ESA while in / after being in prison

Discussion in 'benefits and housing' started by Puddy_Tat, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    On behalf of friend who has recently come out of clink (I don't want to go in to detail but sounds like the incident that led to this has more to do with mental health than criminal intent)

    He was in support group ESA before he went inside (Octoberish - initially on remand then a sentence, some of which he'd served on remand)

    He seems to have the idea that the prison authorities should have told DWP.

    It appears that ESA has been paid to his bank account without a break.

    From what I gather, ESA is not payable while you're in clink.

    He is inclined to deal with this on the 'ignore it and hope the situation will go away' basis, but is also worried that at some point DWP are going to demand a load of money be paid back immediately. (I've said that if you stay on benefits they tend to want X amount per week until it's paid off, and I think there are limits to what percentage they can deduct for this)

    Thinking about it, I wonder if and when DWP do find out, they will say that everything paid between October and whenever they find out is an 'overpayment' and any new claim can not start until after the date they find out - in other words, the sooner he tells them, the sooner it gets straightened out.

    And I also can't find anything about a 'rapid reclaim' procedure - does that still exist, or will he have to go through the usual crap of getting assessed and rejected, then having bugger all money for weeks while waiting for reconsideration / appeal and so on?

    Any bright ideas / pointers towards up to date information welcome.

    He now lives quite a distance from where I am, so going and assisting isn't all that practical...
  2. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    He needs to tell them because if he doesn't he could then potentially get done for fraud and they are really arsey about that now. Can he get someone to act on his behalf? An advocate, CAB or Welfare Rights person. I don't see how they can criticise him for not letting him know while he was in jail but you never know these days.
    Most councils have some sort of welfare rights person/dept ime.

    If you could tell me roughly where he is in the country there should be disabilty groups that might help sort it. I'd need to ask pals about the groups, what's where etc
    Puddy_Tat likes this.
  3. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    thanks - devon.
  4. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    will ask later when I see folks
    Puddy_Tat likes this.
  5. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Ok, not sure if these guys will be able to help but they should know who can
    Black Triangle Campaign
    Also dunno if these guys might be able to help, again if they can't they should knwo who can
    Home - Devon Disability Collective

    ViolentPanda do you have any suggestions, or more local knowledge? Seeing as I'm in a different country :D

    Is you pal not getting any support from any agencies? You used to get help to sort stuff when you went into/got out of jail!!
    Puddy_Tat and Badgers like this.
  6. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh


    will pass these on.

    think i'm going to suggest he contacts dwp with an "i thought the prison service had told you..." line

    not sure. he's not the greatest at seeking help, or following any advice he is given, to be honest.

    he is at least in a secure situation as far as housing is concerned.
    geminisnake likes this.
  7. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Best way to go imo. Thought they'd told you, realised they hadn't what do I do to sort it out from here approach. Good luck to him.
    Puddy_Tat likes this.
  8. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Sorry, haven't been around for the last few days.
    1) How long was his sentence. I seem to recall that if you serve under 6 weeks, they don't break your claim, although that was with IB, not ESA.
    2) you're right about percentage reductions, but the DWP Will "try it on", and demand something like 30-50% usually. Your mate will have to have some kind of list setting out his weekly expenditure which "proves" that he can't repay more than "x" percent per week.
    3) He's going to have to seek professional advice locally, either now, or when the DWP come down on him like a ton of bricks.
    Puddy_Tat likes this.

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