Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Advice please

  1. #1

    Advice please

    We recently had to move home to be nearer family because of our long-term health conditions.
    This has resulted in going just slightly over the £16k ESA limit.

    I was getting income-related ESA {Support Group} with disability income guarantee
    My Partner gets contribution based ESA (Support Group)

    The money we have acquired is only to be used for essential repairs on the property and
    we will soon be under the £16k ESA limit.

    After informing DWP, my ESA is now stopping on 30th November.

    Can I write to ask for my NI contributions to be paid or do I have to pay them?

    Also can I re-apply for ESA in the future, once the money has been used for the house? I will keep all receipts
    for what it has been used for.

    Thank you so much for your help and advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Posts
    9,232
    Did you tell the DWP that this money is to be used for essential repairs to the property?

    If it is indeed for essential repairs then it can be 'Disregared' as savings for a period of time, usually six months, to allow the repairs to be carried out.

    The DWP has to agree to that, but if you haven't told them then they don't know the money is intended for essential repairs and so then they can't disregard it.
    (And of course they have to be 'essential' repairs, not just improvements).
    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.

  3. #3
    Yes I wrote and told them and asked if it could be disregarded for six months, but it seems they have not agreed to this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Posts
    9,232
    The repairs do have to be 'essential' something that is needed rather than wanted.

    From the DMG guidance:
    52549 Essential repairs and improvements are those which are needed to make the home fit to live in by the person or a member of the person's family. For example, if the roof of the home is letting in water it is essential to repair the roof to make the home fit to live in.
    and:
    52573 Essential repairs or alterations are those which are needed to make the premises fit to live in as the home by the person or a member of the person's family. For example, if the person is in a wheelchair and the doorways in the house are not wide enough for the wheelchair to pass through the essential alterations are the widening of the doorways so the person can move into the premises.
    So if you are already living there then it will be difficult to argue that repairs or improvements qualify as 'essential', although alterations for a disability might.

    Maybe you could tell us just what the intended repairs/improvements/alterations are?

    I note that you say:
    The money we have acquired is only to be used for essential repairs on the property
    Where has this money been 'acquired' from? Was it from some kind of grant/fund/loan and was it a specific condition of getting the money that it is only spent on repairs?
    And if so then where the particular repairs specified?
    That could make a big difference as to whether it can be disregarded or not.

    If it cannot be disregarded then:

    As long as you have over £16k then IR benefits are not payable.
    I'm not sure why they are saying ESA will stop on 30th Nov and not straight away though, is there an explanation as to why that is?.
    If there is a specific reason for being the 30th Nov then it might be possible to get that date extended.
    It does mean that the clock is ticking to look at options to keep IR ESA.

    There is a slight possibility that if the savings reduce within 12 weeks of the IR ESA ending you may be able to make a 'Rapid Reclaim' for IR ESA.
    That is going to be complicated by proving that the money did have to be spent, or that the spending was 'reasonable', and as they already seem to have ruled that the repairs are not essential then I wouldn't rely on then accepting that.

    It's much more likely that when you are in a position to reclaim you will have to claim UC.
    They may not ask about the spending, but probably will if they think you have only spent the money in order to be able to claim UC.

    The answers to those questions in bold above may help work out what your chances of staying on IR ESA will be.
    There is a third important question - Does your ESA include the Severe Disiabilty Premium?
    For that to be the case both you and your partner would have to have PIP or DLA.

    BTW. Your partners CB ESA will not be affected by any of this.
    Last edited by nukecad; 21-11-20 at 00:15.
    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.

  5. #5
    We acquired the money from selling our house and buying one that was slightly cheaper. This meant we had money for repairs. The roof needs replacing and we are in the process of getting quotes. Also the conservatory is leaking and will need repairing.

    All I received from DWP was a letter saying what we were entitled to from 14 April until 30th November? I have received nothing else.

    I get higher rate DLA for both components and my partner gets enhanced PIP.

    In the letter I sent them I just asked for the 6 months disregard for essential repairs. I didn't explain what the essential repairs were.

    Should I write again explaining and with a quote from the roofer?

    As soon as the roof is done we won't have any savings left.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Posts
    9,232
    Ah, so you have already been given 6-1/2 months of disregard for the sale of the old - purchase of the new house.
    And that was decided back then and you haven't heard anything about it recently?

    I asked where the money came from because if it was a condition that the money can only be spent on repairs then that makes things easier.
    But because it was money 'left over' following a house sale and repurchase that's different because you could spend that money on anything.

    All is not lost though - They can extend the disregard period as long as it is 'reasonable' to do so.
    Every one of the disregards for property sales/purchase/repairs/alterations given in the Decision Maker Guidance contains that 'longer if it is reasonable' clause, so it's just a matter of persuading the DM that what you want is reasonable.

    You should ask them to reconsider/review their decision to end the disregard on Nov 30th, in light of the fact that roof needs replacing which is taking more time to organise.

    Explain what is needed (and why), if you have something like a report that says that the roof needs replacing that can only help, and add a copy of the quotation(s).
    If you can give them an expected start date and the expected time it will take for the work to be done that's all for the good.

    Play the card of things taking longer to get done because of Covid and lockdowns, which is true.

    As it's not long to the 30th I think I'd do it first by phone to get it noted that you are asking for the disregard to be extended.
    Just tell them on the phone that you are asking for an extension to the disregard because essential repairs are taking longer than expected to organise (because of Covid) and that you will be following up with a letter, (a report saying the work needs to be done if you have one), and the quote(s).

    Try to emphasise the word 'essential', don't just say 'repairs' always say 'essential repairs' everytime you mention it.

    They may still decide that the work is not 'essential' so it isn't 'reasonable' to extend the disregard - but if you don't ask you won't get, and you have nothing to lose by asking.

    TBH with the Covid situation I think that you have a good chance of getting a disregard extension, it can only be 'reasonable' that things are taking longer than usual with the lockdowns and other restrictions.
    Providing a report/quotation shows them that you are serious about getting the work done.
    (Of course if you don't get the work done after getting a disregard extension then they may regard that as benefit fraud, but obviously that's not your intention).

    You only have 9 days disregard left, so it may well get to the 30th before they can review the disregard period.
    But if that happens and the review goes in your favour then any 'missed' ESA will be backpaid.

    PS. I don't think that I'd mention the conservatory other than in passing and/or if it's on the quote(s).
    I think you may be hard pushed to get fixing a leaking conservatory accepted as 'essential'.
    Last edited by nukecad; 21-11-20 at 19:35.
    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.

Similar Threads

  1. Pip refused please please help
    By mmazzz in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-03-15, 22:40
  2. Please please help me
    By Jamesyharrow in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-02-14, 14:49
  3. Please please help!
    By janneedshelp in forum News and general discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 22-10-12, 13:39

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •