• Do you have at least one dependant child living with you (that usually means that you receive child benefit for them)?

    Yes No
  • Are you currently in work?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • Are you claiming jobseeker´┐Żs allowance, income support as a lone parent or employment and support allowance?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • Do you need advice and information about how to set up as self-employed?

    Back Restart Yes No
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  • Are you looking for funding to help you set up a business?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • To work out benefits it is important to know how many hours a week you will work on average.
    Click here to see what work counts towards your hours worked.

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  • Do you expect your hours to fluctuate?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • Do you expect to be working for at least 16 hours a week?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • Is your youngest child under the age of five?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • Depending on your income you could be entitled to:

    • Jobseeker's allowance or employment and support allowance
    • Child tax credit
    • Housing benefit if you are renting
    • Help with mortgage interest payments if you have a mortgage
    • A reduction of your council tax
    • Child benefit
    • Free school meals and health benefits.
    • In certain areas, universal credit. Use this Postcode checker to see if you live in a universal credit area. If you do, call our helpline for more advice.

    Click here for information on how to work out your income when you are self-employed.

    If you have a disability or health condition and are in receipt of employment and support allowance there are special rules about what work you can do without it affecting your benefits. Visit Disability Rights UK for full details.

    For more information about jobseekers allowance see our factsheet Claiming jobseekers allowance and other benefits and for more information about employment and support allowance see our factsheet Benefits for ill health and disability.

    Back Restart
  • This information is for single parents that have a dependant child living with them. For more information relevant to your circumstances see the Gingerbread website.

    Back Restart
  • Would you give up your current job if you were to become self-employed?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • Are you on the Work Programme, or have you been referred to the Work Programme?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • You might be eligible for the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, which is run by Jobcentre Plus.

    The allowance is available to help those who are not in work to set up their own business. The scheme can provide:

    • Mentoring support from local entrepreneurs
    • A weekly allowance payment for 26 weeks
    • A loan to help with start-up costs

    You can find more information on the New Enterprise Allowance on www.gov.uk.

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  • Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) produce an online course to help people who are starting their own business. It covers subjects such as:

    • What you need to tell HMRC when you're setting up
    • National insurance
    • What records you need to keep
    • Explaining expenses
    • Self assessment online
    • Paying tax
    • Growing your business

    You can find the course on the HMRC website

    Back Restart > Continue
  • The gov.uk website has a search facility to help you find funding available in your area.

    Back Restart Continue
  • What counts as self-employed work?

    You can count the number of hours you normally spend working in your business, either on work billed to the client or other work you need to do for your business, such as:

    • Trips to wholesalers and retailers
    • Visits to potential clients
    • Time spent on advertising
    • Cleaning your business premises
    • Cleaning a vehicle used for your business
    • Bookkeeping
    • Doing research.

    If you have only just become self-employed, you will need to use the number of hours you normally expect to work in a week.

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  • If your hours fluctuate - For tax credit purposes your hours are averaged over your 'cycle of work'. This means your usual pattern of work, so for example if you work two weeks on and one week off, the average over three weeks would be used.

    If it's not possible to establish your usual cycle of you should contact the tax credits office.

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  • Depending on your income you could be entitled to:

    • Working tax credit
    • Child tax credit
    • Child benefit
    • Housing benefit if you're renting
    • A reduction of your council tax.
    • In certain areas, universal credit. Use this Postcode checker to see if you live in a universal credit area. If you do, call our helpline for more advice.

    Click here for information on how to work out your income when you are self-employed.

    If you are claiming working tax credits you will need to make sure your business meets certain requirements. Check them here or call our helpline for more advice.

    For more information see the Gingerbread factsheet Benefits and tax credits when you work 16 hours a week or more.

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  • Depending on your income you could be entitled to:

    • Income support or employment support allowance
    • Child tax credit
    • Housing benefit if you're renting
    • A reduction of your council tax
    • Help with your mortgage interest payments if you have a mortgage
    • Child benefit
    • Free school meals and health benefits
    • Healthy start vouchers.
    • In certain areas, universal credit. Use this Postcode checker to see if you live in a universal credit area. If you do, call our helpline for more advice.

    For more information see how to work out your income when you are self employed .

    Find out about claiming income support and other benefits, and also claiming Benefits for ill health and disability

    If you have a disability or healht condition and are receiving employment and support allowance, there are special rules about what work you can do without it affecting your benefits. See Disability Rights UK for info.

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  • Working out your self-employed income

    You need to report to HMRC your 'taxable profit,' this is the amount of income you will pay tax on.

    The tax credit office refer to 'trading income' but it means the same thing.

    Generally, your profit is the amount of money you've earned in total, minus all your allowable expenses.

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  • It is fine to work as a self-employed earner and also as an employee. The number of hours you work in both types of employment are added together for the purpose of deciding whether you work for 16 hours or more weekly, or more than 30 hours weekly for tax credit purposes.

    When you have income from self-employment and from employed earnings, these are added together by the tax credits computer when calculating your entitlement.

    You will need to report your income from your self-employment and employment to HMRC and the other relevant benefits agencies.

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  • Are you already working at least 16 hours a week in your current job, and are you planning to continue to work at least 16 hours a week in this job?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • Do you need advice and information about how to set up as self-employed?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • Are you looking for funding to help you set up a business?

    Back Restart Yes No
  • If you are taking on self-employment as well as employment, as far as your benefits payments are concerned it is treated in the same way as if you had increased your hours or pay.

    For information on how your benefits are affected when you take on more work see the Gingerbread tailored advice tool Changing your hours work or pay. Changing your hours, work or pay.

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  • Some examples of allowable expenses are:

    • Costs of sales or buying goods to sell
    • Sub-contractor costs
    • Employee costs (wages, NI contributions)
    • Premises costs - for example, heat, light, rates, insurance, security to the extent they relate to the business
    • Repairs
    • General administration
    • Business motoring costs
    • Travel and subsistence
    • Advertising, promotion
    • Legal and professional costs, for example, accountancy
    • Bad debts
    • Interest on bank and other loans
    • Costs of business phone calls.

    For more information on working out your taxable profit see the HMRC website

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  • Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) produce an online course to help people who are starting their own business. It covers subjects such as:

    • What you need to tell HMRC when you're setting up
    • National Insurance
    • What records you need to keep
    • Explaining expenses
    • Self assessment online
    • Paying tax
    • Growing your business.

    You can find the course on the HMRC website.

    Back Restart Download PDF Continue
  • The gov.uk website has a search facility to help you find funding available in your area.

    Back Restart Continue