I am posting on behalf of my brother who has learning difficulties. He has been receiving ESA and DLA over the last 4 years. The benefit is automatically paid into his bank account.
My brother is 30 years old however his learning difficulty is such that his mental age is probably 7/8. He cannot read or write, or understand danger, signs etc. My parents or I do everything for him.
He does not manage his own bank accounts, we do this all for him.
His money has only even been used when I cannot afford to pay for anything for him, my mother always thought that because he does not work, he will need something when they cannot support him anymore, both my parents are at pension age.
I would ask for his money to be paid into a savings account. This has now built up to £25,000, bearing in mind that he does not have funds leaving his account and my parents and I pay for everything that he needs.
I also was not aware that you were not allowed to receive ESA once the savings reach £16000. This has been the case for the last three years.
I cannot continue to support him and neither can my parents as I now have my own dependents. He is currently sleeping in my 3 year old daughters room, or room sharing.
I understand that we will need to pay back the last three years of overpayment. What will happen to his ESA?
Can I spend the money on converting the loft area as his bedroom? He cannot bath or shave on his own and my father does this, can I spend some on a shower room?
We need to present our statements to the job centre next week. I am extremely stressed thinking about what may happen. I have personally never claimed benefits and I had no idea regarding the rules.
I understand that we should have spent his money on him and not used ours. I do not have any savings.
What are our options and what can happen? We do not have anything to hide and just made a mistake which he will be penalised for.
Would it be beneficial exhaling this to the job centre? Will they ask for the overpayment as one lump sum? Will my brother still receive his ESA once this has been resolved? That is my main worry, if he stops receiving his benefits, I cannot continue to support him. Paying back the overpayment will bring him back down to around £5000.
Any advice would be recommended?