragged down to their level. If it's not illegal then it must be okay, who needs standards or morals, or, it could be argued, friends like these.

    Mike.

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  • Posted

    Hi Les

    As you know the Support Group is contribution based so is not affected by a partner’s income, if his wife earns £300pw then that's perfectly OK under the rules.

    Permitted work is usually only allowed for 12 months as far as I know so this arrangement wouldn't have a huge self life any way.

    Is it immoral? Personally I don't think so. Remember this person has been robbed of his ability to work full time by his illness/disability. It is good to see disabled people breaking through the glass ceiling which is placed around them when they fall ill.

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    • Posted

      I agree with your comments to a point. 

      What I feel is wrong is that his wife would not be actually doing anything for this £300. It is a way of 'losing' enough of his income to enable CA to be kept in payment.

      Being in the SG, there is no time limit.

      His intention, as he told me, is that no matter what he earns, on paper it will not exceed £100 a week and that he will not for the time being exceed the 16 hours a week. However if his 'idea' works, then he would contract for over 16 hours but on paper have it that his wife worked the excess over 16 hours.

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    • Posted

      If he is married surely her income will be taken into account anyway, is ESA means tested.

      I would also love to be able to work even 4 hours a week let alone 16, I personally think its fraud and if every one did it then those that struggle to get benefits will lose out again.

      My opinion obviously

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    • Posted

      So his wife wouldn't actually be working and earning the £300 it's just front to squeeze extra benefit?

      Obviously that is a bit different. If his wife had an independent job and earned £300pw through her own efforts I would hold my previous view. But now the penny has dropped so to speak I'm not so sure.

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  • Posted

    If his wife doesn't work I assume this means he receives the couples rate of ESA plus SG element? So wouldn't it be affected anway?

    Good for him that he's able to work 16 hours, a lot of disabled/ill people would love to be able to manage to go to work - myself included, but £400 a week works out to over £1700 gross per month which is more than most people get for full time  work and I agree with you that it is morally wrong to try and wangle it so that it appears he is not earning this much.

    The benefits system is flawed, we all know that, but it's selfish acts like this that create these bounderies and make it difficult for people who need to rely on benefits because they are too ill to work.

    That's my opinion anyway  

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