Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Outside income separate from ESA. HELP!!!

dmkuk81dmkuk81 Member Posts: 5 Connected
Hi everyone. I have a bit of a complicated situation and I don't know what to make of it. I'm so worried and I'm losing sleep over it. 

It's to do with outside income of ESA and my rent. I live with my brother and the tenancy is in my name (he's not on the tenancy agreement, long story after my parents died) so the rent is fully my responsibility and If it doesn't get paid, the buck stops with me and the council come after me!! Me and my brother pay half the rent each month. I pay the full rent to the council using my bank card and my brother gives me his half of the rent in cash. I then put his half of the cash into my bank account. I've never even thought for one second until it literally just popped into my head a few days ago (I have no idea why), but I thought, I know I'm innocently putting my brothers half of his rent into my bank account every month and I'm not trying to be sneaky and keep the cash at home under my mattress or whatever and I'm putting it into my bank account... Every year we get that letter (normally in January) to send in our latest bank statements to show what money we have in our bank account and I even put a little note in with it explaining the lump sum of 200-300 etc is my brothers half of that particular months rent and they've never said anything to me so... I'm just wondering if it's classed as outside income? It's my responsibility to pay the rent and I've done it innocently enough for years. Maybe I'm worried because it's that time of the year when we have to send our latest bank statements to the dwp and that's probably why the thought popped into my head. Sorry for the long story. 

Thank you. 


Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,819 Disability Gamechanger
    hi @dmkuk81 and welcome to scope nice to meet you. i must admit i was IR ESA for a few years and they never asked once to see my bank statements, my instict tell me that as long as your savings stay below £6.000 you won't have a problem, but of course the easy way would be for him to give you the money in cash (and no before anybody says anything i'm not suggesting fraud).
    However if it's been ok in the past no reason why it shouldn't be in the future.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • dmkuk81dmkuk81 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    edited January 23
    Thanks for the reply. I've been on ESA for years and every January I normally get asked for a latest bank statement and i simply take it to my local job centre and hand it over and let them photo copy etc and then I won't hear from them until the following January. I have under 6000 in savings. I understand what you are saying and I know you're not suggesting fraud lol but I want to stay on the straight and narrow cos if I ever get taken off my benefits for trying to be sneaky, I'm (Removed by moderator, profanity), so I'm on my best behaviour.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,332 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome 

    I don't know how they could say it is income as you pay it into your bank as cash there would be no reference to it being earnings 

    If it has been ok before there shouldn't be a problem 

    Do you keep a rent book for your brothers payments to you maybe that would be a good record to keep 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,236

    Scope community team

    Hello @dmkuk81

    Welcome to the community, how are you today? 

    I have to say I've never heard of the DWP requesting bank statements from ESA claimants either, but I suppose it may be something they do with people at random? 

    Either way, if you've included that note and been honest about it in the past then it should hopefully be fine. If they've not raised it as a concern so far then I imagine it must be okay.

    I have moved your discussion to our Employment and Support Allowance category.
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  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,268 Disability Gamechanger
    I've been on ESA for 5 years now and never been asked for bank statements since the initial assessment.

    In fact, I was just slightly over the £6k when I started, so have been losing a pound a week ever since despite my savings dropping, as I simply couldn't be bothered with the hassle of telling them it had dropped!

    As others have said, if it's been going on for years and not queried then it's probably fine.
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 839 Pioneering
    The DWP have a compliance team that often requests information such as bank statements if something is flagged up, but this isn’t something they would ask you to do on a regular basis. Not sure why you get asked for them annually. 
  • dmkuk81dmkuk81 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    I think I know why. When my parents passed away, I received some money and I didn't declare it. I didn't know I had to and I wasn't trying to be sneaky, I had literally just signed up to ESA and then about 6 months later I received some inheritance when my mum and dad died. I didn't realise I had to declare it because I'm not the sharpest tool in the box lol and I didn't realise how ESA worked with what you can and can't have. I had an interview with the compliance team at my local job centre and I was found not guilty of benefit fraud and they took no further action. I presume I have to send In a latest bank statement every year just to make sure I'm sticking to what was agreed in the interview i had 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,236

