Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I want to work. Where can I find help?

The Work and Health Programme (WHP)
At the moment there are two ways of getting help to find work. The first is through the Government funded employment programmes. The Work and Health Programme is the Government's current welfare-to-work programme and it is aimed at people who are long-term unemployed or who have a disability or health condition. It is supposed to support people who might have health problems or a disability and you can find out who delivers the Work and Health Programme in your area.

Specialist Employability Support (SES)
Specialist Employability Support is intensive support and training to help you into work if you’re disabled. You can apply if other employment programmes and schemes, such as Access to Work, are not suitable for you. You can find contact details for organisations that deliver SES at www.gov.uk/specialist-employability-support.

Local support
You can find details of organisations that offer locally funded support here. You may need to be eligible for social care support to get support from some of these services, particularly those that are managed by local authorities. Your Disability Employment Advisor should be able to guide you to the right support.

Support for young people
If you are under 25 years of age then you might be able to get support through the education sector. Colleges and sschools now deliver study programmes with the aim of employment. Many deliver supported internships, traineeships and apprenticeships.  There have been some changes to apprenticeships recently that allow more flexibility in the requirements for maths and English. You can find out more about the routes into work from education at https://www.base-uk.org/knowledge/routes-work-guide

Q: Can I work part time without losing my welfare benefits?

If you are claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) you are allowed to work for up to 16 hours per week and earn up to 16 times the national minimum hourly wage per week, currently £120.00 (correct at October 2017). You must declare this work to your jobcentre using Form PW1 and money will be taken off your welfare benefits if you earn more than the maximum allowed. If you are disabled, you can continue to work after 12 months if you receive support from a specialist organisation like a supported employment service. This is called supported permitted work. Read more about Permitted Work

Social Firms UK has produced a guide to permitted work but it is a complicated area and we recommend that you seek expert advice before starting any work. Generally you will still get your housing benefit as long as you don't claim Income Support.

Find out more about Permitted Work.

Q: I'm worried about my welfare benefits reassessment. What can I do?

Talk to someone who can guide you through the process. Universal Credit is being introduced across the country for new claimants or where there is a change in circumstances. A lot of people who have been reassessed as 'fit for work' have appealed against the decision. You stand a much better chance of appealing successfully if you have someone to represent and advise you at the appeal. Contact your local welfare rights office, Citizens Advice or Money Advice Service or speak to your support workers to find out where you can get help.

Q: Do I have to declare a disability at my interview for a job?

The Equality Act means that you shouldn't be asked any questions about your health or disability unless you are going to be offered the job. We would always advise people to be honest with employers so that you are covered by the Equality Act. Remember as well to let the company know before your interview if you have any particular requirements because of a disability.