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Disabled mum considering working from home..


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Hello one and all :)

 

I am a disabled mum of a disabled little boy, and my husband is both our full time carers.

 

I have M.E. and severe anxiety problems. I was on incapacity benefit since 2007 and recently changed over to contribution based ESA in April, placed in the WRAG group. I have my first work focused interview later this month.

 

I can't think of any job that I could actually do if I was employed - I don't know how I'm going to feel from one day to the next. I suffer with severe fatigue and muscular pain and some days it takes my husband an hour to get me dressed.

 

I was thinking of maybe starting to work from home doing something like selling breastfeeding bras and breast pumps, or Hiring out baby slings etc but I worry that this may cause more stress than it's worth.

 

How would this affect my benefits and would I need to get insurance or do yearly tax returns? I ran a small market stall in 2004 when I was in my early 20's and I know the ins and outs of running a small business but since then I have obviously got ill and my health is not going to get any better.

 

I need to be at home for my little boy too as he is still breastfed and needs a lot of help and constant reassurance from me. He is 3 years old next week (please no negative comments about breastfeeding).

 

Any advice I would be grateful for. Thanks.

Edited by Conniff

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You said that you have a work focused interview later this month. It might be worth asking them. What other benefits do you receive? if you're on contribution based ESA, your ESA won't be affected. If you receive income based benefits, such as housing benefit and council tax benefit, they might be affected.

 

Good luck with whatever you choose.

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As Nystagmite mentioned, the Permitted Work Scheme may be the way to go. Off the top of my head, you can earn up to a maximum of £95 per week on top of your ESA and still retain full HB and CTB. And just as importantly, prescriptions etc! You can work up to a maximum of 16 hours per week. It covers self-employed and working from home. For self-employed, remember the £95 is earnings not turnover :) Your advisor at your WFI should be able to answer your questions and help ...

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Guest amianne

As you are on contribution based ESA, this will run out after 365 days from when you were put in the work group. Is your husband working? If not, I presume that he is claiming a means tested benefit which will be reduced by the ESA you are getting.

 

I was going to mention that maybe he started up the business and provided that he could prove it was a viable entity and that he worked the required hours, he may be able to claim WTC's. He would of course lose his benefits. It will be something that you should play around with by looking at various scenarios using one of the many benefit (better off) websites.

 

Have you not thought about trying to up your DLA - has your child received a DLA award?

 

Having said all of that DLA will be closed down from next April and you will eventually have to be re-assessed under the much stricter tests of PIP. They are expecting that those on the low rates of DLA will lose out altogether and even those on the higher rates will drop down to the new low rates, with those on High mobility losing out completely if they are not confined to a wheelchair or don't have severe mental health issues.

Also Universal Credit will start next year which will replace ESA, JSA etc again with much stricter criteria.

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