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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I am on Employment & support allowance and receive housing

Resolved Question:

I am on Employment & support allowance and receive housing benefit. I have recently moved so had to reapply to another district and they are asking for two months bank statements. Before the move i had a huge clear out to help with moving costs and earnt £300 from ebay in the 2 months which shows on my bank statement. I wondered if this would affect my housing benefit claim. Additionally i have two main accounts i use, which i declared on the form. However i have 2x internet accounts also i now realise i should have declared but didnt really think about it as they are not actively used. These arent really used and i have no savings etc but if i submit my bank statements they will see small occassional transfers to the other accounts. I do not feel i have had any overpayments of benefit but my main concerns are -

Will they question the ebay/paypal payments of £300 over 2 months
Should i declare the other two accounts now too - and will i get into any trouble for simply not declaring them on the original application form, even though i have no savings in there?

Many thanks
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will try to help with this.

Can I just be clear about this please? This is just £300 in the space of 2 months? There are no other earnings.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX i moved i was doing permitted work on a business ebay account under ESA, which they knew about but i wasnt actually drawing a wage from it, any turnover was being ploughed back in. So nothing was withdrawn to my bank account. I have now had to stop this due to health declining.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

But on the 2 months bank statements there is no other income (Just esa, and DLA - which isnt means tested) just those paypal payments.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
Thanks.
Did you declare your Ebay income to the DWP?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Not the £300 no as it was just bits and pieces sold from around the house

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
Thanks.

What about the other income.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Yes i kept them fully informed about the ebay business account. On ESA i was told you can earn up to £20 a week as long as you are on the benefit, or up to £95 a week for a year.


 


As i hadnt made any profit and was working at a loss i advised i was earning under the £20 a week rule, the idea was not to earn money but to build up a reputation so that if my health improves i have a career opportunity.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
Thanks.

Its not accounts you have to declare per se but income. From what you say you did declare the income that you received save for this £300. If so, then that is fine.

It is probably worth declaring everything at this stage but they will not take any action against you for having dormant accounts.

In relation to the £300, you should really declare that at this stage. Even though its late declaration you can still make a declaration and thereby protect yourself.

Its very unlikely they would act against you as its just a mistake.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 63896
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Jo C. and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Okay thanks i will provide the full statements and also declare i have two others and provide statements and advise i didnt think about them.


 


I do have another similar question relating to this scenario - The joint tenant i share with and who also has to provide bank statements, he received £6000 inheritance which he spent very quickly on large items including a car, although this would not have put him over the limit at which it affects h/b would this be a big problem if they found out? If i need to submit another question let me know thanks its just that we are both submitting our info together

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

He is in same situation as me, esa and housing benefit

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
Thanks. I can do this as a free follow up.

Its bad news though I'm afraid.

£6k is a sum that should have been declared and they will say that spending it in this way amounts to deliberate dissipation I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Okay but it wouldnt class as an overpayment of housing benefit i imagine as you can have 6k before they start making deductions to the award so i assume its a case of failing to declare and i guess all we need to know is what the worst case scenario if they did find out? Would it be a warning or something more serious?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
They could prosecute but i would expect them to just consider it an overpayment and ask him to repay the proportionate reduction that there would have been.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Okay thank you but i thought you ould have up to 6k without it affecting h/b so surely there wouldnt be an overpayment

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
I actually misread that amount as £16k which would have been prohibited.

Up to £6k and no more does not need to be declared and anyway a sum over would only lead to a proportionate reduction in the benefits being paid.

I would have suggested declaring it anyway but if its under £6k then thats not an overpayment.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank you very happy with response

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
No problem and all the best.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I think i have rated now any problems let me know.


 


Many thanks i will definitely be returning if i need further advice on anything in the future!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.
Yes, you have.

All the best.

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