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  • FIRST POST
    • jadc007
    • By jadc007 12th Jul 17, 11:58 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    jadc007
    benefits & winning money
    • #1
    • 12th Jul 17, 11:58 AM
    benefits & winning money 12th Jul 17 at 11:58 AM
    Hi All,

    Just need some advice as it is stressing the hell out of me and ill try and make it simple as possible with the situation.

    This advice is for my mother who is on EESA? basically she earns X amount a fortnight and gets her rent paid monthly, she has suffered back pain and injury for many years now and is unable to work. december last year she luckily one on a game online £19,000 which when I heard made me so Happy as it was something I did not have to worry about as Im over 100 miles away because it was something i would help out with money when i could for food and etc.

    She did not declare the winnings to the social due to not knowing she had too and she put the money into my account for safe keeping and I fed her the money whenever she needed it because she admits she useless with money and I am good with that sort of thing. Now the social have investigated her because obviously she had a huge amount of money go in including her benefit from march 2016 - march 2017.

    She is on anti-depressants and after the phone interview 3 days ago she feels like shes having panic attacks.

    What is the worse that could happen and what is the best thing that can be done? will her benefits stop from now on? will she have to pay back any money ? she does not have any of the money left due to a passing in the family (paying for funerals) and helping out family.

    hope anyone can give some initial advice anyway would greatly appreciate it.

    Jack.
Page 2
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 12th Jul 17, 7:38 PM
    • 835 Posts
    • 1,559 Thanks
    tomtom256
    Also they may treat her as still having the money.

    As the DWP have a formula they use to see how long it should last. And spending £19K in 12 months is not allowed.

    You mum needs to be honest and truthful with them. And get on to the family members she helped. And explain she needs the money back asap.

    Yours

    Calley
    Originally posted by calleyw
    To be fair £19k in a year is a feasible amount to be spent in a year when you look at what they class as the average yearly wage and normal outgoings of a working person.

    It appears that it's a compliance case from the telephone call?

    Basically they will pass on what your mother has stated to a DM who will now decide what period the benefits need to be stopped for and if they are happy with the excuse given for the hiding of and expenditure of said win.

    They may also ask for bank statements and confirmation of who and where the money went before passing it to a DM to speed up the process, if this has not already been done.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Jul 17, 7:41 PM
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    marliepanda
    To be fair £19k in a year is a feasible amount to be spent in a year when you look at what they class as the average yearly wage and normal outgoings of a working person.

    It appears that it's a compliance case from the telephone call?

    Basically they will pass on what your mother has stated to a DM who will now decide what period the benefits need to be stopped for and if they are happy with the excuse given for the hiding of and expenditure of said win.

    They may also ask for bank statements and confirmation of who and where the money went before passing it to a DM to speed up the process, if this has not already been done.
    Originally posted by tomtom256
    But it's not 19k in a year (or slightly less) it's £19k plus housing benefit and ESA.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 12th Jul 17, 7:47 PM
    • 1,288 Posts
    • 1,406 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    It's quite possible that the DWP may decide to apply the "notional capital" principle.
    http://safeadvice.org.uk/main/notcap.php
    In effect the DWP will assume she still has this money, so her ESA payments will stop as it is assumed she has notional capital of over £16k. She will also be asked to repay all ESA income-based payments since December.
    The DWP will reduce this notional capital by the weekly amount of ESA. Once it is reduced to £16k some ESA payments will restart. However these will be reduced by assumed tariff income from these assumed savings. Only when the notional capital is down to £6k can her ESA payments resume in full (subject to WCA assessment).
    It will take some time to get down to this level of notional income.

    If she is in receipt of Housing Benefit, a similar process will be applied by her local authority.
    (Also for Council Tax reduction).

    Your mother is right to be worried. Although she will not go to jail, she may well be subject to a criminal prosecution. More importantly her ESA, HB, and any other means tested payments are likely to be stopped for quite some time. How will she support herself?

    Can she recover the money given to family members?
    Can family members support her financially (i.e step in, in place of the state) for the next year or so?
    If not, can she come and live with you (as she may accrue rent arrears when HB is withdrawn)?
    She may have to reconsider her ability to work, as no income will be forthcoming from the state until this runs its course.

