Savings thresholds and what counts?

Hello. I’m a bit concerned that I have done something wrong as regards my son’s money and would like some advice please.
He is an adult and currently lives at home with me and his dad and pays an amount each month into the ‘housekeeping’ for his keep. He has autism and LD. He receives PIP which I know doesn’t have a savings limit but also gets income based ESA which I know does. His benefits go into a current account in joint names with me as he cannot administer it himself but it is his money. He also has an ISA with just under £4000 in it as well as fluctuating amounts in his main account. The last time he was assessed he had just over the £6000 so a small amount is debited from his total. However, over the years he has had surplus money as he really doesn’t spend a huge amount and I have been putting it into another ISA in my husbands name. One reason being that when he moves out he is going to need a decent amount to set himself up in supported living and this is what it is for. There is a shade over £10000 in there now. It has occurred to me, because of something I read, that this is not the proper way to do it and it should be declared as his money along with his other funds. I feel I ought to sort this out as when he moves out and applies for HB I assume there will be a full financial check and I don’t want to fall foul of the authorities. Can anyone advise as to what my next steps should be please? Sorry for the long post but important you have all the facts. Thanks.

Hi Angela & welcome

This is a complicated one and I feel you need to seek expert advice. Either by calling Carers UK helpline or get an appointment with your local Citizens Advice.

Housing benefits capital threshold is £16,000. It would be better if everything to do with your son. Is in his name with you and/or your husband as a co signature etc.

Read up on ‘deprivation of capital rule’, under each benefit your son has now. Including when applying for housing benefit and council tax.

I think you are doing the right thing now. Better to get things sorted now rather than later.

Do I assume your son could not live alone. And would need an independent living scheme were support was available. And possible long term state funding.

There are members on the forum who have experience in this area. Hopefully someone will add to the thread.

Thank you for your reply. It never occurred to me that putting his money elsewhere was maybe the wrong thing to do. He gets PIP and I know that doesn’t have a threshold. It’s the ESA that does. For the past couple of years we have received an up to date calculation of his ESA and they have never asked me to update his finances, just pretty much did what was there the year before. I guess the onus was on me to update me but I just glanced at the new figure and filed the papers. My fault I know and yes, I do think I ought to put this right sooner rather than later. I’ll give the helpline a call and see what they suggest I do. Many thanks.

I’m a great believer - there is nothing that can’t be sorted. You do need to take advice and perhaps someone to be able to liaise and provide support.