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    • nik106
    • By nik106 14th Oct 16, 10:59 AM
    • 10Posts
    • 1Thanks
    nik106
    Starting a Business on Benefits
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:59 AM
    Starting a Business on Benefits 14th Oct 16 at 10:59 AM
    Hi, I'm sure this topic has been covered multiple times but I wanted to see if people had advice that is current, the only thread I have read so far is from 2008. I'm really sorry for the length of this, and I hope you can bare with me.

    My husband has been my full time carer for the last 3 years and we receive the full range of benefits from carers allowance to ESA, PIP and mortgage relief. With the help of extensive testing, treatment as well as my daughter starting school, I am now able to be a little more self sufficient, although I still need help with meals, showering and overnight care. As a result, my husband would like to return to work in some capacity. Both of us were working full time prior to my disabilities and both finding it very difficult to be reliant of benefits.

    He doesn't have many qualifications and his previous job of a managing foreman was seasonal, with 70hrs+ in the summer and almost no hours in the winter, which is completely unsuitable for the level of care I need. He is currently signed up to an electrician's course (mostly home based), which my grandmother has kindly paid for, with the hope that when he is qualified he can set up a business that will provide us a decent income but accommodate my disabilities and numerous long distance hospital appointments.

    In the meantime, because he is quite a fit and able person, he is constantly being asked by family and friends (and their more elderly parents) if he can do jobs like gardening, decorating and kitchen refurbs (he has done ours) etc but he always has to turn the offers down. At the rate that he is being asked, I think he can set up a viable business prior to being qualified, although being conservative on estimates I don't want to assume he can get full time hours a week from the beginning.

    I have run through the benefits calculator on Turn2Us, with the estimation of 16hours at £7.50 an hour (he will charge more, but we need to cover business insurance etc as well as making sure there is a cushion if he can't get the full 16 weeks sometimes). At this level, the calculator suggests that we would be entitled to less ESA but working tax credits to cover the short fall, and would be getting roughly the same as what we are now in benefits. I think he would still be entitled to carers allowance provided he pays into a pension scheme £20 a week of the £120 wages, as they allow for half of the pension contributions to be deducted from income and would not be over the earnings threshold. We are not looking at this being a long term solution, just a temporary one until he has enough regular work and/or qualified as an electrician. Our ultimate goal is to be off benefits completely.

    Is someone able to clarify whether this is something we can do without there being some rule somewhere that would cause problems or not being entitled to the benefits eg, being a director of the company, or doing unpaid hours whilst the business is setting up eg. doing 20 hours but only being paid 16?

    Thank you in advance, I'm sorry it was such a long post.
Page 2
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 15th Oct 16, 3:28 PM
    • 5,789 Posts
    • 3,423 Thanks
    teddysmum
    Could you not use your mobility allowance to employ someone to accompany you to hospital, thus giving your husband more job opportunities ?


    Also, though the courses are official ones would an internet qualification , without practical experience checked by a professional , allow someone to legally work in what is potentially a dangerous field ? It would really worry me if someone, qualified in this way was free to work on the electrics in my home.
    Last edited by teddysmum; 15-10-2016 at 3:33 PM.
    • nik106
    • By nik106 16th Oct 16, 9:37 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    nik106
    Could you not use your mobility allowance to employ someone to accompany you to hospital, thus giving your husband more job opportunities ?


    Also, though the courses are official ones would an internet qualification , without practical experience checked by a professional , allow someone to legally work in what is potentially a dangerous field ? It would really worry me if someone, qualified in this way was free to work on the electrics in my home.
    Originally posted by teddysmum
    Please don't worry, it's not an internet course. It's run by a training college. They have their own practical/assessment centers and work in partnership with some local (to them) building firms who will provide them with the practical experience they need to complete the qualification. It's just the theory that is done through distance learning. A lot of local colleges do the theory and practical exams so they NVQ's but in order to work in the field you have to supervised and signed off experience on a work site, which thankfully this course includes.

    My mobility part of the PIP already goes towards my car, so I don't actually see any of it in my bank account. I have looked into whether I could get the carers allowance paid to someone else whilst he works, but I can't think of a single person who is willing to spend 35 hours with me (because my husband would still end up doing the night shift) for just £62. I found it hard enough to find someone to cover 13hours a week at £7.50 and hour and in the end had to increase the wages to £8.50 and fund any holiday pay out of my care budget so I just don't get personal care when she's on holiday.
    • nik106
    • By nik106 16th Oct 16, 9:48 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    nik106
    Fishybusiness, thank you so much for your response. Using the calculators, I had pretty much run through the numbers you've come up with and was seemingly confident on it that we could manage it until things are settled, and hopefully thriving. But I didn't want to jump into it without someone saying "yes, he can work those extra hours without being paid for it", of which the tax credits call center confirmed.

    At the moment, I am trying to establish whether we would actually be entitled to the tax credits. All the online info seems to suggest that we wouldn't be entitled to them because his income would be more than £2500 higher than last year, which would obviously be the case, since he didn't work last year. If this is right, it seems particularly stupid, because it's not exactly encouraging him to go back to work as we would be a lot worse off.
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 16th Oct 16, 9:51 AM
    • 3,382 Posts
    • 2,103 Thanks
    Darksparkle
    What was the taxable household income last year and what are you estimating it to be this tax year?
    • pebbles88
    • By pebbles88 16th Oct 16, 12:29 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 4,021 Thanks
    pebbles88
    Hi, just food for thought...... Universal credit is coming through in different areas, which may change what you receive. Apologies if you have already looked into it.

    Also, all the calculators are estimates only at the time you complete them - as the benefit policy/amounts/rules can change at any time.
    Last edited by pebbles88; 16-10-2016 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Adding more info
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    • dktreesea
    • By dktreesea 16th Oct 16, 6:16 PM
    • 5,305 Posts
    • 8,016 Thanks
    dktreesea
    With your husband claiming carers allowance, it might be an idea to look up how much he is allowed to earn a year before he loses it. From memory it's quite low, just over £5k a year.
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