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  • FIRST POST
    • mudskippa
    • By mudskippa 11th Apr 18, 5:25 PM
    • 31Posts
    • 15Thanks
    mudskippa
    Permitted Work Form - although I am not working
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:25 PM
    Permitted Work Form - although I am not working 11th Apr 18 at 5:25 PM
    I am currently in the ESA Support Group and have been for the last three years or so

    I was previously self-employed and wrote some books, so I receive royalties, plus some ad hoc payments for advertising on websites I own etc.

    Since my income is unpredictable from month to month to year to year, ESA agreed at the start of my claim that I could report it to them at the tax-year end, which I have always done, as well as asking for my taxable benefit amount so I can fill it in on my self-assessment for HMRC.

    This year, however, they have sent me a Permitted Work form after I reported my income, which I can not fill in as it isn't relevant. I do not work - my income is passive.

    I phoned up ESA and they told me to fill in the form anyway "as best I can". I told her it was impossible as it doesn't apply, and even if it did, I can not predict my income.

    She then said that I will have to fill the form in anyway, with a cover letter, and that they will want to see my proof of income every month. What?! This has never happened before. If it has changed, I was not informed of the changes until 10 minutes ago.

    It would be almost a full-time job for me to gather all the income details, invoices, expenses receipts, bank statements, paypal statements etc. every month, copy them and then post them. Most days I find it difficult to even get out of bed.

    Is this right? I don't know what to do. I am going to send them a letter stating why the PW form is not relevant and how difficult it is to predict my income anyway, which is why ESA originally agreed that I should just report my end-of-year income to them yearly.

    Even the tax office does not ask you to send them this information every month to "prove" your income. I don't know how they can expect a sick person to gather all this information and send it off constantly. It's bad enough having to gather all my medical evidence etc. every time they do a review.

    I truly don't know what to do. Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks.
Page 1
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 11th Apr 18, 5:39 PM
    • 5,419 Posts
    • 6,014 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:39 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 18, 5:39 PM
    Do what you have suggested, complete the relevant sections of the PW1, which is basically going to be name, address and NI number. Write "Letter attached" in the body of the form and attach a letter explaining things as you have done here.
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 11th Apr 18, 6:52 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 3,435 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 6:52 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 6:52 PM
    It would be almost a full-time job for me to gather all the income details, invoices, expenses receipts, bank statements, paypal statements etc. every month, copy them and then post them. Most days I find it difficult to even get out of bed.
    What expenses do you have?

    Be careful how you phrase things when writing to the DWP. Talk of expenses and invoices will raise questions as to how passive the work is.
    • mudskippa
    • By mudskippa 11th Apr 18, 7:15 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    mudskippa
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 18, 7:15 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 18, 7:15 PM
    God, don't I know it. I haven't gone into expenses in my letter as I know what DWP are like. My expenses are for things like web hosting fees, email services (I have autoresponders set up - I send a newsletter like once a year!) occasional postage.

    This is what really annoys me. I feel like they are trying to trap and trick me even though I have always declared my income and paid tax if due.

    Have they really changed the rules regarding evidence? They've never asked me for it before. It would be a total nightmare to have to send in all my income etc, even more so if they wanted the past years'. I am not prepared for it.

    I have spreadsheets that I set up to record my income and expenses for HMRC, not for ESA to pick through. If I was ever audited by the tax office, everything is recorded where it should be and is correct, but it's not set up for the purposes of ESA.

    It's hard to explain if you don't get royalties, but when I sell digital items in other countries, I have to put that on a separate spreadsheet for tax purposes. I sometimes get paid in dollars, euros and all sorts depending on distributors.

    I record everything as soon as I get it, because I wouldn't be able to put it all together at the end of the year (too tiring). So if they want me to go through a whole year of stuff, month by month and send it in, they will be waiting a long time for it. And in the meantime, probably cut off my benefits...

    Wait, if I do send it in, that may be proof that I'm capable of actually working if I can do all that admin. My benefit gets cut off...

    It's no-win, and all for being honest. I don't believe they can possibly expect me to do all that when I'm off sick (on PIP and ESA support because I am so ill).
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 11th Apr 18, 7:36 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 3,435 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    • #5
    • 11th Apr 18, 7:36 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Apr 18, 7:36 PM
    HMRC would require I&E to be supported by receipts, expenditure etc. It's easy enough to do if you keep on top of it, as you enter the details on the spreadsheet you print and file a copy of the document.

    I don't think they're trying to trip you up, they're not asking for anything out of the ordinary.
    • mudskippa
    • By mudskippa 11th Apr 18, 8:21 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    mudskippa
    • #6
    • 11th Apr 18, 8:21 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Apr 18, 8:21 PM
    Yes, I have all my receipts and my I & E recorded, but I do it on a monthly spreadsheet (and a quarterly spreadsheet for digital assets sold in Europe) and then a year-end summary, so it's easy for fill in for self-assessment.

    But in my accounts, I have reference numbers of different payments. I don't download every single invoice and save it or my computer or print it out, as I would run out of space, ink and time fairly quickly.

    So, if the tax office did ever audit me, they could access all the information and it would be correct. They could even go through my computer and emails themselves and find links to all my receipts and transactions.

    But if ESA suddenly decided they wanted to see everything from the last year, I'd have to download and print out a load of stuff, find specific transactions for every payment and print out the Paypal invoice for that etc. That is a lot for a sick person to do.

    If they had wanted to get my monthly accounts, they should have informed me that they would be doing that for this year a year ago. Then, I could have kept my records for their purposes, rather than how I do it currently. I didn't plan to be sick, so when I set up my accounts, I didn't think of something like this happening.

    I haven't even been able to get out of bed this week, so a housemate is going to have to post my reply for me.

    And I wouldn't be so sure about DWP. Researching this, I have read horrible stories of people getting screwed over on permitted work rules. And I have already had awful experiences with DWP myself.

    They have stopped my benefits for no reason (when I phoned them up to get them reinstated, they couldn't even give me a reason why they had stopped - they just said it was a mistake).

    They, and Housing Benefit too, have made countless errors and expected me to put them right. I have lost my career, my life, my morale because of becoming long-term sick. I would gladly be off benefits and be back in work.

    It is not fair that they spring these things on you (like their health assessment interviews for which they give you two weeks notice. If you cancel once (say, you have a hospital appointment and ask them to rearrange in good time and remake the date), well woe-betide-you if you're vomiting blood on the day, because they stop your benefits immediately if you don't attend and you're not allowed to cancel two appointments, even if you phoned ahead to cancel the first because it coincided with a medical appointment.

    Sorry for the rant - I have seen too much of DWP and the companies they employ not to be wary.
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