Deprevation or not

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    I realise that there are many different approaches by LA’s with regards to capital deprevation but can i have some ideas about the following.

    clmt/partner with 4 children. private rented, previously on income based dwp award.
    ptnr receives inheritance of £66000.00 in Aug 2010 and by March 2011 has nothing left.

    We and DWP were advised at time of inheritance and no HB/CTB or JSA/IS has been paid since August 2010

    But now clmt has no money and no ability to pay rent – currently about to be evicted and is very distressed. As clmt/ptnr and kids will have nowhere to live in a couple of weeks ( owes l/l thousands) they have come to us. They have supplied all bank statements and going through these they have just squandered the money. Nothing to show at all, holiday, car ( now sold as nothing to live on) tellies, phones, clothes just the normal spenidng spree items.
    There were a lot of cash withdrawels over 6 months totaled around 16k of cash withdrawels – reasons given for these are food, booze and few drugs.

    Would anyone think just because they were previously in the benefit system and they realised/thought that benefits would be there and a safety net when their cash was gone we should approach this case with capital deprevation and not help?



    I once repped a client at several Appeal Tribunals for HB/CTB and JSA who had apparently squandered £37,000 in a couple of months (there was a debate about whether he’d initially shared the money with someone else, but even if he had, he had nothing to show for nearly £20,000). We won each tribunal as he was very clear and consistent on the fact that because he’d never had such amounts before he used the money to treat himself and his loved ones – not because he’d intended to use it quickly in order to gain from the benefits system. He had a long history of being in receipt of benefits before that.

    By the 5th tribunal he was very clear that he wished he’d never won the money in the first place – especially as while the tribunals were going on he’d also had to defend an action against recovery of possession of his home due to rent arrears which accrued because it had been decided he wasn’t entitled to HB.


    £66,000 is a lot of money and the caselaw is not helpful to them. When they spent the money how did they think they would survive? The benefits system! This is an example of why the system simply does not work.

    My own example; a claimant made £120,000 on a right to buy sale and lost it all in a casino in just three months. His claim was given very short shrift by a Tribunal chair who told him that if he had watched tv for one evening he could have paid his rent for three months on the money he saved. Not quite the right reasoning maybe …..


    I had a similar case whereby large amounts were withdrawn daily – and the only explanation was pizza and taxi’s. As there was nothing to show for the withdrawals, I treated the claimant as still possessing the money and won at Tribunal on that basis. Claimant and 3 kids were then evicted and housed by social services for free until income support was eventually allowed again.
    I was later told by a Housing Officer that the money had been scammed out of her by her ‘new’ boyfriend and drug-taking neighbours.
    I had another where ‘money spent on the horses’ was alleged. The Tribunal judge, questioned him very closely about the local racecourses and exposed his complete lack of knowledge of the racing seasons !
    In reality we may have to accept that a person is unable to hang onto a large sum and so freely spends it on nothing because s/he can – rather than to gain HB.
    Write it up for Tribunal – let the judge decide. You have then attempted to protect the public purse and if you ‘lose’, the children in the family ‘win’.

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