I would really like to hear from artists who are also on benefits – specifically, disability benefits. How do you make it work? How do you develop your practice when you can’t physically do the amount of work required to support yourself as a “professional” artist? I’m honestly at an impasse. I can’t invest in my practice because I’m skint. I can’t apply for grants because they could mess up my benefits. I can’t manage paid employment. I’m just… stuck. How are other disabled artists making this work?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 21st February 2022, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. I’m on benefits and personally I feel like I’m in a Kafka novel, as someone who is from a closed of society and a working class background, I hate to let people down I absolutely hate it. I want to provide for my family.
  2. You can earn under £130 (I think that amount, may be £140) a week without it affecting Employment and Support Allowance, and I think Universal Credit, but you have to inform them. Earnings don’t affect Personal Independence Payment. 
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