IS Review

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Sunny Clouds

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IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 12:38PM
Not a happy bunny.  I'm filling in an IS review form.  Why aren't there any boxes for the stuff I want to tell them?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 12:45PM
I have not seen the an Income Support review form but just assumed they want to know if you have any other income which would reduce your entitlement to this means tested benefit. If you don't mind me asking what else do you want to tell them?

Sunny Clouds

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 01:34PM
For example, they ask if I'm a company director, but there's no space to put whether I'm an executive director or non-executive director and whether it's a paid post or not.

They ask about whether your savings have been more than a certain amount but there's nowhere to put the calculation of money in bank + cash in hand - ((one payment of each benefit)+arrears).  I think the people that design and administer the form just work on the lazy principle that all money is capital and then you have to argue the toss if it isn't. 

Some of it is funny.  They ask if you're paid any one of a number of benefits including DLA, ask you to give them details, then later they ask detailed questions about DLA - why put it in both sections?

They expect me to know what part of my fortnightly payment is IS and what part is IB.  They pay it (it's the IS department that does that) so how come they don't know?

They've asked about other income and want to know if it's regular.  I get reimbursements of shopping for others - that's variable amounts. I'm quite sure the local DWP office doesn't want to be faffing around with me taking all the receipts in every month plus a bank statement showing the cheque going in.  It's income, though, or am I just  showing my background as an accountant?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

seegee

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 02:48PM
Unless the shopping re-payments take your income to somewhere very near the IS threshhold, I'd ignore them; but that's just me. ;-)  If they ask where that money came for you will be able to show withdrawals of similar amounts shortly before each of them and explain - but chances are surely fairly high that they won't ask.  Nothing to stop you attaching (by stapling an extra sheet) more information to the form if there doesn't seem to be anywhere to put it.

I suppose you could pay for your shopping and the other person's in two separate transactions (all of his by debit-card) each time if they do start asking; then your accountant-head will be able to point to x spent on y date, followed by x paid in on z date soon afterwards by cheque from the other person's account. 

Sunny Clouds

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 03:17PM
I keep all  my receipts.  I have months of them all folio'd and filed.  I've photocopied six months' accounts to my father (single-entry) but not the receipts.

Now I need to go to the bank because I've just realised I haven't had a statement for my savings account since January.

I think there have been times when my overall accounts have contained within a fiver of 6000, but as I pointed out to the woman on the phone, this includes income.  The amount of benefit you are paid counts as income for the period for which it is paid which, in effect, means that you add up one payment of each benefit and you can have that much money and count it as income not capital.  In my case, that's just under a thousand pounds.  (Not weekly!)  Then there's arrears.  There's nowhere at all on the form to mention those so I shall write that in at the end.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

seegee

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 03:26PM
Hope it gets sorted out without difficulty once you've got all the info together. 
Oh, and does DLA even count?  Surely some of that 6k is your latest DLA payment?

Sunny Clouds

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 03:48PM
Yes it is.

Basically, this is how you work it out.

a. The money you have in the bank/building society etc.

b. The cash in your purse.

c. One payment of each benefit, e.g. IS + IB + HB + DLA etc.  (because each counts as income for the period for which it's paid, then any left over becomes capital, but then you've got the next payment and that's income and so on).

d.  Certain arrears (mostly for 52 weeks)

So I've got a + b - c - d = capital.

But they only ask about a + b, not about c & d.

If you take arrears into account, I can have about 8000 without it affecting my benefits.

I have a feeling this one is going to run and run.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

seegee

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 04:36PM
I meant that if DLA doesn't count as income for means-testing purposes if claiming HB, etc., should it count for assessing IS? 
I really don't know the answer to that but if some of the money in your account is DLA you are keeping aside for wheelchair repairs, or taxi fares when you are ill and have more hospital visits, or to pay for someone to keep an eye on you and keep you safe next time you are too ill to take reasonable care of yourself but not sick enough to warrant hospital admission... should it be ignored - because that's the whole point of DLA being money in your bank rather than help or things provided every week of the year? 
If it's given with the intention that you can save it to use when needed, it's idiotic to take it away because you have done exactly that.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 04:50PM
There's a difference between what counts as income and what counts as capital and each affect your benefit differently.

Let's take random figures.

Let's say you get 80 in DLA every four weeks.

When you get paid, it's income.

For income purposes, it is income but it's disregarded because it's DLA.

For capital purposes, it's disregarded because it's income.

If you don't spend it all in four weeks, what's left over becomes capital.

So for the purpose of accumulating capital, DLA counts.

However, for income thresholds, DLA doesn't count.

I can't imagine what good it does me to know all this.  It's possible I know more than the person who'll read my form if they're new to the job.

I lost track of my money recently, and checked what I'd got and tipped all my money out of my purse added it all up and made sure I was ok.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

seegee

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 05:25PM
Thank you for explaining so clearly, Sunny Clouds.  >hugs<

I think I get it now... anyone trying to save for an expensive high-range indoor/ outdoor powerchair by putting aside some of their HRM is likely to lose their income support if they get close to their savings target (just looked at a couple priced at more than 7k), meaning they can no longer save their DLA but have to spend their HRM on daily living costs.  :-(
Being able to go where you like is reserved for people who are able to walk pretty well (like me), people who have personal wealth/ rich relatives or people who can get funding from charity.  >erm<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 06:49PM
I don't think there would be anything to stop you buying on the never-never, though, so someone could buy it for you and you could pay them in instalments as your income comes in.

It all seems a bit wonky, though.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

seegee

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 18 May 2012 07:38PM
This is theoretical for me, I am perfectly capable of walking several miles most days and am hoping that remains true for a long time to come.

It does seem wonky and I wouldn't like to be trying to get funding for a top-end electric wheelchair from anybody (or HP, I suspect the companies might be less than forthcoming with the idea that they should take any financial risk to allow you the freedom to go wherever you please, preferring not to give HP agreements for their top-priced chairs - a 3k chair, yes but a 7k chair - um, no). 
Back to charity or rich relatives unless you have an understanding bank manager who will allow a loan. 

Sunny Clouds

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 19 May 2012 11:13PM
I'm getting more and more stressed out about this.  I've written so much on the form you can't read it and it's all gobbledygook anyway.  I know that I'm within the thresholds if you take into account what counts as income and the woman on the phone said I was right about how you calculate what's income but I'm panicking anyway.  It's not that I'm bothered if they take a bit of money off me, it's the hassle.  I worry about interviews and forms and telephone calls and aggro.

They're reviewing my DLA after I asked for a supersession so that's all tangled up with this and I've got Dad's money that I'm trying to sort out as well. 

I'm totally stressed out.  I wish it would all go away or if they have to ask these stupid questions I wish the form would be better written with enough space for the answers.

I was hoping there would be an online download but it seems there isn't.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

devine63

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 19 May 2012 11:37PM
Hi

how about writing out everything you need to say on a separate sheet (or more than one) and sending it in with the form?
regards, Deb

Sofie

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Re: IS Review

  • on: 19 May 2012 11:52PM
Hi

how about writing out everything you need to say on a separate sheet (or more than one) and sending it in with the form?
regards, Deb

If you do this, ensure your name and national insurance number are on each page.