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Thread: ESA - Can I Change Back To Contributions Based From I R If Savings Increase

  1. #1
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    ESA - Can I Change Back To Contributions Based From I R If Savings Increase

    I was on IB from about 2004 before they changed me to contributions based ESA some years later. At the end of the last year, like many others on CB ESA, The DWP re-assessed my case to see if I should have been on income related ESA. They decided I should, and changed me to IR.

    I might possibly be in line for a small inheritance. Nothing major, but would put me above the savings limit (£6000, I believe). In this case, can I ask The DWP to change me back to CR ESA so I don't break any rules? I understand this would reduce my benefit payments if they did.

    Many thanks for any help and advice.

  2. #2
    as I understand it - once you inform them of the money inherited - it will deducted from the IR element - at a rate of £1 per each £250 (or part of) over £6k - and up to £16k - beyond that you would lose all the IR element
    the basic CB based amount remains the same and you would still get that as you were on it originally
    I am pretty certain if you have been on CB all along until last year, then the IR amount has been added to your CB and not replaced it

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    As walker rightly says they have not changed your CB ESA to IR ESA. - They can't do that, the law doesn't allow it.

    What you now have, like many others, is CB ESA with an added IR ESA 'Top-up'.
    Their letters are very poor at explaining this, and can give the impression that it's all been changed when it hasn't/can't be.
    (Even some DWP staff don't understand it properly).

    This means that your Personal Allowance, and Support Group component are still CB ESA, so they are not affected by savings (or income).
    These will continue to be CB ESA as long as you are in Support Group.

    It's only your 'extra' Premiums (that you didn't have before) which are IR ESA, only they would be affected by any savings over £6K (or income).

    Whilst any savings over £6k would reduce what you get paid as preimiums it could not (never) affect your basic CB ESA Support Group.
    (So even if you had savings above £16K you would still get £111.65 CB ESA).

    The reduction of IR ESA (premiums) would be as walker said - £1 reduction for each £250 (or part of) over £6k, stopping altogether at £16k.
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-13-2019 at 10:46 PM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  4. #4
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    Thanks to both of you for your replies. Looks like I misunderstood the situation. I understand now that it's only the IR element of my ESA that's affected by my level of savings.

    Presumably, if I spend some or all of the savings, my IR top up would be reinstated?

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You have to be careful how you spend it.

    You can spend it 'reasonably', but if they suspect that you have 'squandered' it simply in order to get your benefits back then they can treat it as if you still have the money.

    eg. If your car/washing machine/computer/TV is clapped out you could 'reasonably' buy a similar one.
    (But be careful not to 'gift' your old one to anyone, especially family, that could be seen as a deliberate attempt to spend money you didn't need to in order to increase your benefits).
    Buying a Ferrari, a speedboat, or anything else that you didn't need, would not be seen as 'reasonable'.

    A holiday would usually be seen as reasonable, but not if you pay for 4 people to go on a world cruise.

    What is 'reasonable' or not will vary with circumstances, but it's usually a matter of common sense.

    If in doubt about a (larger) purchase then tell the DWP what you intend to buy and why, and get their agreement in writing that it will not be counted as 'Depravation of capital with a view to claiming or increasing benefits'.
    If they agree to the spending then you are covered.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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