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Thread: Bit of a weird question...

  1. #1
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    Bit of a weird question...

    But how do I sign off?

    I've been on the "traditional" benefit of ESA for over a decade, so everything was done offline (and still is), so I don't actually have any online presence with the DWP, i.e. no login to fill out an online form. So when it comes to signing off, I don't actually know how to do it?

    To explain, a close relative has just died, and I will be about to receive a inheritance that's over the 16,000 (I believe that's what it is?) threshold for claiming ESA. So, I need to sign off.

    I do also get PIP, and I would like to keep that, as it's not means tested, of course.

    So, can I do it over the phone? Will I have to go into a JobCentre branch? Will I have to fill out a specific form? Can I do it online if up until now I've never used DWP online? (although, I think I'd prefer to do it over the phone or in branch, as I fear an online request might go astray, or would I get a email confirmation?) Do I have to tell them why? (sorry for all the questions) I'm assume they'd be pretty pleased to get me off their books, so I'm assuming I wouldn't need to provide any proofs for the reason.

    I assume I'll also need to provide proof(s) of identity in some way, else people would be trying to maliciously sign each other off all the time.

    Also, can I ask, what will I lose when I sign off?

    I think my list is likely to be:
    Loss of pension stamps
    Loss of free prescriptions
    Loss of free NHS dentistry

    So on the issue of pension stamps, I think I can pay something to keep these going, and it's probably a good idea?

    Also, perhaps this is straying off topic too much, but I've also go no idea how to declare myself to the tax man if I'm living off savings. I am in my 50s. Can I declare myself retired? Would that have advantages?

    Sorry if I've gone a bit hard on the question count, but thanks for any replies.

    P.S. This feels very weird. I've spent over a decade fighting to keep my ESA.

    P.P.S.

    Oh, I forgot. I'll be wanting to change my address at the same time, as I'll start burning through money pretty quickly if I have to pay the rent at where I'm presently at. Could it cause any issues if I changed my address at the same time? Would it be better to do the two things separately?
    Last edited by aendean; 05-12-21 at 07:09.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    If your ESA is Contribution Based then it's not affected by savings/capital, if it's Income Related then it is.
    It may be some of both, and so only the IR part will be affected.

    Don't close your ESA claim yourself. Don't tell ESA about future changes until they actually happen.

    It sounds like you are in Support Group so it may well be (at least partly) Contribution Based.

    If your ESA is all, or partly, Contribution Based then that can keep being paid.

    Wait until you actually have then money then ring ESA and tell them you have had a "change of circumstances", they will then check which type you have and close the claim if it's Income Related. (or just stop paying the IR part of it if it's a bit of both).

    If/when you move house ring and tell them about that when it happens. (If you are still on ESA).

    In either case the number to ring to report a CofC to ESA is here: https://www.gov.uk/employment-suppor...-circumstances
    The only ID they ask for is your Address, your National Insurance number, and your date of birth.

    If/when you lose your IR benefits then the 3 you mention will also be lost, as will automatic passporting to both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Relief if you get those.
    If your IR ESA is closed then the DWP will most likely have already told your council that, but it's best to tell them yourself too because you may still quailfy for those on 'Low Income' grounds. Unlikely though if you have high savings/capital.
    If you get either of those then again simply ring your council and tell them you've had a 'Change of Circumstances'. (Best to do each one seperately, being the same council they should talk to each other but ...).
    You can find the number(s) to ring on your councils website. There are usually also forms on the website to report CofC's.

    PIP will not be affected at all and you don't need to tell them about the inheritance.
    Yony need to tell them if you change address, so they know where to send any letters.
    Again ring them if/when that happens: https://www.gov.uk/pip/change-of-circumstances

    You should check your pension entitlement, you may already have the maximum entitlement so don't need to pay any more NI.
    They'll tell you, and what to do if you do need more.
    Start here: https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

    The Taxman will send you a Tax Return if they want to see anything.
    You may have to pay tax on any interest that the savings attract if it takes your income over your Personal Allowance: https://www.gov.uk/apply-tax-free-interest-on-savings
    If that's likely then you'll need to register and do self-assessment forms, see these:
    https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-t...d-a-tax-return
    https://www.gov.uk/register-for-self...-self-employed

    And looking further forwards:
    If the savings should drop below 16,000 again before you reach State Pension Age then you will be able to make a claim for Universal Credit.
    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
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    Thank you Nukecad, a very thorough reply.

    "Don't close your ESA claim yourself. Don't tell ESA about future changes until they actually happen."

    Can I just ask why? Is that just because of the risk the inheritance payment to me might not happen, or be delayed, leaving me in money difficulties? Or can it cause extra problems in other ways?

    Also, I read some other advice saying, if did decide to sign-off, that I should follow up with a letter to the office that deals with my claim. Unfortunately I've packed most of my mail up (to be honest, I'm also pretty disorganised, and I'm not sure when was the last time I received correspondence from them, anyway), so I'm not sure what that office is. Is there a default address I could send the letter to, if I did decide to take the plunge?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by aendean; 07-12-21 at 09:41.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You don't close it yourself because if it's partly CB then that part can remain in payment. But that won't happen if you just tell them to close it altogether.
    And yes, we have seen many times where people thought they had only IR but actually had both CB and IR.
    So let the DWP close the IR part. (Which may or may not be all of it).

    You don't tell them about something until it happens, because they have a habit of doing things too early if you do tell them in advance.

    There's no need for a letter, just phone the ESA number and tell them what has changed, if they want more details they will ask for them on the phone or send you a form.
    Last edited by nukecad; 07-12-21 at 12:43. Reason: originally typed on a moving bus
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    You don't close it yourself because if it's partly CB then that part can remain in payment. But that won't happen if you just tell them to close it altogether.
    And yes, we have seen many times where people thought they had only IR but actually had both CB and IR.
    So let the DWP close the IR part. (Which may or may not be all of it).

    You don't tell them about something until it happens, because they have a habit of doing things too early if you do tell them in advance.

    There's no need for a letter, just phone the ESA number and tell them what has changed, if they want more details they will ask for them on the phone or send you a form.
    Thanks Nuke. So what should I say, if there's both, "Can I please stop the income related part of my ESA claim?"

    I don't mind if they do it straight away, to be honest. I'm having trouble imagining things will go wrong. I just want it done. I want my freedom! It's always felt like a bit of stressful cage, to me. I heard you can also do a quick re-apply within 12 weeks if things do go awry?

    Well, the recommendation for the letter back up was to "create a paper trail" to protect yourself from any accusation you didn't tell them, I'd assume. I think I'd maybe still like to, but I don't have an address!

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Don't say anything about 'stopping' anything.
    Don't use the word 'stop', or 'end'.

    Just tell them that you have an inheritance, how much, and when it went into your bank.
    Let them work out what that then means, and if your ESA should stop or if some should still be paid.

    Creating a paper trail is good advice in some situations, but not necessary here.
    When the money hits your bank will be recorded by your bank statements and that's enough of a paper trail.
    If the DWP should say that you didn't tell them when you got the money so they paid you more than they should have then you simply say I did tell you and pay back however much they gave you for after that date.
    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.

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