Working and your benefits
How much you earn and how many hours you work can affect your benefits.
Warning Stopping work because of coronavirus
You may qualify for these benefits:
Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from the first day of self-isolation Universal Credit and an Emergency Universal Credit loan so that you can get your first payment straight away New Style Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) if you lose your job, even if your partner is still working or if you’re claiming Universal Credit Working Tax Credits (WTC) for up to 28 weeks if someone is getting Statutory Sick Pay or ESA while sick, with another 4 weeks of WTC if your work finishes Benefits and coronavirus Employment rights
If you have to self-isolate because of government advice, your employer should make reasonable adjustments for you to work instead of taking sick leave. You rights might include:
Employee rights and coronavirus
Some benefits cover some of the extra costs of living if you’re sick or disabled. They are not affected by your income. These include:
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
If your work suggests your needs have changed, you could be re-assessed for these benefits.
Universal Credit (UC)
If you are claiming Working Tax Credit, you will usually be better off. You cannot re-claim ESA once you’re claiming Universal Credit. A change in your income or even a one-off payment can trigger a move onto Universal Credit, so you might be worse off.
Universal Credit is affected by how much you earn. It’s not affected by the number of hours that you work. For every £1 you earn above your work allowance (if you qualify), your Universal Credit payment will reduce by 63p. If you make a new claim for Universal Credit, you will not get your first payment for at least 5 weeks.
Universal Credit works in a different way if you’re self-employed.
Universal Credit Self-employment and Universal Credit (GOV.UK) Advance payments
If you cannot wait 5 weeks, you can apply for an advance payment by:
You will have to pay back your advance payment.
Get an advance payment of Universal Credit (Citizens Advice) Housing Benefit (HB)
If your income changes, ask to see a housing adviser at your local council. Tell them that you have had a change of circumstances. They will need to see your pay slips.
If you do not tell your council that your income changes, this could mean that you get the wrong amount of Housing Benefit:
If you are overpaid Housing Benefit, you must repay this to the council.
If you are underpaid Housing Benefit, this could mean you do not have enough to cover your rent.
Housing Benefit Warning Accepting a job when you claim ESA If you work 16 hours or more you will move onto Universal Credit and will not be able to claim ESA again. Consider carefully if it is worth working 16 hours or more.
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