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 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 in your local Social Security/Jobs & Benefits office before you start. Or, you can contact the 'Permitted Work/New Deal Team' on:
- 028 9560 5024 (for Northern Ireland customers only)
Permitted Work is a benefit arrangement - employers do not offer 'Permitted Work'.
You do not need approval from your doctor or have to have a medical test just because you are doing 'Permitted Work'. However, if a medical test is due as part of your ongoing benefits-related review, it will go ahead as planned.
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 and including £97.50 a week for a 52 week period
- work for less than 16 hours a week, on average, and earn up to and including £97.50 a week for as long as your illness or disability is considered sufficiently severe that you are treated as meeting the threshold of incapacity without undergoing a medical assessment
- work for earnings of up to and including £20.00 a week for an unlimited period, or
- do Supported Permitted Work and earn up to £97.50 a week so long as you are receiving Incapacity Benefit
Supported Permitted Work is work that is supervised by someone who is employed by a public or local authority, or a voluntary organisation whose job it is to arrange work for people with disabilities. It includes work done in the community or in a sheltered workshop. It also includes work done under medical supervision or as part of a hospital treatment programme.
If you start 'Permitted Work', you may be liable to pay tax on your extra income. You must notify HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as soon as you start work.
Effect on other benefits
If you get Income Support, Housing Benefit or Rates Relief and you do 'Permitted Work', any earnings will be taken into account when assessing these benefits.
Find out more about 'Permitted Work'
For more information contact a personal adviser at your local Social Security/Jobs & Benefits office or the 'Permitted Work/New Deal Team' in Castle Court, Belfast on: