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  • FIRST POST
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 1:05 PM
    • 15Posts
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    lilpenguini
    A little help would be so greatly appreciated (ESA)
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:05 PM
    A little help would be so greatly appreciated (ESA) 12th Apr 18 at 1:05 PM
    Hi guys, apologies for bothering you with a question but I really am in need of a little advice on behalf of my brother. I will keep this as succinct as I can.

    My twin brother and I are 36 years old. He is diagnosed with autism and has accompanying MH problems which at present include severe, crippling depression which makes him suicidal on a daily basis. He lost his full-time job in December after having been there for nearly 7 years and struggled to cope with the constant changes they were making and his MH getting worse and worse.

    He has been on enhanced rate daily living PIP for several years and lives with my mother and father (has never been able to leave home). My mother is his registered carer. After losing his job he applied for ESA and since early December he has been receiving the assessment rate and is yet to be assessed (problems getting a home-assessment but that's another story. He is providing fit notes whenever needed by his GP).
    They have written to him this week to ask for bank statements as when he lost his job in December he received a payout of more than 16,000, but due to a pathological gambling addiction he prompty lost the lot
    So he told them about this on his form and they want to see statements from when he received the settlement money to present date. He has created the statements for me to help him sort this out as both our mother and father currently have cancer (mother - kidney, father - pancreas) so the stress on them at present is insurmountable and my brother being suicidal day by day is being made worse by the ESA process, unfortunately.
    It obviously shows on his statements as having lost this money via gambling and he is embarrassed for me to be sending them in and is saying he wants to abandon his claim.

    The other issue is that my brother is gay and is in a relationship with an older man, who has been helping him pay back some of his payday loans and so there are a couple of large-ish deposits from him in the bank account. My brother is worried this will lead to investigating his BF who has only given this legitimately to help him at this rocky time. Is that likely that they will question those deposits if I put a note explaining these were from a friend to help him out? Either way, he has 1.98 in his bank account and that includes his overdraft of 1000.
    I don't want him to drop his claim but his worry and stress around all of these is also a massive problem....

    ...Any guidance on what they are likely to say about the loss of money through gambling or the deposits from his BF? He doesn't want his BF to get implicated or investigated which is understandable as its invasive but if we put a note on the form to explain, what is likely to happen?

    So grateful if anyone can help or reassure? It's been a really horrible time so appreciate if no unkindness in replies, it is what it is and we are trying to get through it now and he is receiving proper help. x
Page 1
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 12th Apr 18, 1:13 PM
    • 2,419 Posts
    • 2,381 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:13 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:13 PM
    It sounds like he's claiming Income Related ESA if they are asking about his savings/capital. Is there any reason why he's not claiming Contribution Based? This isn't means tested but claiming it depends on National Insurance contributions in the last 2 tax years before his claim.

    As it is Income Related then he could be classed as still having the money and his ESA payments will stop and he'll have to repay what he's already been paid.
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
    He is claiming contributions based but I have no idea how that came to be? So far he has only ever received the assessment rate around 73 a week. Can you help me understand the difference between the two?
    He has no money at all and told them so at the start of his claim but mentioned the money that had been received and then lost.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Apr 18, 1:19 PM
    • 5,464 Posts
    • 11,329 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:19 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:19 PM
    If your brother is autistic with MH problems, with your Mum as his carer and who you know is a pathological gambler, sorry but why has no one taken over his finances already?
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 12th Apr 18, 1:20 PM
    • 2,419 Posts
    • 2,381 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:20 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:20 PM
    He is claiming contributions based but I have no idea how that came to be? So far he has only ever received the assessment rate around 73 a week. Can you help me understand the difference between the two?
    Originally posted by lilpenguini
    Contribution based isn't means tested and household income or savings/capital are counted. It's based on National Insurance contributions in the previous 2 tax years.

    Income related is means tested and capital/savings and household income affect the amount you can claim.

    If he was claiming CB then they wouldn't be contacting him about the 16000 but they would if he's claiming Income related. Sounds like he's claiming Income related, not CB.
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 1:20 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:20 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:20 PM
    Just looked at his letter which confirms he is on contributions based.... says about his past NI contributions record and that he can only get this until December 2018 (365 days).
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 1:22 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:22 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:22 PM
    Isn't it because if he had 16,000+ he wouldn't get anything? WHich he had for a very small window of time and I guess they want to make sure it wasn't disposed of to be hidden? Bank statements clearly show it was lost on gambling online.
    Either way have checked and its 100% contributions level he is getting.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Apr 18, 1:24 PM
    • 5,464 Posts
    • 11,329 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:24 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:24 PM
    Isn't it because if he had 16,000+ he wouldn't get anything? WHich he had for a very small window of time and I guess they want to make sure it wasn't disposed of to be hidden? Bank statements clearly show it was lost on gambling online.
    Either way have checked and its 100% contributions level he is getting.
    Originally posted by lilpenguini
    Only for income based.

