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Work you can do while getting ESA

This advice applies to Cymru

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

You can do permitted work whether you’re in the support group or the work-related activity group.

Permitted work means you can:

  • work and earn up to £20 a week
  • work less than 16 hours a week, and earn up to £120.00 a week for up to 52 weeks (there’s no time limit of 52 weeks if you’re in the support group)
  • do work that’s part of a treatment programme done under medical supervision while you’re in hospital or attending as an out-patient
  • work and earn up to £120.00 a week if it’s work that’s ‘supported permitted work’ - there’s no limit to the number of hours per week or length of time you can do

Supported permitted work is work that’s supervised by someone from a local council or a voluntary organisation whose job it is to arrange work for disabled people.

If you’re not sure whether the sort of work you want to do will be seen as ‘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 should tell the Department for Work and Pensions (the DWP) by calling the ESA helpline.

ESA helpline
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language telephone: 0800 012 1888
Open Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 6.00pm

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