ESA and payment for work already done.

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Hi everyone, I am an artist. I am expecting to be signed off work due to suspected Lyme Disease, however, I have lots of art work in galleries and exhibitions. Obviously this is work I have already done. I was told by a benefits advisor that it was OK to leave my art work for sale but he didn't explain how it would affect my benefit if anything sold. Has anyone got any experience of this? I am assuming they will dock my ESA pound for pound each week I declare a sale. Any help appreciated, thanks!

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lolly

    There is 2 types of Employment and Support Allowance Contributory and Income Related. Contributory is a direct replacement for your lost income due to ill health and is based on your National Insurance contributions.

    Income Related is benefit for those whose income is so low they need support from the state and have either not made enough NI contributions or their NI contributions have exhausted.

    To complicate matters more (welcome to the world of benefits!) there are two ESA Groups which you could be placed in. The first is the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) or the Support Group (SG).

    If placed in the WRAG your contributory ESA would last 12 months until they exhaust, you would then transfer to Income Related. If placed in the SG your ESA would remain contributory for as long as you remain in the SG.

    In your case this is important because if you were in receipt of IR ESA any income received for selling paintings would be deducted £ for £. IR is also affected by savings, anything over £6,000 and your benefit is reduced by £1 for every £250 of savings over the £6k limit, up to a maximum of £16,000 where no benefit is paid at all.

    If you were in receipt of Contributory ESA then any savings are disregarded completely. However, your ESA is halved if any pension/health insurance is over £85pw. It would be up to the DWP to determine whether any painting sold was ‘savings’ or income. At a guess worst case scenario is that your ESA would be halved for a short period?

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    • Posted

      Thanks Anthony. I'd be contribution based but not sure if work related or support. On the £ for £ deduction, do you know if that applies to one week's benefit only or is the total recovered over a few weeks? For instance, if I get £200 for a painting, do I lose 1 week's benefit or 2?
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    • Posted

      Ignore that stuff about £ for £. I've got brain fog and a bit confused!!! Sorry.

      Thanks for taking the time to answer. It's given me some ideas as to what to ask DWP advisor. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Lolly,

      I would be very careful by how you word your questions to any DWP Advisor, they and paid to lie - which is sad to say a proven fact.

      What caught my eye with your post was that you stated you are or were an artist, when you were not ill. I have only met one other person that could draw or paint on these forums, which is surprising considering the amount of members on here.

      I used to have art in Galleries, and Exibitions - I even used to go out to the country pubs of The Cotswolds, and draw them, in either pencil or indian ink. After selling them mostly to the pubs, I used to attract horse racing people - so they used to pay me to go to their places and draw or paint their horses. I used to do, all this before an accident in my early twenties, after that my ability to draw or paint was 'no more', - I used to be at work and paint and draw in my spare time.

      My paintings and drawings started from the age of 5, every year I would have artwork that was good enough to represent my school in our town gallery. When it came to exams' I passed easily with CSE Grade 1 and O' Level Grade A and the same with Technical Drawing, that probably sounds strange, but back then we had to pay £6 for each O' Level subject taken. I was already working while taking my O' Level's, and that required Technical Drawing and for a person that was technically minded to work on prototype thermocouple digital measuring equipment, bearing in mind this was back in 1980, so it was a long time ago.

      All artists have their own medium and technique's, mine was mostly pencil and indian ink, even though I have painted with acrylics mixed with glue, to paint on glass.

      These days, drawing and painting is a thing of the past, it is not a case of not wanting to do it, but problems with dystonic disorders which basically causes tremors over my entire body. And I was not a person, that easily gave in, but as the years passed the condition became much worse, and now my wife cares for me 24/7, which is a job and a half considering shes only 5ft 3 and I am over 6ft!! Not really ideal candidates for anything, even my wife damaged her spine over the years trying to look after me.

      Anyway, I'm really sorry to hear that you have Lyme Disease, I have read up on it, for other people on these forums - not a very nice condition, but then again what is, these days?

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      That's really sad Les. I'm not gift when it comes to artistic skills although there is a frustrated artist in me somewhere.

      I have the utmost admiration for people who can produce great drawings from scratch using only basic tools. I would love to be able to but despite trying lessons I have to admit I am only mortal when comes to that kind of thing.

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    • Posted

      Hi Anthony,

      I think many artists are born with the 'gift', however my dad was also good at art, and was forever praising me up with all the pieces of art and how creative I was. I also did Pottery, and sculptured many pieces in school, many of them were based on fantasy. I always started off with a shape of some kind and other pupils used to watch me construct numerous pieces which I eventually glaized at the end. The funny part with pottery was that not even I knew what I was creating initially, it was more of a case of finding something I had created and then making that a piece of art to be proud of, so basically not even I had a clue, strange as that sounds. 

