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Work you can do while getting ESA

This advice applies to England

You can do some paid or unpaid work while you’re getting ESA and it won’t affect your benefit. This is called ‘permitted work’, or ‘supported permitted work’.

Any job can be permitted work as long as each week you're working under 16 hours, and earning up to £140. It doesn't matter whether you’re in the support group or the work-related activity group.

'Supported permitted work' is work that’s either:

  • supervised by someone from a local council or voluntary organisation whose job it is to arrange work for disabled people
  • part of a treatment programme under medical supervision

You can also earn up to £140 a week doing supported permitted work. 

If you’re not sure whether the sort of work you want to do will be seen as permitted work or supported permitted work, you can ask an experienced adviser at your local Citizens Advice and they’ll be able to help you.

If you’re going to start doing permitted work, supported permitted work, or volunteering, you’ll need to fill in the permitted work form and return this to the JobCentre Plus office that pays your ESA. 

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