Hello Forum Readers,
This is quite complicated so I will try to be succinct, although I'm not good at that so apologies in advance..
I am currently unemployed and in process of making new esa claim, after a brief spell of part-time work which I could not continue due to bullying by a fellow co-worker that drove me near to nervous breakdown. I did take matter to management but to little avail, the stress became too much, & I left. So am in early stages of making new esa claim, have just last week posted claim form ESA50.
My Father sadly passed away this April, & on Thursday I received a call from my sister who asked if I had opened my post that day, & that I should sit down & open it if not. The letter I opened told me that I am to receive an inheritance from my Father shortly for a sustantially large sum. The news was a total shock, as we had not been too close to him over the years although we would of liked to have been, & we did not expect to receivce anything from him after his death.
Have been in shock, needless to say, since news, but yesterday started to read some info on internet regarding how this will affect me, & what my options are on how to use it. The more I am reading, the more complicated it appears to be, but I cannot feel any other way than truly blessed to have been given such a gift that is intended no doubt for my best welfare. I feel a pressure to make good use of this blessing from my Father, & not to waste it, to have something concrete to show from it, although this may be problematic because of my situation. My sister is in a different boat, she has no health problems, & works, so she will be more 'free' in how she decides to use it.
So next week I will obviously inform the benefit agencies about the inheritance, & my benefits will stop. I have been a council tenant for the last 13 years, & have lived in the same 1 bed flat. About a year before my Dad got ill, we had a conversation about my flat, & the fact that having been there so long, I could buy it at a huge discount, this was prompted by a leaflet that came through my door, & we did talk about it. I forgot about it, as was not in a financial position to take it further, but the sum I have received from him is just enough that it would be possible to buy my flat outright with the discount given for length of tenancy under Right to Buy.
It would be a dream if I were to be able to buy my flat, & my sister has even said she would help with some extra costs of the process of buying if needed to see a legacy from what my Dad has worked hard for years to give us, which is so generous of her. I have been searching for information & am getting very confused about what the rules & regulations are. There seem to be numerous stumbling blocks, the main being the point of 'Deprivation of Capital', from the point of view of being able to claim benefits again in next few years if needed.
If I were to purchase my flat, it would take all the inheritance money to do, & I would still need to claim esa for as long as it took before finding another job. I would need to start the process of purchase fairly quickly, as the inheritance is enough to buy the flat, and buying costs. It wouldn't be enough to say support me for a year and buy flat. I do want to work again in future, it is finding a job that is difficult, as I'm sure most of you know. Is it too much to hope for that I could do this? Will it be seen as Deprivation of Capital, to invest in the only home I have had for the last 13 years, which would be a security for the next 20 years, going into my old age, (I'm 42)? I'm sure my Dad would have wanted me to use it in such a way, & I think he probably did not realise the legal implications of such a large lump sum for me, I think if he had known I'm sure he would of put it in some sort of trust fund or something. But he didn't. As I said, by no means do I want to sound ungrateful for what is a gift & blessing, but I think it would break my heart if I were not able to buy my flat or else use the money for anything other than basic day to day living for next few years.
If anyone has experience or info they can share regarding what is considered deprivation of capital, wheather the purchasing of my flat using right to buy would be considered so, it would be appreciated. Plan to visit Citizen's Advice asap, from what I've read it is a very grey area all round. Thanks for reading.