    If it IS income based, you cant just gamble away money and expect to get benefits.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 12th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    • 1,942 Posts
    • 2,237 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    Contribution-Based ESA, is not means tested. Is he in the Support Group?
    If not why are the DWP requesting this info?
    CB - ESA is not affected by savings.
    This is very odd

    He may be getting a small income related top-up (15 pw enhanced disability premium), and the DWP may decide he has deliberately deprived himself of capital and assume notional capital:
    http://safeadvice.org.uk/main/notcap.php
    His argument then would be he did not deliberately deprive himself of capital to obtain / retain a benefit.

    Medical evidence of his MH state and gambling addiction would be helpful.
    I would suggest if the DWP seek repayment of overpaid ESA he appeals that decision and seeks help from his local CAB.
    However 15 a week may not be too burdensome to repay, but he may need someone to oversee his finances.

    He certainty does not want to close his CB - ESA claim.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 12-04-2018 at 1:36 PM.
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    Its contribution based I have checked all his documents just now.
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 1:28 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    we have medical evidence from his GP about his gambling addiction, autism and impact on his decision making etc. but i dont understand at all now, since he is on CB not IB.
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 1:30 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    thanks by the way guys, for answering me. is a muddle. i may have to ring them up... hooray an hour on hold!
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 12th Apr 18, 1:33 PM
    • 2,419 Posts
    • 2,381 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Its contribution based I have checked all his documents just now.
    Originally posted by lilpenguini
    As stated this isn't means tested.
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 1:40 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    So we don't have to send these statements?
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 12th Apr 18, 1:46 PM
    • 1,942 Posts
    • 2,237 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    I suspect he will be getting a small income related top-up (15 pw enhanced disability premium), This can be paid when an ESA claimant is receiving Enhanced DL PIP.
    https://www.gov.uk/disability-premiums-income-support/eligibility

    This element will be under scrutiny by the DWP. So yes, it is likely statements will need to be supplied.
    But the repayment will only be c.65 per month.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th Apr 18, 1:55 PM
    • 11,404 Posts
    • 13,291 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    As Alice has said although he is getting contribution based ESA he also has an income based 'top up' of income based ESA. This is due to the enhanced disability premium which is awarded because he is on the enhanced daily living component of PIP.

    It is just this part of his claim that they are enquiring about. He is still entitled to the contribution based part of his ESA (the 73.10 per week)

    Just send the bank statements with an explanation of his gambling problem and his boy friend gifting him money for debts. You can enclose evidence from his doctor about his condition and a letter from his boy friend saying that he gifted him the money. Highlight the amounts on the bank statements.

    If a decision maker decides that both of these amounts are deprivation of capital then he will lose the enhanced disability premium (about 15 a week), have to pay back this premium but will then get just the contribution based ESA part of his claim - the 73.10 per week.
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 2:02 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    Thanks very much. He has only been getting the 73 since he claimed so not sure that this top up has been applied? However thank you for all the extra clarity here. I am on hold with them now just to make sure but going to give up imminently...
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th Apr 18, 2:14 PM
    • 11,404 Posts
    • 13,291 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    Thanks very much. He has only been getting the 73 since he claimed so not sure that this top up has been applied? However thank you for all the extra clarity here. I am on hold with them now just to make sure but going to give up imminently...
    Originally posted by lilpenguini
    In that case they are checking as to whether he is entitled to the income based 'top up' - i.e the enhanced disability premium added to his contribution based ESA. So the good news is that he will have no overpayment if they decide he has deprived himself of capital.

    So the advice given before remains the same. Provide the bank statements with your evidence.

    If they accept the gifts and that the gambling was not deprivation of capital then he will get the enhanced disability premium money backdated to the beginning of his claim.

    As an aside, have you considered being his appointee? And/or get power of attorney for him? Would he be happy for either of these to happen?
    • lilpenguini
    • By lilpenguini 12th Apr 18, 2:19 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    lilpenguini
    Thanks again for this. Yes I am looking at being his appointee formally as he is unable to cope with all of this and is unable to use the phone. My mother had been helping him until her own illness struck. I am currently looking after his financial affairs unofficially as part of his addiction recovery.

    He is concerned they will contact his boyfriend directly about the money he gave him to help him out of a pickle, but is prone to irrational worry with his anxiety disorder/autism & I don't think they could do this or would do this via a bank statement but can I reassure him as such?

    Was on hold 45 minutes with ESA and had to give up.. will try again later. Meanwhile you guys have been most helpful! I will include a letter of explanation and evidence with the statements to anything I send. Might it be that they are looking to put him into the support group without a medical assessment? He had been declined a home assessment (he can't leave the house) but we appealed this and have yet to hear again. PIP recently did an assessment at home no problem, for his review.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 12th Apr 18, 2:24 PM
    • 2,419 Posts
    • 2,381 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Might it be that they are looking to put him into the support group without a medical assessment?
    Originally posted by lilpenguini
    I doubt it would be that reason they sent this letter. It's the assessment providers that would be dealing with his ESA claim at the moment, not DWP. It passes over to DWP decision maker/case manger once the assessment report has been returned.
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