Claiming benefits if you're self-employed
You can apply for Local Council Tax Support if you are self-employed. You can also apply for Housing Benefit if you do not receive, or are not eligible to apply for, Universal Credit. We will work out your benefit using your and your partner's income, savings and personal circumstances.
You will need to:
- provide your latest profit and loss account or provide account books for the last 12 months and complete a Self-Employed Earnings Declaration form (PDF) [877KB] (opens new window) .
We need your accounts because we're not allowed to use the amount you draw as income from your business. We have to work out the amount we use from your account books. You do not need to have an accountant. If you are claiming Council Tax Support and your income from self-employment is less than you would earn on the minimum wage, we will assume income equivalent to the minimum wage for the number of hours you say you work.
For a new business, you will need to give us a written projection of what you estimate the business will earn for the first 2 or 3 months of trading and what your expenses will be.
If you have paid for anything for personal use from your business we will add this back in.
We work out your weekly earnings for benefit purposes using your share of the profit of the business. We may ask you for receipts.
Loan repayments and business grants
In some cases business loans or the interest on them can be treated as a business expense. Grants may also be allowable, for example, payments under the Access to Work Scheme are disregarded.
You must remember to tell us about changes which will have an impact on the income of your business. Things like:
- a change from full-time to part-time
- the loss of a major customer
- if your business is affected by seasonal work
- if the income of your business significantly increases or reduces
0191 433 4646