Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Just to be clear you had this payment over 5 years ago?
I am not clear why you have Waited over 5 years? What steps have you been taking to replace it? How often do you look?
Did you get it in writing that it would not affect your benefit?
My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more than 30 years.
I am afraid that you misunderstood what you were told.
Had you acted immediately and replaced the item then there would have been no problem.
However I am afraid that the delay is fatal.
To deal with your points in order
1. Yes I am afraid so
3. Unlikely given the fact that you had actually told them about it at the time
4. You would still have to repay the past benefit - but you can the make a new claim ongoing
Please ask if you need further details
I am sorry but the delay is relevant because you did not actually spend the money immediately.
Since you did not spend it immediately it became capital savings - that is how the Local Council will view it.