ESA support group and savings

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Hi everyone, I hope someone might be able to help with this.
I have been receiving ESA on a contributory basis for a year after an operation and cancer treatment. I have now been put into the support group and I'm wondering if this is means tested. ie I have received some money after a relative's death and I don't know whether I need to declare this or not.
I've been looking really hard on the internet and I can't find any specific information and advice on this point apart from the fact that if you receive income-related ESA then you have to declare savings. Mine is the support group based on my contributory record which seems to be different. However, I am receiving a small pension from work and I do get less support group money as a result.
If anyone can point me to official chapter and verse on this I'd be really grateful as I don't want to end up in trouble because of it.
Thanks very much.

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  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,952 Forumite
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    if you get contributions based ESA, then savings will not be taken into account any pension over £85 a week will reduce ESA costs based by 50% of the amount above £85.
    do you get housing benefit or council tax support?
  • rogerblack
    rogerblack Posts: 9,446 Forumite
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    The above is correct for ESA, and the questions for HB/CTS are still relevant.
    One thing to be aware of is that if you are moved into the work-related group of ESA, you will only be paid this for one year total - for the work-related group and the assessment period. Then you drop into income-related ESA only, and capital would again be relevant.

    Be sure you're not receiving any income-based top-up to your contributory ESA, as that would require you to report capital exceeding the limit.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,585 Forumite
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    If you are unsure about the situation it's advisable to report any changes and let the benefit office make the decision. The documentation does state that all changes should be reported.
    Better to provide information which isn't needed than not to provide information which is.
  • DaisyS
    DaisyS Posts: 13 Forumite
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    Thanks all for your replies. However, I don't understand one thing Roger said: "Be sure you're not receiving any income-based top-up to your contributory ESA, as that would require you to report capital exceeding the limit."

    I don't know what that means I'm afraid. Could you please explain what a top-up is and what is the limit over which I would have to report capital exceeding it? Is there anything I can print out from any government website which explains all these things in detail?
    Thanks
  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,952 Forumite
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    you can receive an 'income based top up' on conts based benefits if you are claiming for a spouse or a partner.
    contributions based claims are for single people ... so if their circumstances are that they have a partner, then the conts based benefit will be topped up to a couples rate with income related benefit.
    so are you claiming for a partner as well or just yourself?

    also an income related top up can be paid if you would be entitled to 'premiums' which are only payable on income based and you have a sufficiently low household income
  • DaisyS
    DaisyS Posts: 13 Forumite
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    Thanks Nannytone. No, that doesn't apply to me. I have been receiving ESA on the contributory basis, as I have a small work pension (I took it early I am only 57) I do not qualify for any benefits other than this contributory ESA.

    I've just read this on the Benefits and Work website: "Other income or savings will not be taken into account, with the exception of any occupational or personal pension you receive. This may reduce how much contribution-based ESA you are entitled to."

    Unfortunately they don't have any email address for people to contact them. I've just phoned the DWP and after choosing various options the call was ended without me being able to speak to anyone. Is there an email address for the DWP or how would I contact them about this issue. Despite what I've read about other income / savings (apart from a pension) being taken into account I'm very worried about this.
    Thank you
  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,952 Forumite
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    you are be3ing given the correct information here.
    only your private pension above £85 a week has any bearing on your contributions based ESA claim.
    if you receive housing benefit or council tax support, they will be affected both by your pension and by any savings over 6k
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,585 Forumite
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    ESA don't have an e-mail address. DWP don't consider e-mail to be a secure method of communication.
  • [Deleted User]
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    if you can't get thru in a phone call then write to them
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