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Thread: Potentially exceeding the earnings limit of Permitted Work

  1. #1

    Potentially exceeding the earnings limit of Permitted Work

    Hi

    I've read a lot of posts on this forum, so far, and this has been very helpful. But, I have a question that appears to remain unanswered.

    I've recently been put in the ESA WRAG, after a transfer from older disability benefits.

    With some serious reservations, I am considering suggesting to do some Permitted Work. I have read all I can about it, but what I can't find out is what happens if you exceed the earnings limit, but remain under the 16 hour rule!

    Is it that they just deduct anything over the earnings limit from your other benefits, or do they no longer consider you fall under the Permitted Work rules and then deduct all that you earn from your other benefits?

    If it was up to me, I would think that the most important thing should be to keep within the number of hours, since I am disabled and don't think I will be able to do many hours, but I realise that the rules are not always that sensible!

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Both the earnings limit and the number of hours limit apply, exceeding either will take this out of Permitted Work rules.

    Exceeding either condition makes this "Remunerative Work".

    There is one exception to the earnings limit, which is if you are working as a councillor.
    In this case any councillors allowance you recieve over £104 is deducted from your ESA pound for pound.

    If your ESA is Contributions Based then Remunerative Work has no effect.
    If your ESA is Income Related then Remunerative Work will invalidate your claim.

    From the Decision Makers guide-
    41271 Remunerative work does not affect ESA(Cont). If a person claiming ESA(Cont) is working, the DM should consider DMG 41141 et seq.
    41276 A claimant is not entitled to ESA(IR) if they were, or were treated as being, engaged in remunerative work.......

    Your best option here may be to see whether the employer will allow you to reduce the hours, so that you do not earn more than £104 in any week and so comply with the Permitted Work rules.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  3. #3
    Thanks for the prompt reply nukecad. I've read a lot of your posts recently, including "After the Work Programme" . Very informative! Sorry for the time I've taken to respond.

    Thanks so much for the references! I have looked those up. I've found these quotes too:

    41122 Unless DMG 41141 et seq applies, a claimant is treated as not entitled to ESA in any week in which they work (the “general rule”) .
    41141 DMG 41122 gives guidance on the general rule that a claimant is treated as not entitled to ESA in any week in which they work.
    So, it looks like I would lose my entitlement to ESA for a whole week, if I exceeded the earnings limit, even occasionally, since one of the exceptions wouldn't apply.

    What I'm not clear about is whether I'd only lose it for those occasional weeks, or I could end up being treated as no longer having Limited Capability for Work. That seems a bit unfair if I only exceeded the earnings limit occasionally, but stuck to the hours limit. But, it does sound extremely risky, so I think it's something I'd have to discuss with my Personal Advisor.

    Thanks for your advice.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Glad to see that you took a look at the DM guides for yourself.

    It's always a bit of a trade off quoting sections of it as there are caveats, and 'refrer to this other' clauses.

    Of course you have to remember that this is not the actual legislation, but it's what they are working to so gives you a heads up if you have to dispute what they are saying.

    And yes, permitted work should be a lot easier to understand, especialy where variable earnings are involved.

    Lets face it, they want people with health problems to get back to work so why make it so difficult?.

    As far as I can work them out if you exceed the limit(s) in any one week it only stops your ESA entitlement for that week.

    But I myself have fallen foul of permitted work in the past where my ESA was suspended for a week because of PW rules, and they told everyone else, (Council for HB, direct payments to electricity supplier, etc.) that it had been stopped.
    Took me 2 months to sort it all out again.
    Last edited by nukecad; 24-10-15 at 22:28.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  5. #5
    Thanks for the warnings nukecad!

    I'll definitely check anything out with my Personal Advisor first. It sounds quite easy to trip up!

    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Lets face it, they want people with health problems to get back to work so why make it so difficult?
    I agree. What I find particularly irksome is the 52 week limit. It effectively stops people who can only manage a few hours, from having a go! I suppose the reason is to stop fairly well people, supposedly, from "abusing" PW, but as we all know there are plenty of people in the WRAG who are not well at all, some of which should be in the Support Group, under a more reasonable system.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Ah, the infamous 52 week limit in WRAG.

    Are you aware that if you do only one day permitted work then that starts counting the 52 weeks?

    Even if you do no more PW for the remainder of those 52 weeks you are still barred from PW for the following 52.

    (And after the first 52 weeks are up they will suspend your claim because they say you are working, even though you are not, thats what happend with me after doing just 2 weeks PW).
    Last edited by nukecad; 28-10-15 at 00:53.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Ah, the infamous 52 week limit in WRAG.

    Are you aware that if you do only one day permitted work then that starts counting the 52 weeks?

    Even if you do no more PW for the remainder of those 52 weeks you are still barred from PW for the following 52.
    Yes, I was aware of this. It's very unfair!

    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    (And after the first 52 weeks are up they will suspend your claim because they say you are working, even though you are not, thats what happend with me after doing just 2 weeks PW).
    I'm wondering why they did this? Was this another of their mistakes?!?

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    If being charitable you could say it was a mistake.

    If being cynical you could say it was deliberate.

    From the wording of the form that they sent me after 52 weeks I would say the second.
    There was no option on that form to say that you were no longer doing permitted work, just that you would stop claiming benefits or that you would stop working and make a new claim.

    I should have a copy of that letter/form somewhere, I'll see if I can find it.
    (But I may have been too annoyed at the time to think straight and make a copy).
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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