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  • FIRST POST
    • lisa2505
    • By lisa2505 12th May 18, 9:36 AM
    • 8Posts
    • 1Thanks
    lisa2505
    Self employed and Housing Benefit
    • #1
    • 12th May 18, 9:36 AM
    Self employed and Housing Benefit 12th May 18 at 9:36 AM
    Good morning everyone,

    I was wondering if someone can help with my confusion. I did search on the forum but I didn't find anything relevant, so I do apologise if these questions have been answered before and I just didn't find them.

    I have been recently dismissed from my full time job, out of the blue, with just one week's notice (as per my contract unfortunately) and I really need to find a solution asap in order to pay my bills next month.

    I am a Graphic Designer and because I can't find another job NOW - I have applied to every single Graphic Designer job opening in my area but nothing came out - I thought that maybe I could do freelance work and register as self-employed. But since I haven't done this before, I don't know if it will actually work. So I thought I might be able to claim benefits just for the first few months, until I get some clients and start earning a decent income.

    I started looking around, asked the council, called the HMRC, went to the Job Centre, but because I am not entitled to Universal Credit yet (due to the area I live at) every organisation tells me different things and now I'm totally confused. I already know that if I'm self employed, I can't claim Job Seekers Allowance (at least that's what they told me at the council).

    Can someone please tell me, if I can claim any benefits at all, being self employed and without knowing how much money I'll be earning from now on? How will I know what to write as income (future projections) on my application for Housing Benefit if I haven't done this before and don't actually know how much I'll be earning?

    And if I can actually claim benefits, when will I stop receiving benefits payments? I mean, after which amount earned, is someone not entitled to benefits anymore? This really scares me as last thing I need, is to get overpaid and have to return this money back as I might simply not have the money to pay it back!

    Also, do I need to earn a certain amount to receive housing benefit?

    I've got more questions but it depends on the answers of the above.

    I do apologise if my questions are daft, I just haven't done this before and it's really confusing for me. I have been looking on the gov website but instead of getting answers, I get more confused reading through it!

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!
Page 1
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th May 18, 10:04 AM
    • 11,475 Posts
    • 13,369 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #2
    • 12th May 18, 10:04 AM
    • #2
    • 12th May 18, 10:04 AM
    Can you please tell us if you are single/ partner/children/savings?

    Claiming JSA means that you must be job seeking and work less than 16 hrs a week. Any income you received is deducted from your money (73.10 a week) minus a small disregard.

    You may be eligible for working tax credits/ housing benefit/ council tax deduction.

    Please tell us your personal circumstances so we can advise further.
    • lisa2505
    • By lisa2505 12th May 18, 10:10 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    lisa2505
    • #3
    • 12th May 18, 10:10 AM
    • #3
    • 12th May 18, 10:10 AM
    Thanks for your reply.

    Sure, I am single, no kids, no savings and 37 years old. Have been working the last 4 years without a gap.

    Yes, that's why I know that I won't be able to claim JSA as I'll be definitely working more than 16hrs/week and I won't be looking for a job as I will try to focus on my new business.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th May 18, 10:27 AM
    • 11,475 Posts
    • 13,369 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #4
    • 12th May 18, 10:27 AM
    • #4
    • 12th May 18, 10:27 AM
    OK, thanks.

    When you say you are going to be working more than 16 hrs a week surely this won't happen until you get some clients?

    As I see it you could claim contribution based JSA for the moment - apply online and tick both contribution based and income based options - comply with the job seeking requirements and get your business ready in your spare time. Then when you are up and running you can close your JSA claim.

    Or,

    If you are doing prep for your business which means that you are spending 30+ hrs a week doing this - advertising etc then you could claim working tax credits based on you are starting up your business.

    You can claim HB and CT reduction based in both these instances.

    If it were me I would be getting a part time temporary job , building up my business and claiming HB and CT reduction based on a low income. Saves a lot of fussing around.
    • lisa2505
    • By lisa2505 12th May 18, 10:32 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    lisa2505
    • #5
    • 12th May 18, 10:32 AM
    • #5
    • 12th May 18, 10:32 AM
    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

    I think I'll stick with the second option as there are a lot f things to be done in order to get clients and I really want to make this work as I don't want to be on benefits for long.

    Can you (or anyone else) please maybe answer my other 2 questions as well?"

    "And if I can actually claim benefits, when will I stop receiving benefits payments? I mean, after which amount earned, is someone not entitled to benefits anymore? This really scares me as last thing I need, is to get overpaid and have to return this money back as I might simply not have the money to pay it back!

    Also, do I need to earn a certain amount to receive housing benefit?"

    Thanks in advance!
    • Afraid of Kittens
    • By Afraid of Kittens 12th May 18, 4:18 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    Afraid of Kittens
    • #6
    • 12th May 18, 4:18 PM
    • #6
    • 12th May 18, 4:18 PM
    For the newly self employed we would ask for an income projection showing expected income and expenditure - we would use these figures for 13 weeks.

    After 13 weeks we would use the actual income and expenditure for the next 13 weeks.

    After a further 13 weeks we would ask for 26 weeks income and expenditure and use for a further 13 week.

    After a further 13 weeks we would ask for 39 weeks income and expenditure and use for a further 12 weeks.

    After a further 13 weeks we would use 52 weeks income and expenditure and use these figures for the next year.

    Once a full years accounts are available we would use these for the coming years benefit entitlement.

    Withe the self employed we would always use the last full years accounts to pay the coming years Housing Benefit.

    All Housing Benefit Departments should use a similar way of calculating income for the newly self employed - speak to your local office and someone should explain.
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