ESA:How much savings can you have if you are in the SUPPORT group of ESA?

Hi everyone.

I was just wondering how much savings you are allowed to have if you are in the ESA Support group? I have read that if you are in the Work Related or Income Related groups, you can have between £6000 and £16000 before your benefits are effected. But i can't find anything about how much savings you are allowed in the Support group?

The reason i ask is because i have some money saved up (Just under £6000) and have just been placed in the Support group. As i had to wait over a year and a half for a medical and a decision, i am now due a substantial back payment that will take me over that £6000 savings mark.

I am a single.

Thank you in advance.

28 Replies

  • Hi Ready_Teddy_Go

    I have pasted you an excerpt below from the GOV.UK website on this issue. It would appear from reading this that if you have saving over £6,000 then the amount that you get starts to go down until you reach £16,000 whereby you will not receive any benefit.

    *Your income and savings

    Your income may affect your income-related or contribution-based ESA. Income can include:

    you and your partner’s income

    savings over £6,000

    pension income

    You won’t qualify for income-related ESA if you have savings over £16,000.

    Link To Eligibility Page:

    FMA UK do have a dedicated benefit helpline that you could contact and talk to them about this, I have pasted the link below:

    I want to gneuinely and sincerely wish you all the best of luck.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Hi, TheAuthor. Thanks for your reply.

    I've read that before. It says "Your income may affect your income-related or contribution-based ESA."

    May affect your income related or contribution based ESA. I'm not on either of those. I'm in the Support Group. So i'm not sure it would affect me, unless i'm missing something?

    The website should be a bit more clear i thinks. =)

    What would happen if my savings went below £6,000, would the benefits go back up?

    I will give that FMA UK a call next week. See what they say as well. Cheers! =)

  • From what I understand of what I have read, yes, the benefit would go back up. However you are right it should be a lot clearer. I think it may mean both ESA benefits as from what I believe they are classed as Income Support (if I am right?). It may be best to ring them and ask?

    Good luck :)

  • Hi - have a look at the letter they sent you. I am on contribution based ESA and am in the Support Group. When you first apply it's all about clarifying whether you'll be income or contribution based. So all the details about your finances determine at that point whether you'll be income or contribution based. I'm effectively penalised by being in receipt of works pensions. This meant I didn't qualify for income based as too much income! However because of my NI contributions I qualify for contribution based. I was placed in the Support Group so hopefully this be payed after my initial year is up in April 2016. However I'm once again penalised and my ESA is taxed because of my pensions.

  • Hi sniffer, I am also on contribution based ESA and my year is up in January, I am in support group but it all really confuses me, I havnt heard anything from DWP so not sure what is going to happen , if they will continue paying me or not 😓, stressful times , x

  • Hi Mogi - we both know what the other is going through then. There seems to be a considerable diversity of information in letters people receive re their ESA. I know some are told how long they will be receiving and this also varies in terms of how many years. I haven't been given any indication as to how long I will receive but I think that when in the Support Group it is at least for a year? Despite writing to DWP twice to ask how long I will continue to receive and whether I'll have to undergo a face to face assessment - I've not had a reply. I also asked whether I should keep sending sick notes - again no reply. Re this, I decided it would be best to keep evidencing my eligibility by sending sick notes every 13 weeks. My GP agreed. I haven't rung DWP because I easily either forget what I want to say or what is said to me. I like a written record that can easily be referred back to. When ever I can I email so I have an electronic trail to audit.

  • I went for an assessment earlier this year, and that was when I was put in support group then , so not sure if my year counts from when I initially started ESA which was January or from when I was put in support group after the assessment which I think was around June . Like you I have written and telephoned them asking how long I will receive it and if I still need medical certs but havnt had a straight reply , they don't make it easy for us, I would much rather be working and not having to depend on anything . Hope it all works ok for you , hugs to you xx

  • I was retired earlier this year on health grounds, I'm 57 soon and had worked all my life. I don't miss working as it had become such a struggle and very stressful. I'd certainly swap my life now to be fitter and fully functioning though. It's a travesty the way vulnerable people in need are treated. I don't need hassle in my life as like others on this forum I've enough to cope with. However I will endeavour to fight my corner re entitlements if required to do so. Hugs back to you 😉

  • Yes I know it's so hard to accept, I have worked since I was 16, I was 54 yesterday and have been nursing for the past 34 years almost 35 years and it's hard to think I may not get back to it as I love my job , but we have to take what we are given and I was lucky to be able to nurse as long as I have . You take care xx

  • I was a mental health nurse for over 20 years and then moved across to social care. More that we have in common 👍🏻

  • Yes, that's strange , we do have a lot in common . I am a paediatric nurse but have been working in a general ward for the past 12 years . It's all changed now though , but still miss my work xx

  • Hi. You can download a Record your calls App from the Playstore if you have an Android mobile phone (?).

  • Ready_Teddy_Go has misunderstood an aspect of this.

    The fact that he is in the ESA Support Group doesn't mean that he is subject to any rule with doesn't apply to either Income Related ESA or Contributions Related ESA. The 'group' he is in, is an entirely irrelevant question. All the 'group' does is determines the terms on which he has to (or not) seek work.

    ALL ESA payments are either Income Related or Contributions Related. So all he needs to know is which of these two categories he's in and check the savings and earnings rules relating to that group. If he's receiving Contributions Related ESA, and if his savings fall within the limits allowed for Income Related ESA, he need look no further. The amounts will, by definition, always fall within the Contributions related limits.

    Eventually however, he will stop receiving Contributions related ESA because it's time limited and will move over to Income Related ESA, which, for as long as he continues to qualify on grounds of health. is not time limited. Again however, which 'group' he's in, will make no difference.

    I can well understand why Ready_Teddy_Go finds all this confusing. But his question only arises because of use of language. Wait till he tries to check out the Tax Credit Rules for someone who qualifies for ESA but nevertheless, (as we are encouraged to do), takes up some work which he thinks he's capable of doing.

    Working out the Tax Credits or ESA he's entitled to continue to receive for the time being, and what will happen if he finds the work too difficult, and has to give up is near impossible. Which is why, I think, people who've been on ESA long term, are reluctant to try out working.

  • Spot on, your the Daddy

  • Hello Ready Teddy Go, if they ask tell them it is money for your funeral,,,, and if pushed pay for your funeral and the money is gone,,,out of their reach,,but there for you when you need it,,,, I understand that you may be worried,,also what about putting it into a cash ISA,,,again for the funeral (you can say they cost over £7K),,,,, or the good old fashioned one is put it under the mattress,!! I have not been in this position,,,so as it ISA lump sum,,,they must allow for people to be in this position,,,maybe at a guess the amounts could be the same for both groups,,,as I understand it the support group is for people who they have accepted as being to ill to force into work,,,,,I am in the work group and they write to me about help forgoing back to work,,I just put the letters into the file and wait and see what happens next,,,, I now I cannot work,,as my OA is really debilitating and walking, bending and moving faster than a snail is beyond me,,,,

    So if you have the answers ready,,,then maybe you will just have to wait and see,,,, can you look up on the DWP web site and the ESA Support page to give you this important information to set your mind at rest or take steps to move and make plans for your savings,,,,ttfn from Karen.

  • Hi Karen

    I'm not in receipt on this benefit but putting the money in a ISA would not stop it being counted as savings. Also trying to hide the money could be classed as benefit fraud. I would advise the poster to go to CAB to seek further advice and info.

  • Hi. If you are in the support group and have applied for contribution based ESA it does not matter how much savings you have. My husband works and we both have savings. However if you applied for income related ESA savings are looked at. It really depends which type of ESA you originally applied for. Hope this is of some help to you.

  • Caroline I have been asked to go for an interview and am worried I may be penalised because I have some savings. How definite are you about this?

  • Which type of ESA have you applied for or receive? Savings don't count for contribution based ESA.

  • I've been getting contributions based ESA for 2 years and because I had cancer I was put in the support group. Now their fraud office have asked me to go to an interview with all my bank statements etc.

  • I am sure that is very worrying for you but savings do not effect contribution based ESA. I am also in Support group. However my occupational pension has reduced my ESA payments as only allowed to receive £85 per week.

  • I don't have a pension so I'm guessing it's ok. Really stressful though the way they write to you. Thanks Caroline

  • ESA is granted either as Contribution Based or as Income Based. For either type you can be put in the Support Group or Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).

    If you get Income Based ESA, you are fully means-tested against all types of income and savings are taken into account as others have described.

    If you get Contribution Based ESA, based on your National Insurance record, then you are still means-tested but only against pensions, annuities and income that you might get from an income replacement insurance policy. These can reduce the ESA payments to Nil, but you still get a National Insurance credit towards your State Pension, so it is still worth claiming ESA just for that.

  • Thank you. I will post with the outcome x

  • Hi. I have received £50k of inheritance. I still qualify for PIP as that's not related to savings. I also still receive not income based ESA of £73.10 per week & the support group extra £36.20 per week.

    Whatever you do when declaring savings over £16,000 to the Dwp/Esa do NOT agree to end your claim.

    A friend also received last year an inheritance & ended his claim on suggestion by the DWP/ESA that: "It would be easier to do it that way" & now currently receives no benefits as his claim has ended. However, he is going now to reclaim & that involves the 6 week plus wait to be initially put on JSA but hopefully accepted again to be put on ESA.

    Please note: If you are receiving non income based ESA you will still have to attend any health assessments by Atos or whoever currently has the contract from the DWP.

  • Hi - I came across this 'conversation' by accident but am really interested in the questions and information - particularly the last post from Deeoliver because I received a lump sum payout of £50 plus from my Local Gov pension when I was retired on ill health because of Fibro. I was initially awarded Contribution based ESA but was told you can only claim this for a year - so I had to apply again for Income Based and was eventually put in the Support Group but because of my Local Gov payout and pension I only receive £66.18 which doesn't seem to follow the information in some of the previous posts. I have worked since I was 15 and was retired on ill health grounds at 60 - 45yrs of NI contributions. So does anyone have any ideas why I appear to be having far more reduction than what has been posted on here. I live with partner who has been disabled for 20yrs.

  • Hi

    I'm having a nightmare with esa, I got a lumpsome when I split with my ex, he took my house and everything and I left with a binbag of clothes so had to decorate and kit out a 3 bed house for me and two kids! Not cheap! Didn't even have a knife and fork. I had £17k but sent them receipts which included a wav as had no car as he had everything and reciepts added up to 15k, I kept calling and leaving messages and no reply so assumed all ok, 2.5yrs later! They send me a letter saying I have 10k saving and I owe them £1870, they are taking £15 a wk off esa plus £40 for arrears, then a letters from council saying I now have to pay £100 a wk towards my carers, then told this will also affect my council tax, housing benefit, tax credits! You are allowed 6k but they are charging me for the full 10k, once all has been added I will have paid over 4K already and I do t know how I'm going to Live! I didn't buy anything fancy, most was second hand! The house was a mess but being on my own had to pay for someone to cut the grass fortnightly, then stopped as couldn't afford it when money ran out, had to spend 4K on wheelchair accessible car, had to pay for decorators, men to put shelving up ect, it soon adds up as was 600 for painter, 200 for shelves and curtain poles, all white goods, carpets plus fitting, beds and mattresses, car insurance and it was high as my ex refused to tell me who we were insured with as was a multi car insurance. Tv licence, house insurance, the list is endless. In my letter to them I asked how much their contents insurance is?

    If it wasn't for my kids I wouldn't be here as I've had enough, being ill and in pain is bad enough each day, living on pills and patches, multiple hospital apps some 2hrs away as rare conditions. Can't take much more but would never leave my kids heartbroken!

    But honestly if I didn't have them I would end it, not cause of the pain or disability but because of the endless battles with dla, esa, ect. I have a loan now as a young driver wrote my car off! Within 2 wks I got a letter from social saying they know I'm starting an insurance claim! I just hope to get some to pay off the car loan a bit. I'm having physio as my neck and back are buggered after it but I'm still more worried about the money!

    My daughter has multiple disabilities and was on middle care low mobility, turned 16 and claimed pip and was refused, she has one kidney and the other is damaged! Autistic, ADHD, sees faces hears voices, has elhos danlos syndrome so falls a lot when her ankles give way and she is deaf as she was lucky enough to survive viral meningo encephalitis at 4 wks old. She has social delays and no friends and no interest in having any either!

    She don't leave my side. The bus didn't turn up yesterday outside college so had to send her a taxi, £25 as we live rural but in the report they say she can plan and make a co plea journey! They don't even know her, she can't even understand a timetable just know the times she gets the bus. She lip reads so never u derstands bus drivers and pays to much all the time. She would never hear a tannoy or be able to change a bus or train!

    It's just crazy

  • Hi,

    Having checked the UK government website .It says savings do not effect your payments.Only private or occupational pensions effect your esa support group payment.Mine is reduced because of a small pension I have.

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