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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70715
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am concerned I may not be allowed to re-apply for carers

Customer Question

I am concerned I may not be allowed to re-apply for carer's allowance and income support benefits.
I may be receiving some compensation for a claim I made to an employment tribunal. I also have a second property (not home) on the market for sale which could sell soon.
However, due to recently losing my job and other circumstances, I have accumulated debts. I also have a very large mortgage - monthly payments are only partly covered by income support (so, I am in arrears). My intention is to use any profit made from sale of property and compensation to pay off my debts and some of my mortgage (to reduce the monthly payments to an affordable amount as I have not paid any capital on the property since buying it 2001).
Are there any laws which protect me from under the circumstances? I can handle losing my benefits for a short period of time while the money is in my account, but would I be allowed to re-apply once the money (over £6000) is no longer in my account or would the application be automatically rejected?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

There are no specific laws that prevent you losing a means tested benefit upon receipt of a large lump sum I'm afraid.

Obviously people tend not to keep lump sums. The DWP will accept that you haven't kept it probably. The question will be what have you don't with it though. They can say that you have deliberately dissipated it and refuse benefits. Repayment of debt is usually accepted if you can show evidence that is what you have done. Reduction of the mortgage might not be though. They can be very inconsistent about that type of thing.

If you do meet with an unreasonable assessor then obviously you can appeal. The question is what is deliberate dissipation. Arguably reducing the mortgage easies pressure upon the benefit system as the interest payments will be lower so its not a lost cause.

They are likely to stay your benefits while this is considered though.

You can reapply when the funds are gone but they will want an explanation of where it has gone. It won't be automatically rejected.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo