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  1. The poor girl probably in all innocence and out of compassion asked the guy (the OP) some general question about his health. All of a sudden he sees it as a threat to his well being? She wasn't a bully, nor was she trying to undermine his rights. For goodness sake the OP has blown this out of all proportion and is now on seemingly a one man war mission. For goodness sake I have a neighbour that works for the DWP in the local BDC and deals with ESA claims day in day out. He knew what I claimed and why, yet I didn't let it stop my life when he quite regularly asked me how it was going and appreciated the fact that I trimmed his front hedge on a weekly basis as I had time on my hands. If he thought that I was 'playing the system' then that was his problem not mine. I live a normal life, enjoy being chairman of various charitable bodies and enjoy activity holidays. Yet I have medical evidence that supports a DLA HRM & MRC award as well as a Support Group award in ESA for 5 years. I don't worry about what other people think or say, life is too short.
  2. As I have said, sad as it may seem, but your attitude is not really going to help you. I choose my battles to the ones that I know I will win!
  3. What you think of my views is up to you. But what I can say is that you appear to have a serious attitude problem with INGEUS and the advisors. For me, I wouldn't want the aggravation and certainly wouldn't want to give myself any more stress especially when you knew from the beginning that you would not win. Is it really so difficult to walk away from a problem, and to work with these people instead of setting yourself up for a heart attack? Life is for living, not creating a personal vendetta with a WP who is really doing nothing more than carrying out instructions handed down by the DWP.
  4. I was in the Support Group AND over 60, yet the WP insisted that I go every other week on pain of loss of benefits. I had 28 weeks (14 visits) before I found out that it was voluntary! When I approached the DWP they tried to blame me for not asking enough questions early on and for not taking the initiative to question why I was being told to go - eerrr I assumed that you (DWP) and the WP were applying the law correctly?
  5. Thanks For the sake of clarity I will telephone them in the morning and see what they say, reporting back here for further advice or comments.
  6. It is certainly not a wind up, and yes they are my views. There are 1000's of genuine claimants, and only a small number of dodgers. However, I can't see how any scheme can be brought about to only affect those that dodge without it impacting on the innocents. I know quite a bit about benefits having had to claim them for many years due to various health problems. I have had to cope with the horrors of ESA after having had an assessment that was a pack of lies from start to finish. I have had to fight for all of my and my wife's benefits. Yet I have always played ball with the DWP and have done everything that I was told to do and more. I could have moved over to Pension credit in Sept 09 and would have avoided the whole assessing and re-assessing saga. But no, I stayed with ESA until they took it off me when I started to get my SRP in June 2014 I would sooner work with the system than against it. I would sooner do without the benefit if I could manage without it. If I feel that I am being treated as a liar and a conman by the DWP then sobeit. I'm not that is all that matters. I feel sorry for the government departments having to save money at the expense of making people stressed and ill - but then what choice do they have? They have their instructions to follow.
  7. I agree entirely, and that is what I am seriously thinking of doing. The only trouble is that when I do have to re-claim, they would be asking questions of where the money had gone as to them I would have got rid of it as quickly as I could so that a new claim could be put in. They could very well determine that there would be a considerable amount of notional capital still existing which would stop my new claim before it got started. It will take no more than a few months to get rid of the entire £140,000!! I have to laugh though, before I became entitled to this money we were more than happy with our little lot. The money hasn't brought us anything but aggravation except the opportunity to pay off our mortgage.
  8. Try finding a car that fits the criteria that we have. Diesel, at least 2 litres for our caravan, 4x4 due to where we live, height in getting in and out, good residuals, good reputation for reliability, cheap to service and maintain and cheap insurance (less than £200 fully comp). What we would like is over £36000 new!!! Even Motability cars are up to £25,000. Yes I agree with your comment about the council, hence if we can pay off the mortgage, the property will be going into a Vulnerable Persons Discretionary trust. The council would then have one heck of a job trying to get at it if and when we may need help with caring in the future - as do most of our politicians!! The idea in closing it down would shut down the argument. Leaving it running would lead to a protracted argument that I know that I don't have the ability or capability to go to court with.
  9. I presume that you are suggesting that in addition to paying off the mortgage and buying what we intended, we should then inform the Pension Service of what we have done? Alternatively should we do the above but NOT tell the Pension Service and wait until they find out and come back with a demand for a large overpayment of benefit? If the former, would it not be better to put the money in our savings account and ask the Pension Service if what we propose doing to try to keep our benefit would not be deprivation? If they say it would be, then we would be back with both of my options.
