Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Is this overpayment or fraud

I'm making this post on behalf of my cousin.
She is severely mentally impaired and got caught with 22k savings, the reason she saved up this much is because both her parents are terminally ill with cancer and have less than 12 months left to live and she will have to pay funeral costs and other costs when a love one passes on.
She gets ESA and PIP and she wants to know that because she didn't declare savings over 16k is this fraud or overpayment? I'm sure her mental health has played a role in this because she finds it difficult to look after herself and she is classed as severely mentally impaired.
Finally what is likely to happen to the 22k she has, would they take 6k from her right away leaving her with 16k for the limit of esa, would they ask her to pay small amounts each week or could all of this be classed as a exceptional circumstance and she gets let off lightly due to the ill health of both of her parents and being the only child she needs the money for when her parents soon die?
Thanks for any help.


Replies

  • samuelmenkenssamuelmenkens Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hello @wattsmike and a warm welcome to the community. I don't have the answers you are looking for but I am sure there are people here who will be able to advise. Please bear with us and I'll try to get someone back to you. Weekends can be a bit quiet, but I'm sure you'll hear from somebody at the beginning of next week.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    It's both. They won't take £6,000 off her. They will find out how much money she's been over paid, and she will have to repay that back. There maybe a fine on top of the over payment, i have no idea about anything else.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • samuelmenkenssamuelmenkens Member Posts: 5 Listener
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,294 Disability Gamechanger
    Just a thought, as your cousin is going to be responsible for two funerals costs, maybe spending £10,000 on two prepaid funeral plans would have helped or can help lower the capital amounts. I know it’s not a subject people are easy to talk about but we all,have to face it sooner or later.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,001 Disability Gamechanger
    Based on what you’ve posted it is only an overpayment and there are some arguments to suggest it may not be recoverable. 
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