We are experienced in the creation of trusts to protect beneficiaries with personal injury awards who are in receipt of means tested DWP benefits or who may become so entitled.
Personal injury cases can be traumatic. Apart from the injury itself there is often fundamental change to a claimant’s lifestyle and many problems can arise.
Particular problems include preserving means tested DWP benefits and protecting the award itself from others who might seek to exercise influence over the claimant for their own purposes.
Means tested DWP benefits will be entirely lost if a claimant recovers more than £16,000. £6,000 is disregarded and between £6,000 and £16,000, £1 of benefit is lost for every £250 of capital.
To preserve means tested benefits a personal injury trust can be established by the claimant. This should be done promptly and in advance of the final personal injury award being received, it can be established with a nominal amount from an interim payment.
The initial payment of personal injury compensation received by a claimant is disregarded by DWP for benefits purposes for 52 weeks. Further payments and any initial payment not spent within 52 weeks are taken into account for means tested benefits immediately once they are received.
Care should be taken to appoint capable trustees and professionals can act if there are no obvious candidates within a family or social circle.
For advice on personal injury trusts, please call our 52 North Street office in Chichester or to find out more about our team click through to the staff profile pages featured on the right hand side.