A letter saying he never should have received ESA? — Scope | Disability forum
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A letter saying he never should have received ESA?

rhubarb
rhubarb Member Posts: 7 Listener
Hi everyone, I've joined the group to try to get advice for my husband. He has been receiving various benefits since he had to leave work after being injured by a car in the late 1990s, when he was aged 46.  He received about £250,000 compensation from the driver's insurer at the time so has never been entitled to means tested benefits.  I've lost track of the names of all these different benefits, but today he's received a letter saying he shouldn't have been receiving ESA (for several years) because he has over £16,000 savings.  He has never hidden his savings so we don't understand what's going on. Can anyone advise us please?  

Comments

  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @rhubarb, and a warm welcome to the community!

    I'm sorry to hear about this uncertainty you and your husband are dealing with. We have some experienced and knowledgeable members here on the community, so hopefully you'll have some responses to this soon.
  • rhubarb
    rhubarb Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you very much Pippa. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Sounds like to me that he could have been receiving Contributions based ESA with an income related top up.

    Do you work? do you claim ESA as a couple? It's always extremely difficult to give advice like this on an internet forum because no one here knows all of your circumstances.
  • rhubarb
    rhubarb Member Posts: 7 Listener
    No, just kept in savings/bonds. Actually I think the letter he's received is a standard one as part of the reviews of ESA that are taking place.  I think (hope) it is saying "you aren't entitled to it so you didn't get it". Fingers crossed. I will phone them on Monday. Thank you for your interest.
  • rhubarb
    rhubarb Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks, Poppy, I think you're right and that he was just receiving contributions based ESA.  Thanks so much Poppy and Mike, for comments which have helped me to know what to check out. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    If he's been receiving Contributions based with an Income related top up then the income related top up is means tested. Savings/capital over £16,000 means he's not entitled to any means tested benefits such as ESA, housing benefit and council tax reduction.

    How much ESA does he receive per week? Does he claim housing benefit?
  • rhubarb
    rhubarb Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi Poppy, I don't know how much it was, but he reached retirement age in 2015 and everything changed then. He's never asked for any means tested benefits so I don't think he's been receiving any - I think it is just a poorly worded letter. We're home owners but we do get a council tax band reduction because of adaptations we had to make to our house. Thanks so much for your interest - fingers crossed that I can confirm this with them on Monday :) Happy Christmas.
  • rhubarb
    rhubarb Member Posts: 7 Listener
    I don't know what a discretionary trust is Mike, but it was his choice to buy ethical bonds with the money and gradually move some of it into ISAs over the years. Seems to have served him well for the last 20 years, so I think he's quite happy with that choice, though recent events have resulted in some losses.  His injury was a terrible misfortune, but we're lucky to have a home and not to be struggling financially like so many people are. 
  • rhubarb
    rhubarb Member Posts: 7 Listener
    What a shame that he wasn't given that advice.  The compensation received didn't cover 20 years loss of earnings and work-based pension, let alone the associated costs of becoming disabled.  But we have been lucky in many ways, so will be glad of that. Thank you Mike, too late for us, but good information for anyone who is unlucky enough to find themselves in similar circumstances. 

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