Trying to work and waiting for ESA reassesment

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I have found myself in a difficult position and need advice. I have been in  the ESA support group for over 14 months due to ten years of Fibromyalgia, two falls on  my head two years ago  , a nervous breakdown two years ago and in hospital for four days and shoulder surgery . I am a single mother with sons of 12 and 15. I am waiting for an ESA home reassessment at the moment as they need to find a doctorate  this could be a long wait!. Meanwhile feeling that it is likely I will fail and not having any faith in the DWP as I have gone through hell back in Sept 2015 fighting for reinstatement for ESA and PIPS which I won in the end with an apology. Due to this I want to put this all behind me and get my life back. I have not worked for 14 months which has been very challenging as I have always been a very active person. Anyhow I have been offered a zero hours job which could go over 16 hours at £12.50 per hour as self employed. Starting mid Dec. My worry is what to do, tell the DWP then they tell my new boss I have been on ESA or keep quiet . I have not told my new possible boss that I have been on ESA or I would not be offered the job. I have good  and bad days. But feel if I could be happier and more functional working. What an irony I want to get off benefits but they could jeopardise this for me????

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  • Posted

    Any permited work whilst on ESA has to be reported to DWP, even if it's voluntary. The amount of money that you can earn whilst doing this is £115.50 up to 16 hours per week. If you exceed that amount in any week, i believe your ESA would stop but i'm not sure on that. ( i read it on a website) You also have to be careful doing this permited work because it may go against you in your reassessment.

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  • Posted

    Poll the DWP has no reason to contact your new employer. Once you start work everything switches to the Inland Revenue and tax credits.

    You also have a 12 week window where if things don't work out you can simply return to ESA at the same level/rate without having to go through the assessment phase.

    If I were you I would take the job see how it goes and if it doesn't work out in the first 11 weeks ditch it and go back onto ESA. I did the very same thing a couple of years ago and I had no problems at all. You will eventually face a reassessment but that was going to happen any way and of course you have the explanation that you 'tried' work but couldn't manage it because of your illness/disability.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for that reassurance. I was worried when I saw we have to tell the DWP my possible employers address and contact number? 
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    • Posted

      Yes I told the DWP and put it in writing. Being self employed is still employment and YOU MUST TELL THEM otherwise an overpayment will occur and they will want any benefit paid back. That said you can still claim tax credits.

      As you are in receipt of PIP you will receive an extra £ £2,970 a year on top of any other entitlement you have. So my advice would be inform the DWP and get your tax credit claim in.

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