In this guide, we will discuss How many hours can I work on disability living allowance. Also, we will talk about universal credit, personal independence payment, if you are allowed to work while getting ESA, other types of allowed work to consider, how voluntary work could affect your allowance, and other benefits you might be entitled to.
How many hours can I work on disability living allowance?
You may be wondering, ‘How many hours can I work on disability living allowance?’ although it is not considered a complicated question to answer, let’s consider first the disability benefits.
Disability benefits include Disability Living Allowance, personal independence payment, or PIP and attendance allowance. All of them are payable whether or not you are working since they are not means-tested, meaning, earning won’t affect the amount of the benefit you are receiving. If you are getting DLA or PIP, you are allowed to work full-time as long as you consider the guidelines we will include later on.
If you are starting a new job, this may indicate that your care and/or mobility needs may have changed so your benefit entitlement could be reconsidered. As indicated by disabilityrightsuk.org, “It is possible that your care needs may actually increase if you move into work. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) views starting or leaving work as a potential ‘change of circumstances’ for DLA and PIP.”
Even though you may not need permission from the DWP to start work, according to equallives.org.uk consider how:
- Starting work is a change of circumstances and you are therefore legally obliged to report it to the Department of Work and Pensions if you are already receiving benefits
- You must take care to explain what kind of work you are doing, and show that it does not suggest that you might now be capable of tasks that you previously claimed you could not perform – for example, if you need help to get to the toilet you must explain perhaps that you have a personal assistant, or that your employer has designated someone to assist you; if you cannot walk very far, explain what provision has been made for this
- You should also explain your functional difficulties (such as problems with walking, repeating certain tasks or lifting and carrying) to any new or potential prospective employer, as they have a duty of care to you in the workplace.
You will actually be encouraged to do some work even if it is for a couple of hours a week if you are actually able to manage, but consider how there is no time limit on how many weeks you can work. As indicated by moneyadviceservice.org.uk, Universal Credit is replacing the following if you can’t work because of sickness or disability:
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
According to disabilityrightsuk.org, the work allowance, whether you are a single claimant or claiming jointly with your partner, is:
- £292 a month, if housing costs amount is included in your universal credit award; and
- £512 a month in all other cases
If you don’t have access to Universal credit yet, remember you may file a claim if you are unable to work because you are feeling unwell or you have a disability, if you are caring for someone, looking for work and your wages are low. Some of the eligibility requirements dictate that you must be 18 years or older but in some cases, you could be 16 o17, need to be under the pension age, be in Great Britain, not be subjected to immigration control, and not be in full-time education.
Personal Independence Payment
If you are applying for Personal Independence Payment or PIP, to qualify you must fulfill the criteria of:
- Being aged 16 years or older
- Have had difficulties when carrying out daily tasks or getting about for at least 3 months and expect them to last for at least another nine months (unless you have a terminal illness).
Moreover, you may be wondering how much you could get with PIP and currently is between £23.60 and £151.40 a week, depending on your personal circumstances.
Allowed work for Employment and Support Allowance
If you are receiving ESA or national insurance (NI) credits because you have a limited capability for work, you are actually allowed to do some work or ‘permitted work’. If the work you are doing is considered as permitted, your ESA or NI won’t be affected
There are three types of permitted work you can choose from, depending on your circumstances:
- permitted work lower limit: this allows you to earn up to £20 a week.
- permitted work higher limit: You can earn up to £140 a week, after tax and national insurance deductions. The work must be for less than 16 hours a week.
- supported permitted work: with this type of work, you are supervised by someone who is employed by a public/local authority or a community group which provides or finds work placement for people with disabilities.
Other allowed work
The following are some examples of the kind of work that are also allowed according to disabilityrightsuk.org:
- care of a relative or domestic tasks carried out in your own home;
- work as a councilor. If you receive a councilor’s allowance that pays more than £140 a week, excluding expenses, the excess will be deducted from your ‘new style’ or contributory ESA;
- any activity in an emergency to protect another person or to prevent serious damage to property or livestock;
- duties are undertaken as an appeal tribunal disability member – one day a week is allowed (or two half days);
- self-employed work is done whilst you are ‘test trading’ for up to 26 weeks with help from a self-employment provider arranged by the DWP;
- fostering a child or providing respite care to someone who is not normally a member of your household. A health body, voluntary organization, or local authority can pay you if you are on ESA;
- a DWP-approved unpaid work trial or work placement;
- work which is regarded as trivial or negligible.
Is voluntary work going to affect my allowance?
If you are receiving universal credit and you are working as a volunteer, it can actually reduce by half the amount of hours that the DWP will require you to look for work but it doesn’t mean there is a limit on how much voluntary work you are able to do.
In addition, if you are getting ESA and want to do volunteer work, you can do it for anyone other than a relative. However, you must not be paid for it, unless they cover certain reasonable expenses in connection with your work such as travel, meals, or the use of a telephone.
- Working tax credit: most people have to claim Universal Credit instead of Working Tax Credit.
- Child Tax Credit: if you have 1-2 children, you have to claim Universal Credit instead of Child Tax Credit and you can claim it until your children turn 19 (or 20 in some cases) if they are in a full time approved education or training, but not at university.
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit: if your work has caused or is responsible for your disability, you may claim IIDB.
- Reduced Earnings Allowance: if before the 1st of October 1990 your job has caused an injury or illness and you can’t earn more money due to your condition, you might be able to claim Reduced Earnings Allowance.
Why is this blog about How many hours can I work on disability living allowance important?
It is important to know how many hours can you work on disability living allowance or if you are receiving any other disability benefit. Just as we discussed, Disability benefits include Disability Living Allowance, personal independence payment, or PIP and attendance allowance. All of them are payable whether or not you are working since they are not means-tested, meaning, earning won’t affect the amount of the benefit you are receiving.
If you are getting DLA or PIP, you are allowed to work full-time as long as you consider the guidelines we have included in this blog post since they can be very helpful.
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How many hours can I work on disability living allowance
Can you work if you get a disability living allowance?
Yes, you can work and still get disability living allowance (DLA), personal independence payment (PIP), and attendance allowance. Moreover, earnings will not affect the amount of your benefit.
Can I work part time and get PIP?
You can work part-time and still get PIP since it is still payable whether you are working or not. In other terms, working does not affect personal independence payment (PIP) since it is not means-tested you can work full or part-time.
How many hours can I work without affecting my benefits?
You can work on average less than 16 hours a week or not working at all, if you claim income support or jobseeker’s allowance so it won’t affect your benefits. Partners of people who receive such benefits are able to work for (om average) up to 24 hours a week, without their partner’s entitlement being affected.
Can I get a disability for anxiety?
Yes, you may be eligible to get disability benefits if you have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, PTSD, or OCD. In order for you to be eligible, the symptoms of anxiety should affect your ability to function significantly.
What is the maximum you can earn before Universal Credit stops?
As indicated by the UK Government, “If you’re employed, how much Universal Credit you get will depend on your earnings. Your Universal Credit payment will reduce gradually as you earn more – for every £1 you earn your payment reduces by 63p. There’s no limit to how many hours you can work.”
Disabilityrightsuk.org: “Permitted work – Disability Rights UK Factsheet F35”
Equallives.org.uk: “Working and claiming benefits”
Moneyadviceservice.org.uk: “What disability and sickness benefits can I claim?”
Scope.org.uk: “Permitted work when you’re on benefits”