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Part time self employment with a health problem: Tax Credit and UC?

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I have been in the ESA Support Group for a 1 year for a Chronic, intermittent condition which causes me severe pain and other issues. It can be very debilitating but it is not life limiting. I was previously on JSA and have been assessed for ESA twice this year, last time my claim was disallowed after I failed the WCA with zero points but it was reinstated after it was looked at again by a dwp DM.


I fully expect to be reassesed again early in the new year and to fail again. Last time they said to me that after 6 months I should be better and so they were removing me from ESA, without taking into account he fact that I was actually worse that before!


Anyway I feel certain that I will be removed from ESA soon and that if I need to apply for JSA I will end up being sanctioned as my health problems will prevent me from meeting the "conditionality" of my claim.


I have been looking at (part time) self employment as a possible solution to my problem. I do have some skills I could use but I would need to work at home and have a good degree of flexibility which would allow me to manage my illness. I doubt at anything I would do would make a large amount of money at least for the first year or so. I would probably be able to work 16 hours broken up over the week but I don't know if I could earn a regular 16 hours at minimum wage, more likely to make money in fits and bursts.


Looking at the current rules for going self employed (with disability) and getting a government top up I think I would qualify but I have no idea if I would be able to get this under Universal Credit, and if I did what conditionality I would be subject to. This is problematic as self employment is at the moment my only way of working with a health problem that makes it impossible for me to work normally so to have to work as I could over a week and still have to attend job centre courses and workfare would defeat the whole point, I would have to fight to stay on ESA SG.


Also I don't know how my living arrangements would affect entitlement to any in work benefits under the current system and the UC? I currently live with my family but I would like to move in with my long term boyfriend who gets a decent wage but not enough to support two people. I would need to bring something to the table, even if it were only £100 or so per week.


Perhaps if I am living with a partner (or family for that matter) they will take into account all his income and any savings he has which would render me ineligable for any help. If this is the case I would not be able to move in with him which would be yet another normal life factor that my illness robs me of.


Is there anywhere I can go to get decent impartial advice about all these things? I no longer trust the DWP and worry about asking them about things until I am sure or about trying permitted work as it would just be a red flag for them to reassess me and chuck me off benefits when I am still in treatment.


If anyone can shed any light on this or point me in the write direction I would be very grateful!



Note: My condition is very unpredicable sometimes I am ill for a whole week, sometimes several days at at time and sometimes a get a little run of good days. If I had a 100% flexiable boss the doing on avaerage two days a week on minimum wage would be fine but it doesn't work that way "flexibility" is for your employer not you and I was told by a Work Programme advisor that I was unemployable due to the frequency and severity of my illness.

Edited by Zarbafi
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I work self employed part time & rarely reach minimum wage & all has been fine. But I am not ill. I sometimes work evenings because my lifestyle during the day has to fit around 2 teens that are doing different hours at the same school 5 miles away. It's the reason I started doing this self employed thing in the first place. There are no rules which hours you work in the week, but obviously you do need to be working the 16 hours & doing some sort of work, can't just say you're self employed & not make ANY money.But don't forget that doing your accounts count towards working hours, as does post office trips. Anything that is part of the job.

The things I make & sell actually sell for hundreds but each one takes a few days, sometimes a week to make & there are material costs involved.

When universal credit comes into affect, not making minimum wage may be a problem, but my 2 will have left school by then so I will be able to focus more on the job so to speak. I don't personally think it's something worth worrying about at the moment. You should do what suits you right now & if this is it then go for it...

Can't help where moving in with the boyfriend is concerned, not sure about all that, I haven't had time for one of those for some years now lol But hopefully someone else will have more info on that here.

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