Bobby hadn’t worked for a long, long time.
He really wanted to work but worried about how he’d cope moving from benefits to paid work, mentally, physically and financially.
He explained his concerns to Into Work’s Welfare Rights Officer.
Bobby found out that he could move into work at his own pace with no need to give up his benefits until he was sure he could cope.
The full story
Bobby is single, in his 50’s, has both physical and mental health issues and has been on long term benefits for years.
Bobby’s benefit situation was very complicated, and included Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit (IIDB), Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit(HB) and Council Tax Rebate (CTR).
Bobby didn’t really understand much about these benefits and who could blame him.
Bobby was working with an Into Work Employment Adviser to help him get back into work. However, he had specific concerns about how he would manage if he had to come off his benefits to get a job and then things didn’t work out.
These were the things that were worrying him:
- Would he struggle to physically and mentally manage the work?
- If he started working, would he lose his benefits? If his job didn’t work out it would be time-consuming and stressful going through the process of claiming his benefits again.
- He might be financially worse off in work . He might have to work full-time to make it economically viable.
Into Work’s Welfare Rights Officer spent time with Bobby, outlining his options, and explaining there was no need to worry.
- Bobby could start by working part-time to see how he coped. If he worked up to 16 hours a week and didn’t earn more than £120 a week, his entitlement to benefits wouldn’t be affected. He would just get his wages plus his current benefit entitlement.
- If Bobby did then choose to end his benefit claim and start working he would still qualify for DLA and IIDB and probably some HB as well. And, if it was not working out, he could “link” his ESA claim (up to 12 weeks later) and go straight back to the same benefits he was on before with no need to make a stressful new claim. Into Work’s Welfare Rights Officer helped smooth out the transition for Bobby by talking to the benefit agencies and assisting with any new applications.
- The Welfare Rights Officer talked Bobby through some “better off in work” scenarios showing his financial circumstances from 5 hours a week to 16, 30, up to full time and in every single scenario he was better off “in work”, significantly better off in most cases.
This was all news to Bobby and his problems, or at least his benefits problems, were now solved, leaving him and his Into Work Employment Adviser free to focus on finding him a job.