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Incapacity Benefit + lodgers & other income


Bundly
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The govt site tells you in great detail how much you can earn if you are working at a job part time while receiving incapacity benefit.

 

What it does not mention is, what about income not from a job but elsewhere?

 

For example by selling things you already own or have made or bought to resell (e.g. on Ebay).

 

Nor does it say anything about income from lodgers.

 

 

Is there some special online forum or specialist person that can advise on this issue, as I really don't want to divulge anything to the DSS and have them "on my case". I'm just wanting to find out the rules so's I don;t break them!

 

 

Edited by Bundly
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Trading on Ebay, buying things or making things to sell, is classed as running a business and you might find yourself under scrutiny from the Income Tax as well as DWP.

 

Lodgers is a different thing - as far as I can remember it depends on whether the person is a family member, whether the letting is done for a commercial (ie, making money) reason and what services are offered to the lodger, by which I mean bed only, b&b, all meals, laundry etc

 

Its not straightforward at all and one of those things that are dealt with on each individual case

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KK3852 is right that this may count as work if done as a business, but if that is not the case the income other than from work or from a private pension is disregarded for incapacity benefit (but not income support, housing, or council tax benefit) as IB is a contribution based benefit (i.e. more like unemployment insurance).

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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I'm only claiming IB and nothing else. At an IB interview I had 5 years ago a very young and inexperienced girl officer told me that only earned income, i.e. employment was subject to the rule (which is you can earn £20 a week indefinitely, or something like £90 for 26 weeks in any year).

 

I asked about having lodgers (ie complete strangers renting a room, no food included) and she said that is not "employment income" and so you can earn anything you like from that. At that time I also had a flat that I let out, and she said that was OK too.

 

Thing is, that was years ago, I did not take the girl clerk's name. I assumed that everyting she said would be in the literature she gave me, and available on the website. Now I am worried: maybe she misunderstood the rules.

 

Now I no longer have the rental flat but I do have lodgers.

 

There is nothing on their website about lodgers.

 

I don't want to present my individual case to them and expose everything to them on a personal basis until I have found out the correct rules and decided what I want to do. Telling them may reduce my options. Telling them may alert them and make them start spying on me or something. What if it turned out that girl was wrong? I cannot prove she ever said it. I might owe them 6 years IB! They might prosecute me!

 

On the whole I prefer to get additional income from lodgers rather than claiming additional benefits such as income support. That way I feel that I am getting the IB I am entitled to without being a total burden on the state.

 

I want to make sure that I am not doing anything that is against the rules. But in order to do so, I need to be 100% crystal clear on what those rules are.

 

In the future, if any official tells me someting verbally, I am going to insist it is put in writing and the officer sign and date it.

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