How moving into work may affect your benefits

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1 Factsheet Benefits How moving into work may affect your benefits You ll find this factsheet useful if you are deaf or have a hearing loss and want to know how moving into work may affect any welfare benefits you receive. Contents Am I financially better-off in or out of work? 2 What is meant by part-time and full-time work? 2 How does the introduction of Universal Credit affect me? 2 What happens if I come off benefits? 3 Can I still get benefits if I m working? 3 What is Income Support? 5 Is there any work I can do while claiming benefits? 5 Can I reclaim benefits if my job stops? 6 Where can I get further information? 7 If you d like this factsheet in Braille, large print or audio format, please contact our Information Line see last page for contact details.

2 Do you live in Northern Ireland? Most of the information in this factsheet will apply to you wherever you live in the UK. However, if you live in Northern Ireland, we advise you to call the Benefit Enquiry Line for further advice (see page 7 for contact details). Am I financially better-off in or out of work? A better-off calculation can help you decide whether you ll be better or worse off financially if you move into work. It can also help you to understand how your benefits will be affected by paid work and whether you may be entitled to any tax credits. This can help you to decide whether to work part-time or full-time. To arrange a better-off calculation, contact Jobcentre Plus, Citizens Advice or a local welfare rights advice agency (see pages 7-8 for contact details). Also ask your adviser how moving into work will affect concessions such as: free medical prescriptions eyesight tests dental treatment school meals for children, if relevant. What is meant by part-time and full-time work? Part-time work is work you do for fewer than 16 hours a week. Full-time work is work you do for 16 hours or more a week. How does the introduction of Universal Credit affect me? As a result of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, a new benefit called Universal Credit (UC) is gradually replacing six benefits for people of working age with a single monthly payment. These benefits are: income-related Employment and Support Allowance income-based Jobseeker s Allowance Income Support Working Tax Credit Child Tax Credit Housing Benefit. The new benefit aims to help people to be better-off in work than on benefits. If you claim UC, there are no limits to the number of hours you can work a week. Your UC payment will reduce gradually as you earn more you won t lose all your benefits at once if you re on a low income. How much benefit you can receive will depend on your personal circumstances. UC started to be introduced in certain areas from April 2013, and will be available across the country in Until it is available in your area, you can claim all of the above benefits. In 2016, new claims for the benefits listed above will stop, and the vast majority of claimants will move onto UC during 2016 and Please note: this factsheet does not give information about how UC is affected if you move into work it will depend on your personal circumstances. For more information about this, please contact Jobcentre Plus (see page 8 for contact details). To find out more about UC, see our factsheet Universal Credit and visit 2 How moving into work may affect your benefits

3 What happens if I come off benefits? If you start work of at least 16 hours a week, you can receive an extended payment of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for the first four weeks that you work. If you receive support with your mortgage interest, you can continue to receive this help for four weeks after you start work. Your Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or mortgage interest support will be paid at the same rate as they were when you were on benefit for the extended payment period. To qualify for this extended payment (also known as a run-on ), you must have been in one of the two following groups immediately before starting work: 1 You need to have been getting one of these benefits or a combination of them for at least 26 weeks: income-based Jobseeker s Allowance Income Support income-related Employment and Support Allowance. 2 You need to have been getting one of these benefits or a combination of them for at least 26 weeks: contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance Incapacity Benefit Severe Disablement Allowance. After four weeks, your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit will be reduced to take account of the earnings you receive from your job. You can t receive any further help with your mortgage costs after the four-week extended payment period ends. Can I still get benefits if I m working? That depends. If you re working at least 16 hours a week and are on low earnings, you may be able to claim Working Tax Credit (see page 4). The amount you receive will depend on your earnings and other factors. You can get some benefits whether or not you are working. Your earnings will not affect the amount you get. These benefits are: Bereavement Benefits (previously called Widow s Benefits) Child Benefit (see page 4) Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) see overleaf or Attendance Allowance (AA) Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit State Pension. There are other benefits you can get whether you are working or not, but the amount you get will be affected by your earnings. They are: Child Tax Credit (see page 4) Council Tax Benefit Housing Benefit Pension Credit (if you re aged over 60). There are other benefits that you can only get if you re not working or working part-time. These are: Carer s Allowance (see page 4) Employment and Support Allowance Incapacity Benefit Income Support (there are special rules for IS and workers who are disabled) Severe Disablement Allowance. 3 How moving into work may affect your benefits

