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Thread: Allowable disregard question(ESA income based claimant)

  1. #1
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    Allowable disregard question(ESA income based claimant)

    Hi,

    I am hoping someone out there can help and/or will have been through a similar experience to me.I am currently claiming ESA(income based) yet i own a property abroad that is worth more than the £16,000 income-based ESA threshold.

    The value of this property has been placed under the "allowable disregard" category for 2 reasons.

    1.My ex-partner and our daughter were living there.

    2.The property is up for sale.

    My ex has moved out of the property but the property is still up for sale,however the six months that i have been given to sell the property will be up soon,and even though the property (which is a foreign property) is up for sale at a very cheap price,it is taking some time to sell.

    I am very worried because soon my six months window of opportunity to sell the property will expire,and then my property will be classed as collateral.There is a clause in the disability rights handbook that says i can request extra time to sell the property if i ask the DWP to grant me it,BUT,the way the DWP are acting these days,i doubt they will grant me extra time.

    This effectively means that my benefits(ESA and Housing Benefits) will be stopped,and i am looking at eviction.

    I do not have any family in the uk,so naturally i am terrified at the prospect of being homeless.

    One question.....is it up to me to tell the DWP that the six months is up,or is it up to them to keep an eye on how long my property has been up for sale??

    Also,what are the chances of the DWP giving me an extension of time required to sell the property?

    I have never been in trouble before and obviously,i am worried about the implications of what might happen.

    All advice is welcome...thanks....(I would not mind communicating with a forum moderator via private email if need be)

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Unusual one, but as far as I can see this property is your capital.

    As such it is counted as capital and so means that you will not be eligible for income related benefit.

    I'm not sure what the dissregard was with respect to your ex living there, but if it is not your main residence then it is a capital asset.

    You could talk to them and try and get longer to sell, but once you have sold it then the money from the sale will be capital and will prevent you claiming any income related benefit.

    You are expected to use you capital (over £16k) to live on and not claim income related benefits.
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    Hi Nukecad,

    Thanks for the reply.You are right,it is an unusual situation,but the DWP do know about it,and the property itself is classed as "Allowable disregard" for capital purposes.

    The Disability Rights Handbook deals with it under Chapter 17 "EARNINGS,INCOME AND CAPITAL"......paragraph 20 (Your home).

    I am receiving ESA at the moment because of this clause,but soon the 6 months time limit will run out and i will be effectively not be eligible for ESA anymore ,meaning i will have zero income.It's a worrying time.

    I guess the question is this....do i wait for the DWP to contact me to let me know that the 6 months time limit is up,or do i go to them,and tell them that i need more time to sell the property?...

    Thanks again.

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    its your responsibility to contact them about anything that affects your claim.

    yes they will also know the period has ended and may contact you, but probably only after you have fallen foul of some rule or regulation.

    take the opportunity away from them and contact them first show them your not trying to get away with anything.

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    There is certainly some flexibility about extending the 6 months disregard if it is reasonable.

    Only a Decision Maker would be able to tell you whether 'reasonable' relates to your circumstances.

    It might help if you had some evidence to show that you are marketing at a reasonable price (comparisons with other similar properties? Evidence of number of viewings? Evidence of price reductions during the last 6 months? ) That kind of thing. You could ask when you telephone if there is anything that they need you to do in your circumstances.

    Is an estate agent selling the property on you behalf? Have you tried marketing it on social media? Have you put it with an estate agent over here?

    I cannot see that they would not consider extending the period if you have done everything you can do sell the property.

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    Thanks for the replies,chaps.

    pmlindyloo,i have done all of the above...however,judging by previous experiences i have had with them,i cannot rely on the DWP to show any "clemency" whatsoever...they are almost certain to stop my benefits once the six month period is up....and i do not know if i can apply for a mandatory reconsideration...and subsequent tribunal hearing in this particular scenario..effectively,i am looking at having no money whatsoever,and potential homelessness.Things not looking great :-(

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    Quote Originally Posted by jw68 View Post
    Thanks for the replies,chaps.

    pmlindyloo,i have done all of the above...however,judging by previous experiences i have had with them,i cannot rely on the DWP to show any "clemency" whatsoever...they are almost certain to stop my benefits once the six month period is up....and i do not know if i can apply for a mandatory reconsideration...and subsequent tribunal hearing in this particular scenario..effectively,i am looking at having no money whatsoever,and potential homelessness.Things not looking great :-(
    I do think you are worrying unnecessarily. This is a question about capital disregard and your situation is covered in the Decision Makers Guide here:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...78/dmgch52.pdf

    Scroll down to 52579 onwards

    Of course I cannot guarantee that the 6 months period will be extended but this is a separate matter that has to be dealt by a Decision Maker. It seems that they have applied the correct 'rules' in respect of the disregards so there appears to be no reason why this shouldn't be extended if you are making reasonable steps to sell. Is the sale part of any settlement with your ex?

    And, by the way, is any part of your ESA claim contribution based? (check on your ESA award letter) if it is then you would retain the contribution based part as that is not subject to capital rules.

    You could then apply for HB and CTR based on a low income. Weirdly HB and CT reduction have different 'rules' regarding capital so you may get a different decision. You could do this even if you do lose your current ESA (which personally I can't see happening)

    Suspect it won't come to that but wanted to give you a 'heads' up that not all may be lost.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Make sure when talking to them that it is made clear that the property is abroad.

    Normally if the property was in the UK then you could be 'reasonably' expected to move into it as your residence, but if it's abroad then that's a different matter.
    (Not 100% certain but I think that the DM guidance pmlindyloo linked to has something to say about property abroad).
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
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    That's great,thanks,lindyloo.

    None of my ESA claim is contribution based,so all of my claim is subject to capital rules.

    The guidelines tend to suggest that i may be entitled to more time to sell my property,BUT the way the DWP have been acting,i doubt very much whether they will be kind enough to let me extend my 6 months period.The situation is very difficult in that really i need to get over there to the other country to put everything in order with regards to the sale,but i am not able to do that at this present time.

    In answer to your question,yes there is evidence of my trying my best to sell the property(is advertised with an estate agency,has had viewings..and price reductions on the sale price of the property too).I will return to the thread at a later time and let you know how i get on (no doubt mandatory reconsideration and tribunal hearing to follow!!)...

    Thanks again

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    Thanks for your reply,nukecad.

    They are aware that the property is in a foreign country.Hopefully,they will,for once,show some understanding of the situation....or otherwise,i am goosed!!

    Cheers

    JW
    Last edited by jw68; 01-03-2018 at 06:30 PM.

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