Reader Question: Can I work part time without it affecting my Disability Living Allowance or Incapacity Benefit?

2 min Read Published: 18 Oct 2011

Get an answer to your financial question online Reader Question:

I get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Incapacity Benefit at the higher rate. Can I do any part time paid work while on these benefits without having money deducted from them?

My response:

Yes you can.

You can get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) whether or not you work and the benefit isn't usually affected by any savings or income you may have. DLA is based on your care and mobility needs, not ability to work.

As for Incapacity Benefit you are allowed to do some limited work while still claiming - known as Permitted Work.

There are rules about what work you can do and how many hours you can work and you may have to pay Income Tax on your earnings.

To quote the Directgov website

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

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.

Also I suggest that you talk to Tax Credits helpline if you are at all unsure or your circumstances change 0845 300 3900.

I hope that helps

Best Wishes


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