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Selling home then buying using inheritance on benefits

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Selling home then buying using inheritance on benefits

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
5 replies 826 views
AQFromMeAQFromMe
3 posts
Forumite
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
Hi,
I'm on ESA and DLA.
I own my own 2nd floor flat outright. It doesn't have a lift and I anticipate difficulties moving forwards with access.

I am due a relatively modest inheritance (10s of k).
I will lose ESA but not DLA I believe ( not means tested) so I wondered if I could sell and put inheritance with it to buying another property ( it'd likely be more £ for better access etc). If I dont it will go in a few years of living expenses and Ill be stuck.

Can I do so without losing my ESA or will they say I should have used the inheritance to live on?

If I keep my ESA, how long do I have to sell then buy before losing it

Thanks in advance.

NB there is a similar thread from 2016 but would like confirmation of current regs.

Replies

  • calcotticalcotti
    4.7K posts
    Forumite
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    If you sell your flat the proceeds of the sale can be disregarded for 6 months if you are seeking to buy another property.

    However when you inherit the money, if this takes you over £16,000, your ESA entitlement will end. I don't think you can avoid this.

    It's worth checking whether your ESA is entirely income based (means tested) or whether i is contribution based (not means tested) with an income based top up. That will depend on your situation when you first claimed ESA and your history since. If it is a mix then the contribution based part would continue to be paid.

    If your ESA does end completely you will not be able to go back onto ESA when your capital drops but will have to claim UC instead.

    However although the inheritance may end your ESA you could then use some of it to top up your sale proceeds in the way you wish. There is a risk that this would be treated as deprivation of capital in which case you would be treated as still having the money. However to be deprivation of capital the desire to increase benefit entitlement has to be part of the reason for spending the money. In your case you have a clear practical reason for needed to spend money to help address a concern about your ability to manage in the future due to a health condition/disability. You could ask the DWP to give you a ruling in advance of how they would treat this - but it's not easy to get them to do this.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Thanks for your detailed reply.

    Ah, I didn't realise CB ESA wasn't means tested. That is a big deal for me as I wont have a gun to my head to move (until I'm reapraissed anyway which may change everything :( )
    And then I can partially invest my inheritance to boost my income/capital in the meantime.

    I was one of those who got the backdated ESA(IR) top up last year.

    Does that mean the original amount is CB ( pre top-up)?

    Are you familiar with the ESA review statement? It's not 100% clear to me if I'm still on some CB or its all IR now

    (I am in the support group, so any CB wont be time limited - correct?)

    Col A in the statement is my CB amount which I will keep being paid indefinitely.
    Col B in the statement is an IR "top up" which I will lose as my inheritance (almost certainly) will take my "savings" well over 16k.

    Is that correct?

    Also, in that case, the "deprivation of capital" rule wont apply as I wont have any means tested benefit? ( though, as you acknowledge, I do have to move eventually to safeguard against deteriorating mobility).

    Thanks in advance
  • calcotticalcotti
    4.7K posts
    Forumite
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    If you are unclear ring DWP for confirmation that your award is CB plus IB. From what you have said that does sound to be the case. If so even if your savings go over £16000 you will continue to receive CB ESA of £111.65/week. When your savings fall below £16,000 you will be able to ask to be reassessed for IB ESA top up again - but may have to explain how your savings have been spent.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • AQFromMeAQFromMe
    3 posts
    Forumite
    Thanks.

    Yes, I'll do that as and when I get it and declare it.

    I wanted a heads-up which you've given

    As a quick follow up, can they retrospectively take money off me due to me anticipating I am due for some sort of inheritance - even though I don't know how much or when I'll actually get it.
    (Relative died intestate).
  • calcotticalcotti
    4.7K posts
    Forumite
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    AQFromMe wrote: »
    Thanks.

    Yes, I'll do that as and when I get it and declare it.

    I wanted a heads-up which you've given

    As a quick follow up, can they retrospectively take money off me due to me anticipating I am due for some sort of inheritance - even though I don't know how much or when I'll actually get it.
    (Relative died intestate).


    If you don't have access to the money it can't be taken into account.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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