OMG How did I get it so wrong. So scared now. — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.
Please read our updated community house rules and community guidelines.

OMG How did I get it so wrong. So scared now.

Options
Annieanxious
Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
Hi all please be gentle I feel like I am about to break.

I receive HB, ESA and PIP and have done for approx 7 years. I have always thought I was allowed £16,000 in savings and currently have approx £13,000. I have never reported it going over £6000 as I stupidly didn't realise until 2 weeks ago when I actually read the leaflet that came with a letter.

I phoned DWP straight away to explain but the call handler didn't seem to understand and I have now been sent a letter asking if the money is an inheritance. I have to send in bank statements which I have ordered but still not arrived in over a week.

I know I am now going to have huge overpayments but are they likely to take me to court or worse send me to prison?

If my dad were agreeable could he repay the money on my behalf?

I'm not sleeping eating and can't believe I have been so utterly stupid.

Please help 
«13

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,181 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    It's very unlikely that you will go to court or prison. The lower savings limit has always been £6,000 for working age people when claiming means tested benefits. There's a £1/week deduction for every £250 or part thereof over that amount. 

    The same rules apply to Housing benefit, so you will need to make sure you contact your local Authority. If you're also claiming council tax reduction then some local Authorities have a maximum savings limit of £6,000 before entitlement ends. 

    You will likely have a small fine on top for not reporting changes. Yes, your dad can repay any money that's owed for you. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    It's very unlikely that you will go to court or prison. The lower savings limit has always been £6,000 for working age people when claiming means tested benefits. There's a £1/week deduction for every £250 or part thereof over that amount. 

    The same rules apply to Housing benefit, so you will need to make sure you contact your local Authority. If you're also claiming council tax reduction then some local Authorities have a maximum savings limit of £6,000 before entitlement ends. 

    You will likely have a small fine on top for not reporting changes. Yes, your dad can repay any money that's owed for you. 
    Thank you Poppy I feel slightly reassured but still in a state of panic. I have emailed HB a week ago but as yet I have had no reply.

    Do you know if they will make me make huge payments out of my benefits, will I be left enough to live on? I fear I am going to lose my house (housing assoc) if I can't afford the rent anymore and have also read that the HB overpayment will be taken back off the HA sending me into huge arrears.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,618 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    It's worth noting the HB may not have been overpaid.  It really is area dependent.

    I was told by my local council that my HB would not be affected by savings between £6k-£16k as it's a 'passported benefit' linked to receipt of ESA.

    It took me three attempts to get this information from the council though.  It wasn't known by the first two advisors.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,181 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 26
    Options
    You will be able to repay it back instalments. They may reduce your weekly housing benefit to repay it. If this happens then you will need to make sure that you pay the shortfall of rent yourself
    to your landlord. 

    How long have you had more than £6,000 in savings? 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    You will be able to repay it back instalments. They may reduce your weekly housing benefit to repay it. If this happens then you will need to make sure that you pay the shortfall of rent yourself
    to your landlord. 

    How long have you had more than £6,000 in savings? 
    & years as I had no idea I was doing anything wrong :(. My error for not reading things properly whilst unwell and digging my head in the sand.
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    7 years ^ sorry don't know hot to edit.
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,081 Scope online community team
    Options
    Heya @Annieanxious welcome to the community. :)

    I can see you've already got the community helping you out, but I just wanted to stop in and say hi. Please try not to worry too much, as the others have said, they may reduce other payments a bit until things are paid back.  
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,181 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    As long as you didn’t have savings of more than £16,000 at anyone time then your benefits would have just continued but with a deduction as I advised above. 

    All you can do now is be honest. If it’s been several years then I’m surprised they haven’t asked for bank statements going back that long. 

    Has your ESA been suspended while they sort this? Is any part of your ESA contributions based? 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    As long as you didn’t have savings of more than £16,000 at anyone time then your benefits would have just continued but with a deduction as I advised above. 

    All you can do now is be honest. If it’s been several years then I’m surprised they haven’t asked for bank statements going back that long. 

    Has your ESA been suspended while they sort this? Is any part of your ESA contributions based? 
    As I say the call handler seems to of put the wrong information on the computer. I have ordered 7 years of statements from the bank which I will send in to be as transparent as possible. I am only on income based ESA no contribution based.

    No suspension yet I don't think as they don't have the facts despite me telling them. I expect it will be suspended when they get the statements.
    Do they inform you of a suspension?

  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    Another night of worry.