    As others have said depositing the money with you, for you then to feed it back to her will appear very suspicious to the fraud investigators. They will be much less likely to believe that the money has been given to family members, and much more likely to apply the notional capital rule.

    Your mother is, I'm afraid, in for a very difficult time. She will need all the support she can get from her family. Have you savings you could use to support her?

    She would be advised to get legal advice before the fraud hearing.
    http://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-deal-interview-under-caution

    And get advice on her dire benefits situation.
    • calleyw
    • By calleyw 12th Jul 17, 8:05 PM
    • 8,631 Posts
    • 15,504 Thanks
    calleyw
    To be fair £19k in a year is a feasible amount to be spent in a year when you look at what they class as the average yearly wage and normal outgoings of a working person.
    Originally posted by tomtom256
    I have never earned 19K in a year. And still had to pay a mortgage and all bills associated with a house. Run a car and pay for all my prescriptions etc.

    £19k is a lot of money and don't forget that it was tax free as well. So to spend £1583 a month is a lot of money for a single person who does not work. And getting their rent and council tax paid. As well as free prescriptions and free dental work.

    As I said before the OP's mother needs to get on to the family members who she has given money to and tell them she needs it back. And the reasons why.

    Yours

    Calley
    Hope for everything and expect nothing!!!

    Good enough is almost always good enough -Prof Barry Schwartz

    If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try -Seth Godin
    • w06
    • By w06 12th Jul 17, 8:05 PM
    • 267 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    w06
    Hi All,
    I fed her the money whenever she needed it because she admits she useless with money and I am good with that sort of thing
    Originally posted by jadc007
    you may need to review that in light of 19k plus benefits in ?7 months

    as Alice says it's likely the next months/years may be very very tight as a result, because it's likely she'll be presumed to still have the money
    • dippy3103
    • By dippy3103 12th Jul 17, 8:35 PM
    • 1,705 Posts
    • 2,562 Thanks
    dippy3103
    I don't think that is an 'offence'.

    It's only the person who claims the benefit who has broken the law if they haven't declared everything.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    It's an offence to knowingly allow, cause or permit another person to fail to report a change in circumstances.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Jul 17, 8:42 PM
    • 4,587 Posts
    • 9,210 Thanks
    marliepanda
    I think its unlikely the OP will get dragged into the investigation.

    However, the likelyhood theyll accept at face value her being the guardian of it, and also it being given to other family members as 'gifts' is highly highly unlikely.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 12th Jul 17, 8:53 PM
    • 4,676 Posts
    • 6,619 Thanks
    deannatrois
    In your position I'd not promise her that 'anything' can't happen. Of course it can. She's not a child, neither are you her mother. But its not likely that she will go to prison. Unfortunately, Fraud Investigators will probably frighten her to get the truth. She will need support in any meetings that are booked.

    What you can talk to her about is how she is going to cope. She can cope but she will have to make a budget and keep to it, for the first time in her life possibly. That is a gain. That is something she has control over. She can't control what the fraud investigators will decide. She can prepare. That might help but it is up to her to a degree.

    I'd advise her to go to her GP and ask for counselling (a lot of GP services do short term counselling).

    You could also try to get help from any charity that supports those with whatever condition she has. MIND might help also.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 12th Jul 17, 9:02 PM
    • 27,977 Posts
    • 71,129 Thanks
    Mojisola
    She did not declare the winnings to the social due to not knowing she had too
    Originally posted by jadc007
    It's an offence to knowingly allow, cause or permit another person to fail to report a change in circumstances.
    Originally posted by dippy3103
    How could anyone prove that the OP knew she was supposed to report the increase in capital?
    • Housing Benefit Officer
    • By Housing Benefit Officer 12th Jul 17, 9:10 PM
    • 2,321 Posts
    • 4,166 Thanks
    Housing Benefit Officer
    They will apply the Diminution of capital rules and assume she still has the money until the assumed level then means she once again qualifies for help.
    These are my own views and you should seek advice from your local Benefits Department or CAB.
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 12th Jul 17, 9:11 PM
    • 835 Posts
    • 1,559 Thanks
    tomtom256
    But it's not 19k in a year (or slightly less) it's £19k plus housing benefit and ESA.
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    Yes but they don't include the benefit they received as income for the period as that will have to be paid back.