      There is a medium with pencil that we brought up our children to use, they are made in the US and cost about £400, for the full set. Basically, it is set that many artists use to create photogenic art, this means the quality of the final piece is just like it was taken with a camera. A black coloured pencil is not the same as normal pencils, because with coloured black pencils there is 10 variations, they give a very sharp finish plus you can use a blending pencil with them, ideal for drawing the iris and the colour around it of an eye.

      All three of my wife and I's children, are all artististic and very creative. Our daughter (15) is hitting already exam O' Level A qualification pieces in Art and she has a few years left in school, even her teacher has asked her if she would like to help her painting murals in peoples houses, it is a high paying job - of course my daughter wants to redo her feature wall in her bedroom now. While a normal girl, these days is happy looking at make-up and fashion, our daughter would rather be in places like 'Hobbycraft' thinking about what she can design with what mediums.

      When she was in the junior school in the last year, she wanted a sewing machine for Christmas, so by the time she got to do sewing machines in the Secondary school, she knew all the safety precautions and all types of stitching, even her teacher said she was well advanced for her age!

      The reason I stated about some people are born gifted is because all of our children are all artistic, yet they in very different trades - they have done college courses, attended Academies and got numerous diplomas.

      My eldest boy (25) is fully qualified in Bricklaying and Plastering, but on top of that he is a Fully qualified Assistant Manager in Retail and now, he works as a fully qualified Electrician and Gas Appliance fitter, and can fix all appliances, and that is his current job 9-5 or 5 jobs a day, so he can have shorter or longer days, pay is fixed and he has a company van and other bonuses. Yet his hobbies include webdesign, graphic design, coding, drawing tattoo designs and doing replastering or building work. He is very talented yet, at school he said was a waste of time! He learnt everything on College courses or through Academies. It sounds to good to be true to be able to do all that, yet he's only 25!! It is because attending Private Academies push you thru courses in less than 5 weeks, that would normally take about 3-5 years in a standard college.

      My middle son (21), you wouldn't believe is a fully qualified Car Engineer, but also a Fully Qualified Plasterer. Yet, his current job is a Store Manager in Retail. But he is looking around in changing his job again, he's looking at what his brother currently does with Electric and Gas servicing, etc. His hobbies are Professional Photography and art, he does paint as well.

      Now, you are probably thinking what was my wife's job before I had the accident that damaged my spine and nervous system. Well, for a start she can also draw and paint, she's been a supervisor in a company, that designed and built disabled aids, the Helping Hand was part of what she was involved in years ago.

      But her biggest job was one she won herself, it was an all expenses paid trip to Iowa, in the USA. She stayed their for 2 weeks designing a special logo for a Fire Department. They gave her sweatshirts for the whole family and matching t-shirts and a necklace. When she returned to the UK, she was so glad to be back to normality!

      And, the connection why she is also brilliant at art, is because she takes after her dad (he passed away just overs years ago!). He was forever painting on his easel, prefered painting in watercolours... of british birds, squirrels and pheasants, in their garden. The only thing my mother-in-law doesn't like is the squirrels burying their acorns in her lawn, shes forever finding baby acorn trees in her garden.

      This is what makes me think, that art and creativity is passed down from our parents, well in our families it seems obvious, or a very big coincidence! lol  Some people pick up drawing by concentrating using a light-box, basically it allows you to find the basic shape of anything, and then you fill it in, it can be a bit fiddly though.

      Anyway, think that post was a bit too long! Makes up for not being able to draw, etc.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Les. I looked at one of your posts for a friend who is appealing a PIP claim. Very helpful, thanks. 

      ^   ^

      =+=

      (     )___

      ​PS... a little puddy tat for you

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    • Posted

      Hi Lolly,

      I got many posts on PIP Claiming all over these forums, it could be anywhere...lol But if it helps your friend out, I wish your friend all the best for her claim.

      Lolly, we have got enough cats.....lol  We have two cats, one is pure white and larger than our dog, and the other one is smaller than our dog and is black and white. The strange part about our two cats is they are supposed to be sisters, but have totally different personalities.

      Our dog is a Jack Russell (short-legged), which is why so many people mistake him for a puppy...lol

      Many people think Jack Russell's are 'snappy' dog's - I guess it depends on how they are trained and brought up. Our little Jack Russell, would not hurt a fly... the only thing he thinks about is, his own Kong ball, anyone knocks the front door he takes his ball to the front door hoping someone will throw it for him. He does get on well with young children, he even gives his ball to the cats...lol they just sit there and stare at him! rolleyes

      We had the cats before the dog, and he was 4 years old when we got him, he did not even know what sit meant, within a week he was sitting - its not his fault he has never been taught to sit, but dogs are never too old to learn. We have had quite a few dogs, they have always been brilliant in temperment.

