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To think it's outrageous that a poor pensioner is charged money because she saved

(211 Posts)
MummyChelleKent Tue 16-Jul-19 19:06:34

I'm so upset with the mail story. A very poor pensioner on a pension of 150 a week saved a bit every month. After a while she saved up 22k to help with her funeral costs and now she's being told she can't have housing benefit and will have to give them all of her savings!

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Tue 16-Jul-19 19:11:03

Thems the rules. Over £16k in savings disqualifies you from housing benefit. If she has £22k she can afford her rent.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 16-Jul-19 19:11:48

Benefits are there for those who need it.

Someone with 22k in the bank does not need a benefit.

CastleCrasher Tue 16-Jul-19 19:11:49

Haven't seen the story, but if she's above the savings threshold then she won't have to "give them all her savings" but she will have to pay her way until her savings are at the threshold (£16k?)

There has to be a threshold somewhere -
If she'd 50k in savings would you think she should pay? 100k? 1Million? Not saying that the threshold is necessarily at the right level, bit totally agree there should be one

MyOpinionIsValid Tue 16-Jul-19 19:13:18

Sorry but benefits are NOT a lifestyle choice, they are there for those in need, and frankly if she was able to save £600 a month, or £7,200 a year, the benefit system was over paying her.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 16-Jul-19 19:13:30

Tbf I think the 16k is a high barrier. It's practically a years salary at NMW.

I'd reduce it to 10k with money put into funeral plans with a company not included in that. Sensible to save for your funeral. But what sort of funeral costs 22k?!

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Tue 16-Jul-19 19:14:07

Slight tangent: are funerals £22k? shock

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 16-Jul-19 19:14:27

will have to give them all of her savings!

Wholly incorrect. She will have to use some of her savings to live on until such a time she qualifies for HB again.

ticking Tue 16-Jul-19 19:15:40

I felt slightly annoyed for her until i relised she was in council tax arrears confused how can you be saving and not paying your way?

CatOnASwing Tue 16-Jul-19 19:15:54

Benefits should only be sufficient to survive, not so excessive that saving is possible.

queenMab99 Tue 16-Jul-19 19:16:18

How the hell did she save £22k from £150 a week as a pensioner? is she 110 years old?

melissasummerfield Tue 16-Jul-19 19:16:45

No she is having to repay what she has been over paid which amounts to £22k , and she is also being taken to court for not paying council tax shock

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 16-Jul-19 19:18:04

Ahhh just had a closer look at the detail. So she isn't "having to give them her savings" She is being fined for fraudulently claiming HB and council tax when she didn't qualify.

The moment she met the 16k limit she should have notified them. Failure to notify them of a change in circumstances warrants a fine. Why should she be treated any differently?

jennymanara Tue 16-Jul-19 19:21:14

So she is a benefit cheat

MyDcAreMarvel Tue 16-Jul-19 19:22:54

It was £32k there 22k she saved £29 a week for 21 years. It was from a pension, should be her choice to save.

MyDcAreMarvel Tue 16-Jul-19 19:23:08

*not

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Tue 16-Jul-19 19:23:24

I think you have to notify them of savings over £6k and then once it reaches £16k you are no longer entitled to any HB.

PotteringAlong Tue 16-Jul-19 19:23:51

She’s not a poor pensioner if she’s got £22k in the back

Lockheart Tue 16-Jul-19 19:24:07

I have not seen this story, but if you have £22k in liquid assets you are demonstrably not poor.

Funerals do not cost £22k either, unless you really go all out.

Shmithecat2 Tue 16-Jul-19 19:27:11

@CastleCrasher, she will have to pay back all the benefit she received whilst having over £16k in savings. If she had over £16k in the bank for 5 years (just an example, I don't know the actual details), she will have to pay back all the benefits she incorrectly received over that 5 years, so it may total more than she even has in savings, and she will still owe them. It's quite a sad story really. The first amount she was told she owed was £12k, her family appealed, at appeal it was shown that the council has miscalculated and that she actually owed more than that - £23k. Then they added the years worth of benefits she received whilst the case was on going and it wiped out £28k. On top of that, she's also being taken to court for non payment of council tax - because she has no savings left and no benefits coming in other than her state pension. It's all a bit of a mess really. She was declared illiterate when she left school at 14. Her DH died 18 years ago. I think that someone (family, carer) should have been keeping an eye on her finances, but the council do have to stick to the rules. It's hard. Apologies for the Daily Fail link

Pollywollydolly Tue 16-Jul-19 19:28:39

You have to show bank statements to get housing benefit, so she deliberately hid this money. As other people have said, benefits are for people who do not have thousands of pounds in savings!

countrygirl99 Tue 16-Jul-19 19:28:58

£22k is a very lavish funeral. Especially if it's only to "help" with the funeral costs.

cptartapp Tue 16-Jul-19 19:29:13

She is not very poor and funerals generally cost nowhere near £22k. As she likely very well knows.
What else is she 'saving' for??
Her non-means tested pensioner freebies should sweeten the blow of being treated like everyone else with regard to this at least.

IsobelRae23 Tue 16-Jul-19 19:31:16

And they wonder why a lot of elderly
people put their money for a rainy day under their mattress. Take note people! Lol

Nat6999 Tue 16-Jul-19 19:33:27

The savings limits haven't been increased for years, it's time they were.

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