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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70213
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My friend who is a carer for a lady on dla inherited one fith

Customer Question

My friend who is a carer for a lady on dla inherited one fith share in a value able estate worth in excess of £1,000000. The death of his father, who owned the estate was 18 months ago. He did not inform the dss that he was a beneficiary yet as he has not yet had money from estate which is now for sale. He also gets income support and housing benefit. Although he has had no money yet I have told him he should have informed dss as he wld not be entitled to income support or housing benefit frm the date of his fathers death. What is the legal situation?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

Are you asking if he has to disclose this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, he is going to disclose it next week. What I want to know is, has he committed fraud by taking the income support and housing benefit for last 18 months. I am thinking he should have informed dss straight away when he knew he was a one fith beneficiary.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Why is it taking so long to answer?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.


Yes, you are right. It should have been declared immediately and it would have had the effect of removing his benefits as they are both means tested. Its not the time he was notified as a beneficiary but the time he receives the money but otherwise you are right.

Whether he has committed fraud or not basically depends on whether they will accept this was an honest mistake. In truth, it does get a bit hard to argue that you thought you were entitled to claim means tested benefits when you have a large cash sum in your account.

They will ask him to repay the overpaid benefits but whether they prosecute or not is another matter.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He has only just received£13,000 from his fathers bank account a few days ago. The executors have now put estate in five names as a accountant has advised this. Should his benefits have stopped when he inherited. His share of this estate
Regardless of the fact he has only just ,at this stage, received the £13.000.
Will. he have to pay money back from date he inherited even though estate remains to be sold.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
In that case, the duty to disclose is only triggered a few days ago.

He will probably lose income support by housing benefit will be reduced but not refused completely until the money is under £6k.

If he recieves more money then that has to be disclosed.

He can claim housing benefit if he has under £6k. If its between £6-£16k then he will get housing benefti but reduced. If he has over £16k then he will not be able to claim,

But there is no fraud because he has only just received the money.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What I was asking you all along was, at what point is there a duty to disclose the information to dss ie when he knew he had inherited his fith share or only when he actually received the monetary benefit. It was 18months before he received the £13,000.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
When he actually receives the money. Its then that his claim becomes compromised.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I do not want any further correspondence from your company. You have been paid the one of fee.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You need to email customer services about that on [email protected]