ESA and Savings

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Hi

I had been receiving Income-Related ESA (Support Group) for several years, when last year a friend left me some money in his will.  This was very nice but totally unexpected. This has allowed me to pay off my long-term debts and next year it will enable me to pay the shortfall on my endowment mortgage, which will leave only a very small amount left.

I informed the DWP straight away as it was more than the allowable savings.  My ESA was moved to the Contributions Based ESA (still support group) and I saw a reduction in payments.

Last week I received a letter from the DWP regarding my ESA.  It says that "Every year we look at the savings and property that may affect your allowance".  They want to see copies of my recent bank statements to see the level of my savings.  I have sent these back, but I'm wondering why they need to see these if I'm not making a claim to go onto the Income-Related ESA.  I've not hidden anything from them, and the money from the will is the only savings I have ever had in my life. 

Am I being a bit paranoid, or am I missing something, but I can't see the reason why they need to see my savings balance each year  (It's gone down since last year, but even if it had gone up, I still can't see why they would need to see it if I wasn't claiming anything new).

Many thanks

Will

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21 Replies

  • Posted

    HI,

    You can't be moved from Income related ESA to Contribution based, it doesn't work like that. If you were claiming Contribution Based ESA with an Income Related top up then your level of savings would affect the top up part only. For means tested benefits anything over £6000 will affect your benefits £1 for every £250 over that amount. For savings £16000 and over and your Income related benefits stop completely.

    Did you have more or less than £16000? Your post is rather confusing because if you were claiming contribution based ESA then your savings wouldn't affect this.

    Did you work at all before you started claiming ESA 7 years ago?

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise

      Sorry, I assumed I had been moved from one to the other.  I was getting the income related part of ESA.  This was stopped after I came into the inheritance. I still have over £16000 this year, but probably won’t have by 2020 when I’ll use it to cover the shortfall on my endowment mortgage. 

      Do you think they need to see the current balance just to make sure I’m not entitled to anything else?  I’m not wanting to claim anything else and realise I’m in a lucky position (for now) so I’m not grumbling.  I just wondered if it is normal to have to send them balances of my savings.

      I was working as a self employed builders for over 30 years  but had a serious spinal injury which has prevented me from working for over 10 years and isn’t going to get any better.

      Thank you 

      Will

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    • Posted

      Hi Will,

      When you're in the Support Grou once you're claiming Contribution based you'll always claim this. Then depending on household income you maybe entitled to the premium on top, which is the Income Related top up.

      If you're only claiming the Contribution part now then your weekly money should be £110.75 which is £221.50 every 2 weeks. Is this what you receive? Sorry to ask you this but this is the easiest way to work out exactly what going on. Once i know this i'll be happy to advice you further.

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    • Posted

      Did you transfer from Incapacity benefit? This maybe why you get a little more money. If so then it does sound like you're on Contribution based, and this is not means tested so any savings/capital you have won't affect this.

      I have no idea why they have written to you but if i was claiming CB ESA and they wrote to me like this then i would have rang them to ask why as soon as i received that letter. I'd advice you to do the same. What savings you have is nothing to do with them because your benefit isn't means tested.

      If you ever applied for the income related top up again then they will want to know what savings you have. Paying of debts/mortgage could be deprivation of capital sometime in the future, if you did apply for those top ups. They will want to know where the money went to, what it was spent on, with bank statements and receipts. Then a decision maker will decide if it's classed as deprivation of capital.

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    • Posted

      Hi, yes I did transfer from income support. 

      I phoned them this morning and they said they need all my statements from the past 12 months.  When I asked why, they said that because I might go below the 16000 in the future they will need to see if I’ve deprived myself of assets and bank statements could be difficult to obtain several years from now.  I told her that I realise paying debts and mortgage will probably be seen as deprivation but she said that they’ll still need to see statements each year.

      I can’t say that I’m happy that my statements will be sitting in a drawer or worse still, stored online but I’ve got no choice. 

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, i thought that maybe the reason they want them. Unfortunately you have no choice but to send them in yearly when asked.
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    • Posted

      You're welcome. They have every right to check on your savings for future reference by the way. This is because of deprivation of capital if you apply for the Income Related top ups again in the future. If they think you've deprived yourself of the money then you'll still be classed as having it and will be refused those top ups.

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  • Posted

    I also had a letter asking if my saving and property have changed dated 26th February 2018 from Jobcentreplus (Esa), i sent off my bank statements, i rang them a week later and they had received them. I have not a letter confirming this, my next payment is this Friday,
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  • Posted

    Hi Will/Denise, it's looking like I'm losing £22 with the £1 over £250 with savings, Esa £351.45, PIP Daily living £229.20 is this right?

    Thanks Twiglet,

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I have no idea how much savings you have so wouldn't be able to help with your ESA amount. Your PIP daily living is correct.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Denise, will have to arrange a holiday to visit family and friends then to help spend the cash, included in the total was what PIP owe to me £1184.55 😉

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    • Posted

      You're welcome. You do realise that any backdated money from benefits is disregarded for 52 weeks for means tested benefits, i hope? How much did PIP owe you? and when were you backdated that money?  Please do PM this if you don't want to post it on here.

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    • Posted

      Personal Independence payment your mandatory reconsideration notice 19 February 2018:

      I can award standard rate of £55.65 for your daily living needs from 25 September 2017 to 7 November 2021

      Your payments:

      We will pay £1184.55 into your account on 23 February 2018.

      This is owe the money that you from 25 September 2017 to 20 February 2018.

      We will than pay your benefit into your account every four weeks.

      Then I received another letter on 20 March 2018.

      Personal independence payment yearly update:

      Your new total weekly amount is £57.30 from 9 April 2018

      Thanks Twiglet,

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    • Posted

      The money paid to you each fortnight and monthly shouldn't be counted within your savings because it's goes from a certain period of time. Obviously this is because they have to give you time to pay your bills, buy food and everything else you need to pay out per month/week. I'm not sure what period this is from.

      Having just working out your savings and deductions again then i'm not sure how or where they got that £22 deduction from. If you had £10,000 savings, this will take you £4,000 over the lower amount. This means that for every £1000 over you will be deducted £4 so for £10,000 you should be deducted approx £16. The PIP back pay should NOT be added to your savings for means tested benefits because it's disregarded for 52 weeks. In my opinion they are deducting too much money and if it was me then i'd ring DWP to ask how they worked out that figure.

      Also when spending please do be careful of deprivation of capital.

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    • Posted

      The best thing for you to do here is to put all of your details into a benefits calculator and this will tell you everything you're entitled to. I don't know your circumstances to be able to help you with this. If you think that they're taking too much off you for your savings then you'll need to ring ESA and ask them. Good luck.

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