    If and when they suspend my ESA will my HB be suspended or will it be stopped meaning it can't be reinstated unless I claim UC @poppy123456?

    Still waiting for my bank statements and what with Easter coming I don't know if I am going to get them to DWP on time. They requested I send them to arrive by 14th April.

    My mind is going round and round in circles and I can't think of anything else or have anyone to talk to. I went to my GP hoping for some support but she didn't even ask why I was so stressed so I didn't even get to talk to her. She sent me on my way with 8 Diazepam and not a word of kindness.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,181 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Housing benefit maybe suspended if your ESA is suspended. If this happens then you will need to contact your local authority and ask them to reinstate it due to zero income. 

    I’m assuming you have already contacted
    them about your savings? 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    Thanks again @poppy123456.

    Yes I have emailed the HB over a week ago but they haven't responded. If I actually had the bank statements I would take them to them but i'm still waiting. I did get one year of seven in the post today so that's a start. I thought they would of sent them out all together not individual years.

    I just want everything sorted out asap as I can't stand this anxiety and uncertainty.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,705 Scope online community team
    Options
    Hey @Annieanxious, I'm sorry to hear about how your GP appointment went :/ It's really so frustrating with many GPs and how they treat mental health conditions. So often just some medication thrown at you and the door shown. Is it at all possible for you to self-refer for therapy at all? There can even be groups to call, if you're up to that, while it's not therapy it's someone to talk to. 

    The Samaritans aren't just for if you've in crisis, it's for if there is anything really bothering you and you'd like to just chat about it. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone) or email jo@samaritans.org. 
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us. 
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,181 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    7 years is quite a long time so I wouldn’t expect this to be sorted that quickly. I’d advise you to ring your Local Authority if possible because they haven’t responded to the email you sent them. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    7 years is quite a long time so I wouldn’t expect this to be sorted that quickly. I’d advise you to ring your Local Authority if possible because they haven’t responded to the email you sent them. 

    I know  :(. On the plus the yearof statements that arrived today was 2017 and that is all under £6000. It started going up when I claimed PIP early 2018 and this is where my confusion started.

    I would ring but they will ask for the bank statements that I don't have.  They do ask for email correspondence and I did get an automated reply so at least I know it landed.

    Hey @Annieanxious, I'm sorry to hear about how your GP appointment went :/ It's really so frustrating with many GPs and how they treat mental health conditions. So often just some medication thrown at you and the door shown. Is it at all possible for you to self-refer for therapy at all? There can even be groups to call, if you're up to that, while it's not therapy it's someone to talk to. 

    The Samaritans aren't just for if you've in crisis, it's for if there is anything really bothering you and you'd like to just chat about it. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone) or email jo@samaritans.org. 
    Thank you for your concern. I find it difficult in group settings and don't feel I could share this with the Samaritans but I will bare it in mind. 
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    I still haven't received my statements from the bank. I have now ordered them three times.

    I phoned DWP last week, it took me 2 hours to get through, to explain that the money wasn't inheritance but accumulated savings and my error etc.

    The thing is I still only have till 14th April and nothing to send them. Should I write to them and explain do you think @poppy123456?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,181 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    If you don't receive them soon then ring ESA. Also please note, it doesn't matter what the savings are from, whether it's money you've saved yourself or inheritance. the same rules apply. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    Thanks yes I am just trying to be honest as savings have accumulated over time whereas an inheritance would of just landed in my account.

    Do you think they will give me an extension if I ring them @poppy123456?

    Thanks for the advice. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,181 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    I'm afraid I can't predict that, you will just need to ring them nearer the time if you don't receive the statements soon. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Annieanxious
    Annieanxious Community member Posts: 46 Connected
    Options
    I eventually got my bank statements by going into the bank and pleading for them to print them for me as they still hadn't arrived  nearly 3 weeks after requesting them.

    I promptly posted them to DWP with a signed for delivery. They arrived yesterday.

    This error I have made is totally consuming my mind 24 7. I can't stop researching possible scenarios and worrying about everything they might do to me.

    Deprivation of Capital comes up a lot and I am worried I might well be accused of in these circumstances. Over the years I have been replacing old secondhand furniture with new, is this deprivation of capital? Also I haven't seen my daughter in over four years but every Christmas and Birthday I send her £175 I'm guessing now that isn't allowed? I also bought myself a car in 2020 for £6000.

    Any thoughts please @poppy123456 or anyone else with any knowledge?

    Most grateful for any help thank you.


Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.