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Can my wife, who I care for run a business from home? - Carers UK Forum

Can my wife, who I care for run a business from home?

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hello Everybody,

New to the forum and have my first question - I hope that somebody can help?

I presently care for my wife who has RA and mobility problems.

We have an online business which means that we can work from home. As you may well know the guys from Income Support take a big interest in such things (God, were they awful when we first had to sign on?!). This business isn't particularly profitable and is in my name. It stalled when my wife was suddenly signed off sick and our cash flow stopped before the business got started and the online bit was only meant to be part of the business.

I want to start another new business, which means that I would be working more than 16 hours/week. Which isn't acceptable to IS. We want to keep the old business, but am afraid to broach the subject with either IS or Carers Allowance, due to negative experience with IS (my kneck is getting tense just writing this).

What I'd like to know is can I tell IS and Carers Allowance that my wife is now running the old business (for less than 16 hours/week ofcourse) and I am starting a new business and not loose my IS, and thus CA and HB?

I would love to be free of this dreadful benefits system - and see the new business as a possible way out. But we need the benefits to survive in the mean time.

Thanks in advance for any advice and sorry that my first post isn't more cheery,

Basically what you're saying is you want to fiddle the system, wouldn't we all like to be able to do that and get away with it. As much as I sympathise with your situation at least you are lucky enough to be getting these benefits and it really does needle me when I hear of people defrauding the system when there are so many genuine ones out there in desperate need of help. You need to let IS know everything to keep yourself right as it may come back to haunt you. Something similar happened to a friend of mine and she didn't declare everything, they more than likely will stop your benefits until it is investigated, they may take you to court if they believe you knowingly committed fraud and you would have to pay back any amount overpaid.
Dear Joan,

What a disgusting slur! At no point did I say that I wasn't declaring what were doing to the IS people. In fact I regularly send them my accounts as required. You should be ashamed of your self for taking such a self righteous position! Life is hard enough for my wife who has now been diagnosed with MS on top of her RA! My wife is an incredible and brave woman of 33 who refuses to be defeated by her disease and does not want to just sit back and take it. Just because you asscociate with people who defraud the system doesn't mean that my wife and I do. Needless to say I shan't be pointing out your reply to her for fear of upsetting her.

If you read my question I was asking if both my wife and I can run a business each from home. We don't want to have to stay on benefits for the rest of our lives, and I'm sure that most people, hate having to do so. The fact that my wife will probably die a long time before me is something else that we'll have to deal with. We can't survive or get a new business going without some help. I wanted to have some input into my question before I had to speak to these ghastly people.

Yours disgusted,

Hi Fred

Welcome to the forum. I think your best bet would be to give CarersLine a call. They are benefits experts and should be able to tell you exactly where you stand.

They are open Weds and Thurs, 10-12 and 2-4pm. Its a freephone number 0808 808 7777.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes
Thanks Christine,

I'll give them a ring.

Did I say you weren't declaring everything? Have a good read at what you wrote.
'What I'd like to know is can I tell IS and Carers Allowance that my wife is now running the old business (for less than 16 hours/week ofcourse) and I am starting a new business and not loose my IS, and thus CA and HB?'

Simple really, you were asking if you could tell them and I was saying if you don't tell them your wife is running the old business it's benefit fraud. As for who I associate with, the majority don't tell their nearest and dearest they're doing this, now who's self righteous. Image
I'm going to intervene here before this conversation gets out of hand. Please remember this is a community and we all have to get along.

Joan, I certainly hadn't read anything in Beeswax's post that suggested there was any question of attempting to defraud. I think you have misunderstood the post and rushed to judge someone unfairly.

I know benefit fraud evokes strong feelings, as do many issues discussed on this forum. But you must remember that as a written forum it is very easy to misunderstand each other and for things to get out of hand, in a way that simply wouldn't happen if we were having a face to face conversation. For that reason we ask everyone ot think carefully before you post on the forum, once something is written it's hard to take it back and positions can become entrenched and before you know it, things get out of hand.

The question from beeswax was about the likely impact on their benefits if the business was run from home, the post makes clear he understands the rule about 16 hours. It's a very valid question as it is better to think through all the repurcussions on benefits before taking big decisions.


Matt Hill
Communications manager
Carers UK
Thanks Matt,

Yes we're probably both jumping to conclusions and casting aspersions just isn't dignified and I appologise sincerely for my part. These benefit things/health worries etc really do get the blood pressure boiling!

Maybe my English wasn't very clear - it's quite possible!
Just to clarify - I want my wife to now handle the running of the old business - which is now established and only requires 'maintenance'. So my wife should be able to manage. This would enable me to set up my new business, which should have some financial backing from a friend for equipment. The fact that we're still on benefits tells you something of the success of the old business! But we want to keep it going.

My worry is that the various offices that we claim benefits from won't understand and I'm presently ignorant of what we can and can't do. As I was saying in the first place - I hate dealing with IS because of previous experience. Some of you may be able to imagine the scenario: lost forms, sarcastic comments, unfulfilled promises etc etc. Or in other words stress and sleeplessness - it took over three months to get any sort of help. I'm just being careful.

At the time neither of us foresaw what was going to happen as we're just setting up a business and suddenly we didn't have any sort of income (my wife was supply teaching - no contract no sick pay). I'm not looking for any sympathy btw. We both make the best of things.

I only want to make sure that I'm taking an appropriate course of action. And I don't even yet know if my wife is allowed to run her own business, with me being her carer. She's very ill but I'm sure that she can sit at the computer occasionally. But I will be ringing the carers helpline (I didn't know there was one) asap.

I think it's a blessing to have this forum and thanks for the help,

I also apologise, I thought Beeswax had meant he was only going to tell IS his wife was for running the business when he'd be doing it himself. The only reason I get on my high horse about benefit fraud is that I know of so many people who do it, some people quite unashamedly announce to all who'll listen when there are genuine souls out there who can't get so much as a thrupenny bit. Sincerest apologies Beeswax, I know how hard it can be to set up a business and wondering where the money for the next round of bills is going to come from. A little tip from me, join your local chamber of commerce, they can help you out no end.
Hello Fred

Welcome to the forum!

I know what you mean about being on benefits and struggling along and always picking your brains of how to be able to get off the benefits but have a liveable income around your caring. I think that its good that your wife wishes to run the old business every know she is ill, hopefully it will give her an incentive to keep strong.

I remember a few years ago I was going to set up a business from home, I even did the business course. Turned out that I would lose £82 IS, CA & £52 HB, so therefore I would of had to make £134, plus pay to get Mum looked after, wasn't worth my while. I would of had to earn more than £80 to pay rent so would lose my CA, hence doing more work, which would mean more time away from Mum and getting more care in! The whole thing is so confusing, they really don't make it easy. I am looking into night courses at the moment to be honest is for my own insanity!

I would give CarersLine a ring as they are the experts in benefits and how it works.

Good luck to you and your wife, keep us posted!

Take care
Maryann x