Reply To: Capital gifted – deprivation?

Mike Hughes

With my WRO hat firmly on 🙂 I can honestly say I’ve never heard anyone argue there’s effectively no such thing as deprivation. That’s patently nonsense.

However, I do think it is exactly as simple as described above. The reason why people find tribunals make decision they find surprising but few reps. would…

1 – legally doesn’t matter whether it was £100 or £100,000. The issue is always whether you can show that a claimant knew the capital limits. If they say they didn’t then you’re into “mistaken belief, reasonably held”. Not a hard argument to win given the poor, ambiguous and often plain wrong info. claimants continue to be given re: capital, changes of circumstance etc. from DWP and local authorities. I’ve lost track of the occasions I’ve had appeal papers assert what a leaflet said only to have to walk presenting officers through what plain English means. It starts with the old gem of “you must declare any/all change of circumstance”. Er, no. 100% legally inaccurate.

2 – if you can’t show she knew the capital limit then you have the answer as to why she didn’t declare in the first place. If you’re also struggling to show that her circumstances were covered by leaflets on changes of circs. etc. then your case is circling the drain.

I’m afraid I’ve a fondness for this sort of case because decision makers dig themselves deep into circumstances and motivations and chronologies and it still mostly comes down to… can you show she knew the capital limits and had clear unambiguous information on what to declare. I’ve seen that bar beaten but it is a high bar.