I'm hoping to get a lump sum of about £30k from my ex husband from the sale of our old marital home.

I'm remarried now and both hubby and I get PIP standard daily living and mobility. Both of us have restricted mobility and have blue badges, and I'm a full time student getting grants and loans plus an income support top up and full housing/council tax benefit, along with child tax credit, free school meals etc for our 2 teenage boys.

I'm hoping someone may have some knowledge on what the DWP regards as acceptable in spending some of your capital. We live in a rural area with really poor public transport so are totally reliant on our car. It's quite an old car with high mileage and it's a constant worry that it's going to start letting us down and costing a lot in repairs We've only had it a few months as we had to get rid of our even older, even higher mileage car as it had started costing a fortune in repairs, and it was a struggle to scrape together enough money to use alongside our old car in part exchange for the one we have now, which is better than our old car but still not great, but it was all we could afford at the time. We're also sharing one old mobility scooter between us as we can't fit 2 in the car and couldn't afford to buy another one anyway, so it restricts us when we go anywhere as we have to take it in turns to use the scooter which isn't ideal. If we were to buy a newer, more suitable used car and 2 new scooters, would the DWP accept this as a valid reason for using some of the money? Neither the car or the scooters would be flashy, top of the range expensive models, just something reliable and more suitable to meet our needs (and hubby's weight limit as the cheaper scooters just don't cater for him).

Also, how do the DWP view it if you pay off some debts? We have about £5k in total in credit cards and catalogues and always meet the minimum payments and often more than the minimum with a bit of careful budgeting. Does the fact we're not being chased/threatened with bailiffs etc mean they wouldn't accept that as a valid reason for paying them off? It makes no sense to continue paying interest month after month when we could pay off the lot and save a huge amount of interest but I don't know how the DWP view it.

I seem to think giving money to family is frowned upon but what we'd like to do is put maybe £1500-2k in an account for each of the boys so they can learn to drive once they get to 17. The public transport is so poor here, it could seriously affect their employment and college prospects if they don't have their own transport and this is the only chance we're going to get to be able to put a lump sum away to help them get a small car and driving lessons when they're old enough, but I assume the DWP would probably penalise us for this even though there's a genuine reason for doing it? And what about things like a family holiday (a budget UK break, nothing fancy or expensive) and decorating/sprucing up the house and garden, again basic stuff and nothing extravagant or fancy.

Has anyone had to deal with DWP or housing benefit department on these kind of issues? I haven't got the lump sum yet and it might be a couple of months, but just trying to find out the best way of dealing with DWP/council and what might or might not be acceptable.