Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Inheritance and ESA

Trying to find the silver lining in an inheritance.

Ok so my uncle passed away, shuffled off his mortal coil, became an ex parrot ...err sorry person. Black humor sorry ( but he loved Monty Python so would be chuckling now I am sure).  He had dementia and had been going for quite a while.  We had done the funeral and all the other really not fun stuff you gotta do when a relative dies. 

I have depression and extreme social anxiety so pretty much bad the whole way through.  My husband has COPD, Diabetes, arthritis and many other issues (including some anxiety too). It has been a challenge is probably the most positive way of putting it.  Today I got a letter from his solicitors with the "super" news I am to inherit £26000.  I have been stressing out ever since.

Currently get IB ESA (awarded to husband but done as a joint claim as I also unable to work), CA (kinda both care for each other but we only get it once), PIP (for myself, husband should receive but lost his temper during telephone assessment and said he would not bother). CTB and HB.  Effectively we "live" on the kindness of the state. 

It was a long stressful journey to get to the stage where we can plan our budget and not have to be filling in forms, waiting in terrifying waiting rooms or forwarding doctor letters and all the rest. Now its all gone upside down and back to front.  As far as I can tell we have to tell DWP and then use the inheritance as though it were our benefit till its gets below £6000 or £16000??  If I were "normal" and could do as I saw fit this money would be exciting.  Instead I am terrified, confused, conflicted and stressed. 
Anyone who has gone through this with words of wisdom or warnings of pitfalls please respond. Thanks hopefully Jen73


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    As you're claiming Income Related ESA as a couple then as soon as the money goes into your bank you'll need to report the changes to DWP and your ESA will stop.

    If you're claim housing benefit and council tax reduction then this will also stop and you will need to report the changes to your local council.

    Your ESA claim should remain open for the main claimant to still receive NI credits towards the state pension so please make sure this happens when you ring them.

    Once the money drops below £16,000 then you'll need to contact DWP and tell them but there will still be a reduction of £1 for every £250 over £6,000, which is £4 for every £1,000.

    Your carers allowance and PIP won't be affected because these are both non means tested and savings/capital don't affect them.
    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.
  • sam12sam12 Posts: 1,338 Member
    Do a trust fund they kant do anything safe in there i was told by lawyer 
  • sam12sam12 Posts: 1,338 Member
    Trust fund ok but draw when u get older in life not means tested esa just keep some spare to ur selr check it out online 
  • sam12sam12 Posts: 1,338 Member
    Actually. My dad had one b4 he died he a
    Had lot to
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    It's not possible to do that i'm afraid. You have to be very careful when claiming a means tested benefit.
    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.
  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 134 Pioneering
    I got legal advice from a benefits lawyer and about setting up a trust fund to try to future proof my life and was told that the money in a trust fund is counted as income unless very specific circumstances such as medical negligence or an accident leaves to totally dependant (think Stephen Hawkins) on others for every aspect of day-to-day functioning or sometimes if the fund is set up to raise money for a specific piece of equipment such as a specialised wheelchair.

    So to answer the original posters question the DWP will expect the couple to live off the inheritance just as they would if they were working until they had almost none of it left. 
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    minefield or what!
    Shame you cant enjoy a windfall.
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