What is a means-tested benefit?
Some of the benefits paid out by the UK Government are ‘means-tested’, which means that your income, savings, valuables and investments will be taken into consideration when deciding how much benefit (if any) you receive. The value of the home in which you normally live is not included in this calculation. Current examples of means-tested benefits include Housing Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support. There is no single method of means-testing and eligibility for different benefits is tested in different ways. Some means-tested benefits automatically entitle you to extra help such as free school meals for your children and free prescriptions.
Compensation, inheritance and means-testing
Government benefits can be of significant help to people with disabilities or life-changing injuries, for whom a full and active life can be more costly than it is for their non-disabled peers. However, if as a disabled or vulnerable person you were to receive money from an inheritance or compensation payment, it would almost certainly be counted as an asset when your entitlement to means-tested benefits and services is assessed. You could easily lose your entitlement to benefits – even if the cash windfall exists to provide essential funding for the services you need in the future. There are however ways of protecting from these losses. Wrigleys lawyers have unparalleled expertise in protecting clients’ compensation, personal injury awards and financial future with tailored advice and, in many cases, individually designed trusts.
Act now to protect your future
For any disabled or catastrophically injured person who anticipates an inheritance or claim settlement, it’s therefore important to consult a specialist solicitor for advice. In the case of an inheritance it’s essential to seek that advice during the lifetime of a testator (ie the person bequeathing the inheritance) as it is usually too late to protect means-tested benefits after their death. Experts like Wrigleys’ asset protection and trust administration professionals will provide the right help, guidance and expertise to protect the income and benefits designed to help get your life back on track.
Don’t wait. Call us now for life-changing advice on 0114 267 5588.