Working Hours for Benefits
If you are doing paid work for an employer or are self-employed but on a low income, you might still qualify for certain welfare benefits. Some benefit entitlement will depend on how many hours of paid work you do per week.
New claimants with a working income will be required to apply for universal credit. There are special rules around self-employment income for universal credit.
Which Benefits are affected by working hours?
Employment and Support Allowance
You normally can't do any work while claiming Employment and Support Allowance. However, you can do what's known as 'permitted work' and remain entitled to incapacity-based benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance.
If you claim Income-related ESA your partner can work up to 24 hours doing any type of paid work but their earnings could affect the amount you are entitled to. However, your partner's work hours will not affect your entitlement to Contributory Employment Support Allowance, which is based on your national insurance contribution record.
Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance
Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit is paid to people in or out of work, and you (or your partner) can work any number of hours and still qualify. However if your hours increase, your universal credit may reduce, and if your income reduces, your universal credit may increase. It is important to update your universal credit journal with any income changes. The income rules are slightly different for self-employed claimants - see Minimum Income Floor below.