Self employment and claiming carers allowance

Hello all, new to the forum and after a bit of advice, I’m hoping someone will be able to help.

First a brief introduction;
I met my now wife back in 2017 and just after a year later we got married. My wife has 26 health conditions, but the main ones being PoTS and EDS. I started claiming carers allowance back in 2018. I previously worked for my self earning ‘good’ money which put me way over the threshold for claiming, but since early 2018 I sold that business and took to working in a sideline business that I had built up over the last 10 years (selling pet supplies), this business earns very little, but it’s worthwhile to do, this job on it’s own puts me under the threshold for claiming Carers allowance. Since 2018 we started running our own personalisation business on facebook and ebay, which is going pretty damn well, this is the other business I put down on the form, with them both combined I earned under the threshold in 2019/2020 period

Now for my questions;
I received a phone call last week from DWP stating my last form I filled out (I filled it in in September, why does it take 6 weeks to get back to me!) stating that I put down two businesses on my form, but I consolidated all my expenses etc… I was told I need to seperate these so they can calculate what excatly I earned as they do not take losses from one business and offset it against the profit from another? I rang today and had this confirmed, which to me seems very odd, after all I pay taxes based on my overall income.

My wife and I split all profits 50/50 from the 2nd business as we work in it together, now with this business I could well go over the limit this year as we split it all 50/50, but my own business has made a loss due to decreased demand for my services because of the pandemic. I was assuming this would be acceptable, after all people pay taxes based on overall income. But the phone call today has left me knowing that this is not correct.

Do I need to tell DWP that my average earnings so far this year have now exceeded the £128 a week mark in only one of my businesses, it could well mean by the end of the year I have earned under the threshold if we buy in stock or have any expenses (such as replacing equipment)?

I am now considering only running one business and having the wife take all profits from the joint venture as her benefits are not income based.

It seems very unfair that they only take a profit into account and not losses from any other job. I assume they will be quick off the mark to happily tell me that if I make more than £128 a week from both businesses that I cannot claim.

If I do ring them up now and tell them I’ve earnt more (from April to now), when and how can I claim again if my profits go under the level £128 a week?


I think you need to speak to your accountant.

Hello Giles, welcome to the forum

Our helpline may be able to help you with this query, you can contact them on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or by email

Best wishes