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Questions associated with moving while on ESA and PIP; costs of repairs etc on my new property

LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
edited May 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi all, If all goes well I will be moving in just over a fortnight. I need a good bed, replacement carpet, Blinds and/or curtains and new boiler as current one on my home-to-be is 25 years old. Oh and a repair to the conservatory roof and minor damp work in the loo. In fact my wiring is old though currently sound ( pardon currently pun) and should probably be renewed in a couple of years too, according to advice received.

How can I cover these expenses from the proceeds of my sale ( I will have a surplus above the 6k allowed) in a way which is acceptable to the DWP? I spoke to an advisor a while ago and she said, buy essentials and just keep receipts. That advice feels slightly unspecific and I want to know how and whether I can get that in writing from them and if so where to go, which department and number, for this. I can't be left with debts. The way one is treated by DWP doesn't encourage trust in general ( think PIP assessments). What standard of carpet am I allowed/ Is it up to me what I buy? Hardwearing stuff comes at a cost...I know my plumber would do a report for me on the boiler..

Perhaps there is something in DWP official rules to protect me which I can quote should they challenge me and try to take my money ( above the 6,000)? Thanks so much! I am extremely busy due to all the stuff which goes with moving. I am thinking to get more paid help to move to ease some of the stress but I need to see exchange of contracts before I spend out and will have a very small window in which to complete and move once this happens which I believe it will. I am on income based DWP and PIP.

Replies

  • Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Welcome to the community @Lilegg how are you doing today? I'm not sure about this, have you been in touch with your local CAB for advice?

    Our members may be able to answer your questions on this soon. 
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    I haven't and that could be a good idea. Time is short as we could exchange contracts tomorrow (if things go well) and then I'd have a fortnight to move in and begin to get work done. I am not sure how quickly the DWP need to be told I have moved and how soon they will need receipts. I would want to tell them after a day or two and only after I have booked and paid for at least carpet fitting and new boiler and got quotes for repairs to be done. Does this make sense to you Antonia. Nice to meet you!! I am stressed!
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Now I think of it I did ask CAB ages ago when I first knew i needed to move and was asking them about it along with how to get my PIP entitlement returned to me (which we did at MRN though not full amount). They had lots else to do for me at the time with this PIP as I say but said it was unclear what DWP would allow and was at DWP discretion. Therefore I could buy the boiler I need and if they don't agree on receiving my receipts find myself  losing out considerably. A tricky one... Rules are very vague about entitlement to travel cards too. When mine was withdrawn they said that theoretically I could drive myself to medical appointments and that not owning a car or having a driver's licence was not the criteria! I could pretend I couldn't drive they told me and anyone could, to defraud the govt. I got mine back eventually at third attempt and think taking a friend with me as witness helped me. I really want to s criteria and not to be forced to use my savings to pay if they don't stump up. posting now to avoid time out..
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Have you talked to CAB? I also recommend contacting the DWP in the morning to find out. Good luck with your move. 
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Thank you April! will try DWP yes and CAB I have contacted (left a message) but will back it up with an email.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    As soon as the money goes into your bank you need to report those changes to DWP, if you claim Income Related ESA. Over £6,000 affects means tested benefits £1 for every £250 over that amount.

    If the money is £16,000 and over then all means tested benefits stop. Of course you are allowed to buy some things and it won’t be deprivation of capital but you do need to report the changes when the money goes into your bank.
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Thanks Poppy. I will do this and will even have my assistant remind me on completion day. So much will be happening then! Do I need to put it in writing recorded or registered delivery, as well as calling?Think I might. Very tired today... It will all be worth it when I move. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,001 Disability Gamechanger
    One issue at a time then. 

    1 - the £6,000 is the lower capital limit not the upper. Your means-tested ESA would not ordinarily stop if your capital rose above £6,000. You would be treated as having £1 income for every £250 or part of £250 you have above £6,000. So £6,001 gives you additional income of £1 pw. £6,249 is also £1. £6,251 is £2. So, your ESA would only drop by an equivalent amount of income. If you have £9,999 you are treated as having £12 income pw and lose that much off your ESA.

    Your MT ESA only ceases if your capital is above £16,000.

    2 - spend first and foremost on essential items. You cannot do without bed, curtains or carpet. Also ensure you have adequate insurance and no draughty or infestations. You will need a working heating system but the boiler replacement is likely non-essential in the middle of May especially if it’s still working fine regardless of it’s age. That will only be different if for example you need the heating on now because of your health and it’s not up to the job. The fact it’s old is neither here nor there. What matters is if it’s working and the risk of not being able to replace key parts. Mine is 17 years old; gets serviced once a year (after which it always breaks down) and after BG gave up trying to get me to spend on a condenser I managed to get an independent assessment which showed that a condenser was more expensive and after 5 years would be no more efficient than my current device. 

    Ditto wiring. Get a certified electrician. There’s nothing which will need replacing in a couple of years. It’s either compliant now and can be certified or it’s not and needs work doing now. There’s nothing in between to the best of my knowledge. I note your concern that DWP has been non-specific but it sounds to me like rest of your advice is being fudged too. 

    3 - You will not get any advice in writing from DWP for multiple reasons:
    a - their whole letter writing mechanism is automated. It’s only at a much higher level such as after making a complaint will you get something with human input.
    b - the letters with human input do not come from decision makers. The people sending out such letters can’t offer advice which implied that if x happens then the decision will be y as that will appear to oblige a decision maker down the line to make that decision. However, legally only the DM can make such a decision and only based on the facts as of the date they’re asked to look at it rather than based on some discussion by letter a few weeks or months earlier.
    c - each case has to be judged on its own merits. There is no one size fits all and every case is different.
    d - there simply isn’t the knowledge at a local level to write such a letter. Staff don't know the law (most offices no longer hold copies) and base their actions on guidance which is often misleading, incomplete or inaccurate. In other words their advice is worthless.

    4 - there is no “rule” about receipts. It makes sense to some extent but only in as much as it shows what the money was spent on. That’s not actually the issue here but in any case what you spent the money on should be demonstrable through bank statements; guarantees and the like.

    5 - the issue is solely whether the disposal of the capital was in order to get, keep or increase benefit. Getting benefit doesn’t have to be the only or main reason for disposing of the capital. It just needs to be a “significant operative purpose”. DWP can’t show this unless they can prove you knew the capital limits; it was non-essential expenditure and so on. 

    Your problem theoretically might be that you’re on a public forum and have just learnt about the impact of capital. Were DWP to come across this and identify you (not as hard as you think nowadays) then they could put it into evidence. The counter argument is that you clearly posted that you have some ideas about what you need to spend the money on at a point when you also didn’t clearly know the impact of having/spending the money. I doubt you’d spend the money differently having been on here other than to perhaps spend less of it so you should be fine.

    The key then is to spend on those things you have no choice to spend on and see where that leaves you. There is nothing else you can do. 



  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Thank you for this advice which has made things much clearer for me! I will do as you suggest. It all hits the mark for me and I hope may help others too.
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