Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024


Under guidance from the Electoral Commission and Charity Commission, it's important that Scope remains politically neutral during General Elections.

While we understand that this period will see many passionate discussions and do not want to discourage open discussion, we cannot allow discussions which are purely intended to influence voting.

As ever, please make sure that your comments remain respectful of other people's opinions and keep to our online community house rules.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Income related ESA has been reduced due to my parents helping me pay my rent - help!!!

Options
lottiekins
lottiekins Community member Posts: 7 Connected
Hi guys,

I had to go through a random spot check from the DWP relating to my ESA, and as the guy went through my bank statements, he picked up on a chunk of money from my parents (£220 each month). He asked if it was a regular payment, and I was honest and said yes, and that it covers the extra rent amount that my housing benefit doesn't.

I have since received a letter from the ESA department reducing my benefit by £60 per week - completely negating the amount coming in from my parents, and I will now be unable to cover the rent.

What do I do?! Obviously my parents aren't happy continuing to financially help me if its not going to make a difference (my dad is now retired so they are far from wealthy) - and I am literally going to be unable to meet my rent costs.

I know I will need to call and change my circumstances to tell them that my parents will no longer be able to give me a regular amount of money due to him retiring, but it will then still leave me in a position where I am over £200 short each month for rent.

Is there a way to get around this? The person visiting told me it would have been fine if I was given one off 'gifts' or irregular 'gifts' but because it was coming into my account each month it counts as income.

I should also add I am totally baffled when in theory I could earn more then £60 without it affecting my benefits - yet im being penalised because my parents are toping up for my rent rather then getting it via work. This whole system makes no sense.

All advice and help on this would be massively appreciated!!

Many thanks,
Charlotte

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,115 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Hi,

    Yes, gifts such as money are not classed as income BUT if the money is received regularly into your bank account then it could be classed as income and this is what's happened here. What you should have done was ask your parents to pay your landlord directly and then it wouldn't have been classed as income because it wouldn't have entered your bank. They could still do this and then you won't receive any reduction in your ESA.

    That's rather a large shortfall of rent you have there. Are you under 35 without a DLA or PIP award so can only claim for the share rate of local housing allowance? It's possible you could claim for a discretionary housing payment to help with the shortfall of rent but it's not guaranteed that you'll get this and if you do, it's only paid for a short period of time and then you have to reapply. See link. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,386 Scope online community team
    Options
    Hi @lottiekins. This must be really worrying. I'd recommend looking into a DHP like Poppy suggested and get in touch with ESA to let them know you won't be receiving the money any more.
    If you can answer the questions regarding PIP and whether you're under 35 we could get a better understanding of your situation. 
    Community Manager
    Scope
Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.