Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Are you allowed savings whilst on ESA?

karen50karen50 Member Posts: 1 Listener
I have just received a letter to go to my local jobcenter to see a Compliance officer. I have got to take a copy of my bank statements, current and savings account. I receive ESA (Non work group) and i am on PIP. I am also a Appointee to my sons money that is paid into my account. He is on PIP. Overtime and with the help of the back pay we received we have managed to save up to £6000. Which i keep in my savings account. The balance is up and down, as we use it for things we need etc. When my sons PIP is paid into my account, i transfer £200 into his account, and usually put £200 into my savings. This i look at is for a rainy day! We dont have any family, both my parents are dead and my sons dad died earlier this year. I worry what will happen to my son if anything happened to me, as he is special needs and he will have noone to turn to. He will be 18 in February, and u have always said once he is 18, he can then try and take some responsibilty for his own finances. But now this has come up, i really worried that they will either stop my money or take my savings? Could someone please shed some light on this? I have read that you can have savings up to £6000, but i have only recently found this out since receiving the letter from the Compliance officer. Many Thanks

Replies

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,924 Disability Gamechanger

    A compliance interview is just a periodic check. It can be triggered by many things but it's not an interview under caution and so, provided you arrive with all you've been asked to bring, it should be straight forward.

    Sadly, such interviews are often conducted by fraud officers owing to a lack of trained interviewers or people to do home-visits. Their manner can be less than helpful but it doesn't mean you're about to be accused of fraud.

    Just be up front and see what, if anything, happens next.

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @karen50
    Are the savings yours or your sons? If it is your son's, could you transfer them into a savings account for him?

    I dont have any particular knowledge on this but you could call the Scope helpline and ask them for some information on 0808 800 3333
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Neil2017Neil2017 Member Posts: 157 Courageous
    Hello @karen50
    i believe the savings limit is more like 16000, but there may be tapers in what you can claim in ESA and/or Housing Benefits in which you might receive less in payments. I know PIP would not be affected as it is non taxable and paid wether you are in work or out of work and whatever your earning/ (or the person it is for) as long as the disability does not change.

    As for your PIP payments, if you have documentary evidence that you are the Apointee of your sons money I would guess it would be a good idea to show that if asked to show evidence.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,924 Disability Gamechanger
    Capital limits vary with the benefits and the claimants age but under £6,000 is irrelevant regardless and capital is irrelevant to PIP anyway.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi karen50 - there are quite a lot of issues which need untangling here, and the close connection between your benefits and your son's PIP payments might be the reason for the Compliance interview. I think it would be a good idea going forward to set up an account for your money, and one for his, so that DWP can see clearly what is going on. This clarity will be even more important once your son is an adult, and it would be a good idea as Sam says above to call the Scope helpline to discuss issues around who has control of your son's money. You could be an appointee for his benefits (which you may well be already), or you may want him to be responsible for his own finances, but it needs to be resolved before he is 18. 
    As far as the capital rules are concerned, as has been pointed out above, capital is irrelevant for PIP, and for the contribution based version of ESA. If you get the income-related (means tested) version of ESA, then any capital you have under £6000 is disregarded. As soon as your capital exceeds £6,000, then your ESA will be reduced by £1 a week for every £250 chunk of capital you have over £6,000. As long as you retain some income-related ESA, then your entitlement to maximum HB will not be affected. If the savings are in your sole account, then everything could in theory be treated as belonging to you, despite your arrangements for having his PIP paid in to your account and then you paying it back out again. This is why it may be best to start separating out your benefits and his, as then it will be so much easier to see what's going on, and for you to be able to explain to the DWP how you are handling your son's money. 
    Get back to us after your compliance interview if you need further steerage, and I hope this helps.

    Jayne
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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