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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

'Permitted Work' - working while claiming Incapacity Benefit

You can do some limited work while claiming Incapacity Benefit. There are rules about what work you can do and how many hours you can work. You may have to pay Income Tax on your earnings.

About Permitted Work

Generally, you are not allowed to work while you are getting Incapacity Benefit. You may be able to do some types of work and within certain limits. This is called 'Permitted Work' and it allows you to test your own capacity for doing some work and perhaps gain new skills. You can do Permitted Work from the start of your claim.

You don’t need permission to do Permitted Work, but you must check that the work you want to do is allowed under the rules. You should discuss this with your personal adviser.

You do not need approval from your doctor or have to have a medical assessment just because you are doing Permitted Work. If a medical assessment is due as part of your ongoing benefits-related review, it will go ahead as planned.

Permitted Work is a benefit arrangement - employers do not offer 'permitted work'.

The Permitted Work rules also apply to people in receipt of Severe Disablement Allowance. This benefit was abolished from 6 April 2001. People who were receiving it before that date can carry on receiving it, providing they satisfy the conditions of entitlement.

The Permitted Work rules

Under the Permitted Work rules you can:

  • work for less than 16 hours a week on average, with earnings up to £97.50 a week for 52 weeks
  • work for less than 16 hours a week, on average, and earn up to £97.50 a week for as long as your illness or disability is considered so severe that you are meeting the threshold of incapacity without having a medical assessment
  • work and earn up to £20 a week, at any time, for as long as you are receiving Incapacity Benefit
  • do Supported Permitted Work and earn up to £97.50 a week for as long as you are receiving Incapacity Benefit

Supported Permitted Work means work that is supervised. By someone who is employed by a public or local council or voluntary organisation, whose job it is to arrange work for disabled people. This could be work done in the community or in a sheltered workshop. It also includes work as part of a hospital treatment programme.

Income Tax

If you start Permitted Work, you may have to pay tax on your extra income. You must notify HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as soon as you start work.

Effect on other benefits

There are rules if you are getting Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit and you do Permitted Work. Any earnings over £20 may be taken into account when assessing these benefits.

Find out more about Permitted Work

Your personal adviser or a Disability Employment Adviser at your local Jobcentre can give you more information about Permitted Work.

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