  10. That does appear to be the case, but to be honest I wouldn't trust the DWP to think the same way!! They do have a habit of not following what is in front of them in their handbook or the legislation. They seem to look for the best option for the government whether it is right or wrong. I still can't see why Pension Credit rules should be any different from the rules relating to the other benefits - deprivation is deprivation which ever way you look at it. Put simply, I am trying to put the money into our home which is obviously an exempt asset thereby protecting our entitlement to Pension Credit. The knock on effect will also increase our net spendable income as we would no longer have to pay the mortgage top up every month - but yes I know I can't very well tell the DWP what I would like the end result to be!! To protect ourselves against any eventuality and taking the worst case scenario, I think that we have two options. The first is to use the inheritance as we intended and close down the Pension Credit claim. They can't very well ask questions or get involved with the matter if there is no valid claim in place. We could just about manage to live on what else we have coming in. Or, close the Pension Credit claim and use the inheritance money to keep us going for as long as it is possible and not worry about paying the mortgage off. I just don't feel comfortable in having a long drawn out argument with the Pension Service over the question of whether paying the mortgage off and the other things would or would not be deprivation when looking at the different rules of it for ESA/JSA/IS and PC
  11. As mentioned above, the carer and the cared for have to confirm that at least 35 hours a week are treated as 'cared for hours'. There are no checks made by the DWP other than you may at some point in time have to explain what you do in those hours. However the definition of what constitutes cared for hours does not exist other than to say that for those hours you cared. As an example, you may live 2 hours drive away from the cared for person and you visit twice a week. Those 8 hours of travelling will count. If you deal with the cared for person's financial affairs, do their washing etc in your own home, those hours are counted. Even time spent with the cared for person providing support and encouragement are caring hours. In other words if you believe that there are hours in each week that you carry out some form or type of caring for the benefit of the cared for person, then you count them. Over a week that would be at least 5 hours a day on average. You may stay with the cared for person for 24 hours and go back the following day, then those 24 hours are counted as well as are the hours taken to get there and back. A case that I am aware of is where the carer lives 200 miles away and stays from 12noon on the Saturday (the time that they arrive) to 2pm on the Sunday (the time when they set off to return) with the cared for person every weekend. In that case the travelling time of 5 hours each way added to the 26 hours that they spend with the cared for person adds up to 36 hours each week!
  12. UPDATE This is most confusing. We had a meeting yesterday with AgeUK and they can only refer back to the legislation and the DWP handbook. They agree with what has been said on here in that paying off a mortgage early out of the inheritance funds whilst in receipt of Guaranteed Pension Credit will NOT be treated as deprivation of capital. However they went one step further and considered the same scenario as if we were claiming another means tested benefit (JSA/ESA/IS) as well as Housing Benefit. Under those benefits the legislation and certainly the DWP handbook states clearly that if paying off a mortgage early it WILL be treated as deprivation. Since coming home, I have researched this and can agree that the situation with Pension Credit seems to be a lot 'softer' than if you were claiming any other means tested benefit. Am I right? Can there be two totally different decisions depending on which means tested benefit you are claiming? Personally I am a little worried that I am missing something here and that what is said in the DWP Pension credit handbook is wrong and that Deprivation of capital in respect of ANY means tested benefit should follow the SAME rules. Does anybody have any idea please?
  13. Unfortunately that is exactly what I meant - it has to be a 'one size fits all'. It would be impossible for the DWP/WP to deal with each and everybody's different problems. The cost would be enormous to the taxpayers. The system works on the basis that if the DWP 'catch' 20 people that have been swinging the lead for years, it is worth the stress that is caused to the 1020 people that are honest and have to suffer the same treatment. In fact you could say that the DWP are being correct in that they treat everyone with suspicion initially. You could never devise a system that is tailored to each individual beit for JSA or ESA claimants. You can only devise a system that fits most people in a similar way. As for me I know that I had to work with them, there was no choice at the time. In fact we were awarded Guaranteed Pension Credit as a top up benefit from when I was 60. Yet I also continued to follow the ESA road up until I was 65. You could say that I put myself through all of that aggravation, when I needed not to have done and just had a higher PC award instead. I saw that it was right to claim ESA instead of trying to play the system to avoid the ESA regime by closing it down and claiming PC instead. The actual amount we received would have been no different. If more people just played along with the system you would find that on the whole you would have a much easier time of it.
  14. I had 28 weeks of being assigned to a WP whilst over 60 and in the Support Group. It was a real wonder that I managed it being on highish doses of Morphine - 100mg every 12 hours + as much Oramorph as I needed to cope together with a cocktail of anti psychotics + lithium daily plus a another bucketful of other drugs. I never complained once and carried out every demand placed upon me no matter how I felt. When I found out that it was voluntary and not compulsory, the only people I was annoyed with was the JCP for not informing me that I need never have attended. The WP was only doing what their contract stated that they should do - try to get you back into work, no matter what.
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