    They will just take the £19k minus the overpaid benefits and then decide if it was feasible to be spend whatever is left in x amount of time, based on rent, normal bills, holiday etc.

    Its all in the Decision Makers Guide somewhere if you want to read it.
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 12th Jul 17, 9:13 PM
    • 1,266 Posts
    • 2,398 Thanks
    Cheeky_Monkey
    I don't think anyone on this forum can state that the OP's mother will not go to prison. Although highly unlikely, if prosecuted and found guilty, it is an option available to the judge/magistrate.
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 12th Jul 17, 9:15 PM
    • 1,266 Posts
    • 2,398 Thanks
    Cheeky_Monkey
    Also, she only won the money in December and we're not even half way through July yet so the time frame is approximately six and a half months!
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Jul 17, 9:19 PM
    • 4,587 Posts
    • 9,210 Thanks
    marliepanda
    Yes but they don't include the benefit they received as income for the period as that will have to be paid back.

    They will just take the £19k minus the overpaid benefits and then decide if it was feasible to be spend whatever is left in x amount of time, based on rent, normal bills, holiday etc.

    Its all in the Decision Makers Guide somewhere if you want to read it.
    Originally posted by tomtom256
    ??

    You were saying it's normal to spend that in a year. I was saying it wasn't 'just' 19k and therefore IMO not normal spending. I never said they'd include it in calculations..
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 12th Jul 17, 9:31 PM
    • 27,977 Posts
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    Mojisola
    she does not have any of the money left due to a passing in the family (paying for funerals) and helping out family.
    Originally posted by jadc007
    Also, she only won the money in December and we're not even half way through July yet so the time frame is approximately six and a half months!
    Originally posted by Cheeky_Monkey
    It doesn't sound as if she spend it all on herself.
    • Ostrava
    • By Ostrava 12th Jul 17, 9:32 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Ostrava
    Now the social have investigated her because obviously she had a huge amount of money go in including her benefit from march 2016 - march 2017.
    Originally posted by jadc007
    How would the DWP have known how much was in her bank account?
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Jul 17, 9:38 PM
    • 4,587 Posts
    • 9,210 Thanks
    marliepanda
    How would the DWP have known how much was in her bank account?
    Originally posted by Ostrava
    Not this again.

    If the DWP suspect fraud they can look at your bank account. There was fraud going on.

    This could be from reports from the public. A review of bank statements from the DWP or council for her benefit awards. Maybe the place she won it from reports such windfalls to HMRC for some tax reason. It could have been a random compliance check.

    The op says her mum didn't know she had to declare as she 'won' it, so she won't have been hiding it! It'll have been easy to see.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Ostrava
    • By Ostrava 12th Jul 17, 10:30 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Ostrava
    What do you mean, not this again? Sorry if I asked a frequent question, I don't spend much time here. Do the DWP occasionally request bank statements as a matter of course or does there have to be some suspicion? Just never heard about it before, that's all.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Jul 17, 10:37 PM
    • 4,587 Posts
    • 9,210 Thanks
    marliepanda
    There was a recent thread with 'buy why, but how, but when' and the answer was never accepted.

    Yes the DWP can do checks, these can be random, or sometimes they are tipped off in various ways. At my council we have someone employed to just do compliance reviews and to work with the DWP on reports from them. At the end of the day after the initial claim everything is based on trust and honesty, and some people are not, therefore there are many different ways that the DWP can find out about undeclared capital.

    HMRC, DWP and councils (and probably other things too) all have reciprocal agreements to share information. If one finds out, they all find out.

    If they couldn't, everyone would just hide it.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 12th Jul 17, 10:37 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 4,110 Thanks
    Penitent
    What do you mean, not this again? Sorry if I asked a frequent question, I don't spend much time here. Do the DWP occasionally request bank statements as a matter of course or does there have to be some suspicion? Just never heard about it before, that's all.
    Originally posted by Ostrava
    To save folk going through everything again:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5677212&page=2
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