Capital eligibility: must be checked even if your client is receiving a passported benefit

We recommend you get details of your client’s capital position first, as it can sometimes be easier to do and because it allows you to address any misunderstandings about eligibility at an early stage.

If your client’s capital exceeds £1,716 they are ineligible for advice and assistance, regardless of their disposable income, (unless the disregard for clients of pensionable age applies). You should check the Children’s Keycard for current eligibility levels. They are ineligible above this limit even if they are receiving a passported benefit. Someone may hold capital over £1,716 and still qualify for a range of benefits. However, this would not mean that they qualified financially for advice and assistance.

Capital: documentary evidence

For capital, you should ask to see:

  • For bank deposits or savings accounts, a statement or passbook
  • For shares or other savings or investments, any available certificates or statements

You should not be satisfied just by seeing a bank statement. You should specifically ask whether your client has other forms of capital, such as savings accounts or investments and see evidence of those.

Your client may no longer have paper bank statements and if they use online banking, you should still view the statements online or on an app.  We accept that there may be no paper copy for you to retain. If this is the type of verification you have used, you should note this on the application.

Capital is not limited just to money held in a bank or building society account.

It includes items such as:

  • Amount that could be borrowed against all land and buildings your client or their partner own, other than their main home, including interests in timeshares
  • Money in a bank, building society, post office, credit union, premium bonds, national savings certificates etc.
  • Investments, stocks and shares
  • Money that can be borrowed against insurance policies
  • Value of other non-essential possessions, such as a boat, a caravan, second car, jewellery (but not wedding or engagement rings), antiques or items bought for investment
  • Money owed to your client or their partner
  • Money due from the will of someone who has died
  • Money due from a trust fund
  • Money that can be borrowed against business assets
  • Redundancy payments.

We accept that if a client says they do not have any of these it is difficult for you to get evidence they do not. If you can obtain any such evidence keep a copy on file. You should, as a minimum, be able to show that you have asked about each of these items.  Form AA/LAO/CHLA includes a Declaration that you may find helpful for this; you must get your client to review and sign this and retain it on your file.

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