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TOPIC: Deprivation of Capital, ESA and UC

Deprivation of Capital, ESA and UC 2 months 1 week ago #217533

Hi

I am assisting a friend who's on ESA (highest rate as severely disabled). She's come into some money (circa £21k) and so is loosing her ESA, HB and Council Tax benefits (her PIP - higher rate for both - is not obviously affected).

So, first off, a couple regarding deprivation of capital. She needs new flooring down as her carpets are all ruffled up from her electric wheelchair and creating a trip hazard. We are looking at replacing them with hard flooring to reduce this issue. She also wants to replace her bed - which is a special hospital style bed, with rails on 3 sides, rise and fall, and multi-adjustment, but it is for a child as that's all the OT would give her. Is it reasonable to expect that such purchases would be accepted as reasonable? Having just spoken to someone at her local council though they've said it's more to do with the intent, not the expenditure, which knowing how hostile the DWP are being to disabled people of late, it really worries me as to getting this accepted without a huge fight. Are there any guidelines, either for claimants or DWP assessors, that I can access to make sure she's not going to end up in trouble? I do appreciate the issues with advice being given here, and any advice is in itself only guidance and I'll not hold anyone to what they say, but any direction would be appreciated!

Second issue I have is that with her ESA stopping. Looking at the rules on reduction of capital, it's worked out at the rate of whatever she was receiving in benefits. What I can't clarify though is if that accounts for her housing and council tax benefits that she'll also loose. Further to add to the confusion, her area is just about to move onto UC (12 September) and she received the inheritance on 28 August, so there's an overlap of benefits, and no doubt different rules for both areas.

Again, just to be clear, I won't hold anyone to the advice given, but all advice would be greatly received.

TIA

Dan Thompson

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Deprivation of Capital, ESA and UC 2 months 1 week ago #217545

thompson

I'm afraid there is no clear guidance on Deprivation of Capital, ultimately it comes down to a Decision Maker deciding whether the claimant's expenditure has been reasonable or not.

I don't see anything wrong with the suggested purchases, your friend needs to keep receipts for anything they buy.

There is no overlap with Universal Credit at this time, they are claiming ESA and that is all they need to worry about, nobody is being migrated to ESA at this time.

Exceeding the capital limits for ESA reduces (over £6000) or prevents payment (over £16,000) of the claimants ESA, they still retain their award unless re-assessed. The reduction should be based on the total of the benefits that have been lost but they should be able to include reasonable expenditure that has also resulted, for example; losing their ESA(IR) means that they no longer qualify for free prescriptions and dental treatment.

Once, their total assets are below £16,000 they can ask for their ESA(IR) payments to be reinstated although there will be a reduction in the payments, see

Asset rule for ESA(IR)

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Deprivation of Capital, ESA and UC 2 months 1 week ago #217625

Hello,

I work for DWP under UC, you will not receive anything if you have £16.000 or higher, if you tell DWP or they receive this information and stop your benefit.

If you decide to spend some of the money to go below the £16000, you would need to show that the money was for living expenses , debts or other essential equipment or changes to the house for health/ disability adaptions.

The decision maker should take in to account that those changes that the money was used for was needed to improve the quality of life of the claimant. This should then not be considered deprivation of capital.

Essentially they check that you have not just used the money on a flashy car or computer etc that was not an essential expense.

If you need any help, just message me.

Best Regards,
Ben.
The following user(s) said Thank You: TwistedWitch

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Deprivation of Capital, ESA and UC 1 week 6 days ago #220719

To Ben DWP Worker/Gordon

Do you know if it is considered Deprivation of Capital if you sign a Deed of Variation so that money you could get from a will goes to someone else? My father died without making a will so it is called Intestacy. My siblings want us all to sign a Deed of Variation so that everything goes to my mother, as this will avoid inheritance tax. If I dont sign they will all be very angry with me, but I was wondering if the DWP will find out?

I know this is very complicated but do you know the best place to get advice about this?

Thank you

Vivienne

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Deprivation of Capital, ESA and UC 1 week 6 days ago #220735

Vivienne

Deprivation of Capital is never black and white but if you are entitled to this money then I cannot see how you can gift it to your mother without it being considered as Deprivation.

Get face to face advice before making any decision, do an internet search for "welfare advice" with your postcode, town or county.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: Becca

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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