      There I go, rabbling on again...

      I was glad I could help your friend.

      Regards,

      Les.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Yes it was a long reply Les but I read it right through in one go. You may have had some poor luck with your health but you seem very lucky with your family and their talents.

      Actually you have given me some food for thought with regard to my daughters. It seems obvious but art would be an excellent grounding for web design or design of any kind but it hadn't occurred to me.

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Hi Anthony, I think we're going off subject here (ESA!) but, just to let you know, my son is qualified in art and music but he is currently working as a financial analyst. He's got no related quals except maths and statistics o level. Apparently his creative approach and the mathematical building skills learnt in music have given him the edge. He also does web design/product design when he's bored. Art isn't necessarliy considered the drop-out qualification any more! Though I do have a great t-shirt.... 2 chimps on an artists palatte... caption... I'm not an artist, I'm an idiot with no job. I sell loads cheesygrin
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    • Posted

      Hi Anthony,

      It's strange the number of people I have spoken to regarding various things, and made them think of something that they could apply to, either themselves or someone else.

      Graphic work these days, is very much advanced. It can lead to some very interesting and highly paid jobs, but with computer art this can go much further afield. What makes this such a viable option is the fact, that you are not limited just to your own town, even the local vicinity or country.

      Designing on computers, is only really limited to your imagination, once you master a graphic program or programs if you want to be able to do 3D artwork. You can work for companies locally, and get the relevant diplomas while in an apprenticeship, this would give you the basics of graphic work and at the same time you earn while learning, which is one of the better ways, when leaving school these days.

      On saying the aforementioned you would also get huge discounts on software that you need, or in some large companies it is even free. Some of the top range software costs around £1,000+, but you can pick up cheaper and older versions on places like Ebay, etc.

      What makes graphic or web-design different to drawing and painting is you are no longer restricted to where or when you do graphic design. You can set-up what is known as 'cloud' hosting, this basically backs up everything you do not want lost, should your computer breakdown. Most people use a couple of free 'clouds'. My son's both use clouds, they have it on their PC's, tablets and phones - it just means if they take a photograph on their phones, it automatically backs it up, straight to their cloud accounts. Then they can download it, either via a PC or tablet.

      Graphic and web-design opens up the whole world to you. You are not limited in anyway, so could work from home, yet the company you work for is in the USA or Australia, so you are not restricted in anyway. You could even do it in your spare time as an hobby.

      One thing you must stay away from is scams, pyramid schemes, get rich quick scams, etc. They all state they can make you a millionaire, but as we all know - thats not possible because if it was the case, there would be many millionaires worldwide!

      Of course design does not have to be web-design, it can take many paths these days, architects, fashion, housing, garden layouts, etc - it's all there, if you want to take those paths they all lead to highly paid jobs, and of course you could do work in your spare time. There are business startup schemes available, they used to be free, and at the end of course you would know how to work out tax, VAT, NI, etc, they used to give you £500 as an incentive to start your own business.

      There is another area that attracts quite a few women that are stuck at home with children, and that is web-hosting. It is an area that can be done remotely from anywhere in the world, and the pay can be very high, with the more experience you obtain. It does not involve coding at all, but many web-hosting companies these days also have in-house web-designers, hence you can get graphic work this way as well.

      If I was able to do work these days, I would - living on benefits is very hard, and people that think it's an easy life. What happened to me in my early 20's, meant I had to completely change my way of living. Having to wait 6 months for the company I was working for at the time, just to hear that they could no longer employ me was devastating. I used to work 16 hour shifts and think nothing of it, these days I can hardly stay awake for 4 hours, and have to be constantly reminded not to fall asleep while eating, but that is down to Class "A" drugs I have to take for pain.

      Well, Anthony - there is quite a few tips on numerous ways you can take design, there are many more - but the ones I have mentioned are well paid and it is an industry that are always advertising for staff. The fun part about web-hosting is you find out which major corporations are using which web-hosting companies, I know a few - most corporations do not use their own servers they let 3rd parties deal with that area.

      Web-hosting companies have people monitoring servers 24/7/365 - they can do that by using people around the world, so when people are going to bed in the US, the UK are normally waking up, then it goes on to India, etc.

      Anyway, there's a few more ideas for graphics... to give you many ways on how things these days have progressed over the years.

      Regards,

      Les.

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