4 Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) PIP is a new benefit that is gradually replacing DLA for people aged who need help with the extra costs of living with disability. The government introduced PIP in April 2013, but the change is being rolled out in stages it only affects new claimants to begin with, or those whose circumstances change. New claims for DLA were stopped in June Most people who currently claim DLA will be invited to apply for PIP between October 2015 and October If you currently receive DLA or PIP, it s paid because you need attention or supervision because of your deafness or other disability. It s payable whether you work or not, and regardless of how much you may earn. However, starting work may suggest that your care needs or mobility problems have lessened, or you have found a way to cut back on the help you need from another person. Your benefit can be reviewed because of this. You may be able to ask for an increase in benefit if you need more help to communicate with people at work. Please note: If you currently claim DLA and you move into work, you may need to have your needs reassessed. This means you ll need to make a new claim for PIP, as new claims for DLA have stopped for year olds. To find out more about PIP, visit For information on claiming PIP for the first time, see our factsheet Personal Independence Payment. Carer s Allowance You can claim Carer s Allowance if you are looking after someone who receives either: Attendance Allowance DLA care component at the middle or higher rate PIP daily living component. You must be looking after the person for at least 35 hours a week and it doesn t matter if you are also disabled or incapable of work. You can t claim Carer s Allowance if you are in full-time education (21 hours a week or more). You can work and claim Carer s Allowance, but it won t be paid for any week in which you earn 102 or more. If you earn less than this, your Carer s Allowance is not affected. Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit are for people who are responsible for at least one child or qualifying young person. They are paid whether you are working or on benefits, but the amount of Child Tax Credit you get may be reduced because of your earnings. In January 2013, Child Benefit was withdrawn for any family with a higher-rate tax payer. Child Tax Credit is one of six benefits gradually being replaced by Universal Credit see page 2. Working Tax Credit You may get Working Tax Credit if you are in work that is expected to last at least four weeks and you have a low income. It s one of the benefits that is gradually being replaced by Universal Credit (UC) see page 2. There is no one maximum income cut-off point for tax credits; your eligibility depends on your individual circumstances and takes into account factors such as children, disability and childcare. You can get Working Tax Credit if you are at least 16 years old and either you or your partner are working for 16 hours or more a week (employed or self-employed), provided that you also meet one of the following conditions: You are a single parent responsible for a dependent child or young person. You are a couple responsible for a dependent child or young person and one of you works at least 16 hours a week and you work at least 4 How moving into work may affect your benefits

5 24 hours a week between you. This means that if you both work, one of you must do 16 hours a week and the other must do at least eight hours a week. If only one of you works, that person must work at least 24 hours a week. You are a couple responsible for a dependent child or young person and one of you works at least 16 hours a week, where the other partner is in hospital or prison or entitled to Carer s Allowance or counts as incapacitated. You have a physical or mental disability that puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job, and you currently receive or have recently received some form of disability benefit. You are aged 60 or over. Otherwise, you can only qualify if you are aged 25 or over and usually work at least 30 hours a week. If you are deaf or have another disability, your Working Tax Credit entitlement may include an extra amount for disability. This is called the disability element. You can download the HMRC information sheet on the disability element at The amount of tax credit you get will depend on your yearly income. Any tax credits you receive during the 2013/14 tax year will be a provisional award based either on an estimate of your current income or your income from the 2012/13 tax year. Your final award for 2013/14 can only be calculated when your actual income for that period is known. If you have been paid too much tax credit in one year, your award for the following year will be reduced. To find out more, contact the Tax Credit Helpline (see page 8). To calculate an estimate of how much tax credit you may be entitled to receive based on your annual income, visit What is Income Support? Income Support (IS) is a benefit paid to certain groups of people who don t have enough money to live on. They can receive IS without having to look for work. The benefit is means-tested, and whether you qualify or not and how much you get depends on your circumstances. Universal Credit (UC) is gradually replacing IS (see page 2), but you can claim IS until UC is rolled out in your area. Can I claim IS if I am in part-time work? Yes, but rates and conditions vary. If you work up to 16 hours a week, you can earn up to 20 a week without it affecting your IS, if you are getting a disability premium in your IS. If you earn more than 20, your IS will be reduced. For example, if you earn 30 per week, your IS will be reduced by 10. Can I claim IS if I m in full-time work? Not usually. It s unlikely that you ll be able to claim IS if you or your partner are in full-time, paid work. However, there are some exceptions, including situations where you work fewer hours or receive less pay because of your disability: You earn 75% or less than someone without a disability would be reasonably expected to earn if they worked the same number of hours in your type of job. You work at least 75% fewer hours than someone without a disability would realistically be expected to do in your type of job. You ll have to declare any earnings you get and they will be taken away from the amount of IS you are entitled to. The first 20 of what you earn will not be taken away from your IS if you are getting a disability premium in your IS. 5 How moving into work may affect your benefits

