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Permitted Work Rules

Permitted Work is a benefit arrangement. Employers do not offer 'permitted work' - so it's still a case of applying for and getting a job. However these rules may enable you to do some work while still getting sickness benefits.

Please note the information shown is provided by Dept for Work & Pensions and Jobcentre Plus. Workways is not able to answer enquiries about Permitted Work that are not covered below 

If you want to try some paid work while getting Employment & Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, National Insurance Credits or Income Support because of illness or disability then this is possible under the Permitted Work Rules.

With approval from Jobcentre Plus, the Permitted Work Rules enable people claiming sickness-related benefits to work:

  • for earnings of up to and including £20.00 a week for an unlimited period, or

  • for less than 16 hours a week, on average, with earnings up to and including £101.00 a week for a 52 week period (once that period has ended there has to be a gap of another 52 weeks before doing any more Permitted Work), or

  • in Supported Permitted Work for less than 16 hours a week, on average, and with earnings of up to and including £101.00 a week for an unlimited period. Supported Permitted Work is work done with the ongoing support or supervision from a professional caseworker (employed or engaged by a public body or voluntary organisation), for example via Workways. This could be work done in the community or in a sheltered workshop. It also includes work done under medical supervision as part of a hospital treatment programme.

You do not have to undergo a medical test (Work Capability Assessment) just because you are doing permitted work. However, if a medical test is due as part of your regular benefits-related review it will go ahead as planned.

You can carry on getting Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), Incapacity Benefit (IB) or Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) while doing permitted work without it affecting your benefit. If you get Income Support, your benefit may be reduced if your average earnings are more than your earnings disregard. Decisions regarding the effect upon housing or council tax related benefits will be made by the relevant local authority.  

Applying for approval from Jobcentre Plus to work under the Permitted Work Rules is done on one of the most simplest and shortest forms you'll ever come across. Contact your local office and ask for a PW1 form.

It is now also possible to get additional support under the Access to Work programme for employment under the Permitted Work rules. Contact the Access to Work Advisor via your local Jobcentre Plus office or   Disability Employment Advisers for more information.