    Scope community team

    dmkuk81 said:
    I think I know why. When my parents passed away, I received some money and I didn't declare it. I didn't know I had to and I wasn't trying to be sneaky, I had literally just signed up to ESA and then about 6 months later I received some inheritance when my mum and dad died. I didn't realise I had to declare it because I'm not the sharpest tool in the box lol and I didn't realise how ESA worked with what you can and can't have. I had an interview with the compliance team at my local job centre and I was found not guilty of benefit fraud and they took no further action. I presume I have to send In a latest bank statement every year just to make sure I'm sticking to what was agreed in the interview i had 
    Ah right, thanks for the explanation.
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  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 839 Pioneering
    dmkuk81 said:
    I think I know why. When my parents passed away, I received some money and I didn't declare it. I didn't know I had to and I wasn't trying to be sneaky, I had literally just signed up to ESA and then about 6 months later I received some inheritance when my mum and dad died. I didn't realise I had to declare it because I'm not the sharpest tool in the box lol and I didn't realise how ESA worked with what you can and can't have. I had an interview with the compliance team at my local job centre and I was found not guilty of benefit fraud and they took no further action. I presume I have to send In a latest bank statement every year just to make sure I'm sticking to what was agreed in the interview i had 
    That makes a lot of sense. 


  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,819 Disability Gamechanger
    I've been on ESA for 5 years now and never been asked for bank statements since the initial assessment.

    In fact, I was just slightly over the £6k when I started, so have been losing a pound a week ever since despite my savings dropping, as I simply couldn't be bothered with the hassle of telling them it had dropped!

    As others have said, if it's been going on for years and not queried then it's probably fine.
    it would be simple to do and worth £50 a year.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • dmkuk81dmkuk81 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    For some reason I can't personally comment to people now, so I'll just write to everyone here. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'll just leave a note with my latest bank statement explaining the rent situation like every other year and that way it gives me piece of mind to show them I'm being up front like I always have been. They never say anything normally, but the moment I don't notify them, sods law will tell me they'll bring it up lol. Thank you again for everyone's feedback 🙂

  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,268 Disability Gamechanger
    woodbine said:
    I've been on ESA for 5 years now and never been asked for bank statements since the initial assessment.

    In fact, I was just slightly over the £6k when I started, so have been losing a pound a week ever since despite my savings dropping, as I simply couldn't be bothered with the hassle of telling them it had dropped!

    As others have said, if it's been going on for years and not queried then it's probably fine.
    it would be simple to do and worth £50 a year.
    That is a fair point and I don't want to take the thread off-topic but I'll give a bit more context there.  I was always worried that it would trigger another assessment or they'd scrutinise the accounts and I'd have to justify where every penny had gone.  Simple enough for people that can use phones I suppose but I have to do everything in writing and find that I get regularly misunderstood causing unnecessary consequences - often wishing I had just left things as they were.  I have also closed and opened new bank accounts which might be seen as dodgy, though it was just to get better interest rates and smartphone apps.

    The extra £50 a year wasn't worth all that potential stress and hassle to me at the time.

    I will have to update my address on ESA when I move, and intend to send in bank statements at the same time, showing my current savings amounts.  However, I'm worried about doing that due to the backpay that I received from PIP, SDP and HB last year.  I know I get 12 months grace to use it...and it should all be used within that 12m period.  But again it's the thought of being investigated and having to try and explain that, plus justify where the money has gone.
  • dmkuk81dmkuk81 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    Exactly! It's the thought of doing something so innocent that makes you worry that's it's a misunderstanding and it looks worse than what it actually is. I worry over the smallest things and that's exactly why I've come here and posted my post for reassurance. Anxiety rules my life. 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,268 Disability Gamechanger
    dmkuk81 said:
    Anxiety rules my life. 
    Mine too.  :(
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,819 Disability Gamechanger
    @OverlyAnxious if its back pay then you won't have to account for where a single penny of it went at the end of the 12 months.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,895 Disability Gamechanger
    In my own experience of being on esa before I moved to universal credit I was asked for bank statements  due to a birthday payment goung into my bank and more recently during my advocacy work my client was asked for bank statements  due to her son moveing into her property 
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