6 Is there any work I can do while claiming benefits? Possibly. If you re claiming benefits because you are incapable of work, special rules allow you to do some types of work and still get benefits. If you claim benefit because you are incapable of work, you will either get: Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Incapacity Benefit (now replaced by ESA) Income Support (gradually being replaced by Universal Credit) National Insurance Credits Severe Disablement Allowance If you receive these benefits, then the only types of work you can do are voluntary, permitted or permitted supported work (see below). Voluntary work You can do any amount of voluntary work while you get benefits. However, if you are getting Jobseeker s Allowance, you must be ready to take up paid employment if a job becomes available. Permitted work There are three types of permitted work. You can do one of the following at any one time: Work and earn up to 20 a week. This is called the permitted work lower limit. There is no limit as to how long you can do this type of permitted work. Work for up to 16 hours a week and earn up to a week. This is called the permitted work higher limit. You are only allowed to do this work for up to 52 weeks (one year). If you have been placed in the support group of Employment and Support Allowance, or you are receiving Incapacity Benefit or Income Support and you are exempt from the personal capability assessment because you have a severe medical condition, you can do this work for an unlimited period. Carry out supported permitted work, which is work supervised by someone who is working for a local or public authority, or a voluntary organisation. You can earn up to 101 a week. There is no limit as to how long you can do this type of permitted work. Permitted work doesn t affect the amount of Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance you get. If you are claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, your permitted work earnings will not affect these benefits. But if you are getting a disability premium in your IS and you earn more than 20, this will reduce your benefit. Work Trials A Work Trial gives you the chance to try out a job if you are worried about whether it will work out. Your benefits will not be affected during this trial period. For details, get in touch with your local Jobcentre Plus (see page 8 for contact details). Can I reclaim benefits if my job stops? Possibly. If you are thinking about working, find out if you ll be able to reclaim any of the benefits you currently get if your job doesn t work out. The schemes that provide protection are: 12-week linking rule Rapid reclaim. 12-week linking rule If you stop claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) at any time during your claim, you ll be able to reclaim it within the following 12 weeks and have the new claim linked to your previous award. You ll have to undergo a work capability assessment (WCA) in relation to 6 How moving into work may affect your benefits

7 the new claim and, at first, you ll only be paid the basic allowance of ESA. Once it has been established that you have limited capability for work in the WCA, your ESA will be increased to the level of your previous award and arrears will be paid to the start date of the new award. Rapid reclaim If you re not sure a job will last, and are worried that it may be difficult to claim benefits again if the job ends, find out about rapid reclaim from your local Jobcentre Plus. It can make it easier and quicker to reclaim Jobseeker s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. This is for people who need to reclaim their benefit within 26 weeks of the end of their previous entitlement. For Employment and Support Allowance, you can only use rapid reclaim within 12 weeks of a previous claim. Where can I get further information? Action on Hearing Loss We offer a wide range of free information on many aspects of hearing loss and tinnitus. Our leaflets provide introductory information, while our factsheets go into more detail. You may be interested in the other factsheets in our Benefits range, which cover Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance, and more. For further details, and to order free copies, contact our Information Line (see last page). You can also download our publications for free at References All of our factsheets are based on up-to-date research and information. If you d like a list of references for this factsheet, please us at Other organisations Benefit Enquiry Line (Northern Ireland) Provides advice and information on disability and carers benefits for people living in Northern Ireland. Telephone Textphone Citizens Advice Provides free advice and information to help people resolve legal, financial and other problems look in your phonebook for your nearest bureau or do an online search. (England and Wales) (Scotland) (Northern Ireland) Alternatively, you can use the Citizens Advice online advice guide at Disability Information and Advice Line services (DIAL) An independent network of local disability information and advice services, run by and for people who are disabled. Contact Scope to find your local DIAL. Telephone Disability Rights UK Provides a range of information about benefits including free factsheets and the Disability Rights Handbook. It does not have a benefits advice line for individuals. Ground Floor, CAN Mezzanine, East Road, London N1 6AH Telephone Acknowledgement We would like to thank Disability Rights UK for helping us to produce this factsheet. 7 How moving into work may affect your benefits

8 Gov.uk Provides online government information about benefits and public services. You can also find details of your local Jobcentre Plus office. Jobcentre Plus For your local office: Telephone Textphone New benefit claims only: Telephone Textphone NI Direct Provides online information about benefits and public services in Northern Ireland. Tax Credit Helpline Telephone Textphone Turn2us Helps people in financial need to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. Telephone Fax Find an adviser search tool: We welcome your feedback If you have any comments or suggestions relating to this factsheet, or if you re interested in joining our Readers Review Panel, we d love to hear from you. Your feedback will help us to improve our information. To find out more, or to provide us with your comments, please us at hearingloss.org.uk or write to Information and Publications, Action on Hearing Loss, Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8SL. Please help us support others We provide our leaflets, factsheets and Information Line service free of charge to anyone affected by hearing loss or tinnitus in the UK, but we rely on the generosity of our supporters to help us to do this. We would be very grateful if you would consider making a donation today of as little or as much as you can afford. You can send a cheque/po made payable to Action on Hearing Loss to: Action on Hearing Loss, FREEPOST LON13186, London EC1B 1AL. Or you can make a donation online using a credit card, debit card or CharityCard. Please visit 8 How moving into work may affect your benefits

9 We re Action on Hearing Loss, the charity working for a world where hearing loss doesn t limit or label people, where tinnitus is silenced and where people value and look after their hearing. We can t do this without your help. To find out more about what we do and how you can support us, go to Action on Hearing Loss Information Line Telephone Textphone SMS (standard text message rates apply) How moving into work may affect your benefits, version 1, A0759/0414. PUBLISHED: APRIL REVIEW DATE: APRIL Action on Hearing Loss is the trading name of The Royal National Institute for Deaf People. A registered charity in England and Wales (207720) and Scotland (SC038926)

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