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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Work capability issues and ESA  →  Thread

Permitted work as partner

Rebecca Lough
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Welfare rights - Greenwich Council

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Hello,

Can the partner of an ESA claimant be allowed permitted work rules? It is a double SDP protected couple. One is on zero hours contract with fluctuating hours which stay under 15 hours. If her partner is the claimant, does this fall under permitted work or just normal disregard?

Big thanks

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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I don’t believe permitted work rules apply in respect of the partner. This means there is no restriction on how long they can work or how much they earn but also means that everything they earn is taken into account as earned income (less the disregard).

Jon (CHDCA)
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Welfare benefits - Craven CAB, North Yorkshire

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Partners are still subject to the 24 hour work limit, but if they never exceed 15 hours, and if they have (or could get) LCW - then it seems better off to switch claimant and partner? I.e. so that partner becomes the claimant and then they do get the permitted work allowance.

Suspect that would entail some messiness with a new claim, but can’t see what actually prevents it ...

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Thanks Jon - I forgot the 24 hour limit.

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

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Jon (CHDCA) - 24 September 2020 04:16 PM

Partners are still subject to the 24 hour work limit, but if they never exceed 15 hours, and if they have (or could get) LCW - then it seems better off to switch claimant and partner? I.e. so that partner becomes the claimant and then they do get the permitted work allowance.

Suspect that would entail some messiness with a new claim, but can’t see what actually prevents it ...

Can’t do switcheroo unless:

- partner is HB claimant.  SDP gateway wouldn’t allow the current ESA partner to become the ESA(ir) claimant because s/he is not personally entitled to an SDP.  Or
- partner has personal award of old style ESA(c) which could be upgraded to income-related if existing claimant stops claiming

Charles
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HB Anorak - 25 September 2020 09:06 AM
Jon (CHDCA) - 24 September 2020 04:16 PM

Partners are still subject to the 24 hour work limit, but if they never exceed 15 hours, and if they have (or could get) LCW - then it seems better off to switch claimant and partner? I.e. so that partner becomes the claimant and then they do get the permitted work allowance.

Suspect that would entail some messiness with a new claim, but can’t see what actually prevents it ...

Can’t do switcheroo unless:

- partner is HB claimant.  SDP gateway wouldn’t allow the current ESA partner to become the ESA(ir) claimant because s/he is not personally entitled to an SDP.  Or
- partner has personal award of old style ESA(c) which could be upgraded to income-related if existing claimant stops claiming

I think in this case they’d actually be fine to switch. As they are still partners, Reg. 4A of the UC(TP) Regs still bites.

HB Anorak
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Of course, P cannot claim UC if, in order to do so, s/he would have to claim jointly with C who cannot claim UC.

Yes, agreed