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Work you can do while getting ESA

This advice applies to Scotland

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 less than £120.  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 £120 a week doing supporting 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 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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