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Thread: ESA anxiety

  1. #1

    ESA anxiety


    Back in Jan I left a work due to a disability and put in a claim for contributions/ NI based ESA.
    After alot of frustration it appears my NI contributions were not sufficient for the claim.
    At the time I had savings above the 6K limit so left the claim without making any amendment.
    One of the issues I have is that I do not have much resilience in dealing with anything, this plus anxiety means I struggle to deal with anything.
    About two weeks ago I decided to revisit ESA this time mean tested (very reluctantly) as my savings are now well below 6K. At the time I was told because I made a ESA claim back in Jan (the claim was still open) that DWP is likely to want to see my bank statements back to then if I make a new claim.
    This causes me alot of anxiety because there seems to be no reason for the adviser to say this to me.
    I haven't put a new ESA means tested claim in yet as this has been praying on my mind.
    Is this a case of an over zealous adviser or should I be concerned about this if I put a new ESA mean tested claim in?
    Should I just ask them to close the claim for Jan as I can't see why its still open and put a new claim in from now and hope for the best?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    I know I say this a lot, but again, get some advice from someone like the CAB. They can go through your case, your savings, etc. Help you see what steps you can take to claim if you can, & help you do that. At the end of the day they will want to see where the money has gone that you have spent to get you below the 6K. So yes, they can do that. Do not fear it, it is normal.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  3. #3
    Stephen, thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.
    I made no declaration or comments re capital in Jan, I only made a NI based ESA claim because I told the adviser on phone NI only from the outset of the call.

    I don't understand why I can't avoid the hassle and just close the Jan NI ESA claim (it wasn't successful no idea why it was not closed) or why they need to know about capital in Jan?

    From where I am sitting my option seem to be put in a
    Means Tested Claim now and see what they require, if they require bank info back to Jan then request claim is backdated to Jan (as they need info back that far anyway) and see what they will give me as I have nothing to lose in terms of hassle.

    I must point out that I am not trying to pull a fast one with the DWP, I just don't like any organisation knowing about my business (don't even do loyalty cards) and also due to my disability my threshold for hassle is almost zero.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I don't know why the original claim is still 'live' - it might be simply that you submitted sick notes and they are treating it as underlying entitlement. But they haven't paid you any contribution based ESA, so I wouldn't worry about continuing with your means tested ESA claim.
    The £6000 isn't actually an upper cutoff point. The top limit on savings is £16,000. But for savings between 6 and 16 thousand a staged reduction in any income based benefit is applied.
    It could well be that they will be looking at backdating, and need bank info in order to make any necessary adjustments to your backdated payments - so I really wouldn't worry.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Stig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    The DWP /housing benefit can request sight of your last few bank statements at any time they feel like it if you get a means tested benefit. Well thats what i was told when i was asked to send my last few bank statements to them . Not a problem IMHO I have nothing to hide the only income i get is from benefits which is all they really wanted to see . Again IMHO those who choose to argue about those paying them benefit having a look at their bank statements are those who could possibly be trying to hide something and that is what the DWP will think .. Straight down the middle no dishonesty is the way to play it as i here a whisper that anyone one found fiddling in the future will be taken to the cleaners and a holiday at one of the HMP resorts like Kirkham or Sudbury will be on the cards
    Last edited by Stig; 17-05-12 at 23:57.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    There seems to be some confusion around your claim but that is by the by as your concern is about showing bank statements and people knowing your business.
    If you want the tax payer to give you some of their money you have to prove that you should be entitled to it, that seems fair. I don't mind anyone knowing my financial status, it's nil and I'm very grateful to live in a society where disability doesn't turn me into a begger in poverty.

  7. #7
    Carneucopia thank you for your reply I appreciate your reassurance.

    Stig I asked for advice and got a lazy intellectual argument of "if you have nothing to hide.." which frankly is of no help. I have plenty to hide my privacy to start with. CCTV cameras facing into your house? You have nothing to hide after all.

    I have paid tax for over 20 years I feel I have the right to know what is reasonable for the DWP to ask me for when claiming what rightfully I am entitled to. Otherwise they could decide to ask for 6 years of financial info and then use it a fishing exercise, to apply the depridation of capital argument, no doubt you will reply you have no issue with this. That is until it happens to you and you find your benefits cut.

    You are a senior member of this site and seem to take it upon yourself to judge and accuse me with no evidence or basis. All you have achieved through such a frankly unhelpful reply is to lower your standing and possibly deter others with questions from posting for fear of such condemnation.

    wobble1 thank you for your reply. Up until recently I was the tax payer. As stated above I only wish to know what is reasonable for the DWP to ask me for. I am far from grateful re the welfare state as this is exactly why I have payed tax and NI all these years.

  8. #8
    As an example of what the DWP can do I think my experience at the Tribunal may help. For 3 years they had tried to use "it was all a mistake from 1996" as the basis of their refusal. At the Tribunal they changed this to a "change of circumstance". When I questioned whether they could do this the Judge replied, " They can do what they like". Although there is a legal technicality within the privacy laws that do not allow them to see your bank statements, there is within the guidelines that they operate by that if you refuse to show it they can refuse your claim. Never tested in court by the way. And within the media generated hype that all benefit recipients are fraudsters, refusing to show it will be taken as Stig has said. They can only go back to the date of your claim. To go back further and then try to refuse your means tested on the basis that you had x £s of savings and that should have lasted you x months cannot be done by them.

  9. #9
    gabopentin thank you for posting your experience. I am sorry to hear that you ended up in a tribunal with a Judge that seemed less than impartial. I wouldn't pretend to understand the case law or procedures of a tribunal but would at least hope the Judge would point out to the DWP "it was all a mistake from 1996" becoming a "change of circumstance" even if permissible legally is ethically questionable.

    Yes you are right it seems unless you sit there and take it you are deemed to be guilty of something.

    I wish I was a dole scrounger then I would have; no savings, no bank accounts and mates that have lots of collective experience upon which to draw so I could navigate the benefits system to maximise any claim.

  10. #10
    This is the catch 22; if you have savings above a limit you are deducted benefits or beyond maximum barred from benefits altogether yet to live you need to spend money. However by spending money to live you risk being accused of depredation of capital.

    Nice bit of moral hazard in that the system create a disincentive for cautious financial planning (means testing) which it should reinforce or the budget for the OAP care will dwarf every other type of spending.

    Not that I suggest there shouldn't be a degree of means testing, just that if you have paid into the system for a large number of years and been cautious you seem to get clobbered when people that have never worked or compared to people that worked but spend money on nice holidays, 50" tvs etc. No system is perfect but surely it could be more perfect than the current set up.

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