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I was contacted recently by Mary who wanted advice. She was born with a physical disability and was doing well.  She had inherited around €80,000 from the proceeds of a house sale after her mum passed away. For the first time in her life, she now had money to invest. You would think this would be good news except for the fact that she was called in for an interview with the Department of Social Protection. Mary is now over the limit for cash savings when it comes to means tested benefits.

As you can imagine the stress, hassle and issues this has created not only for her Disability Allowance but for all other means test payments such as Household Benefit Package, Medical Card, Fuel Allowance, just  to name a few.

The most disappointing aspect of the whole situation is the fact that with professional advice this could have all been avoided. Mary could have benefited from the €80,000 without facing the consequence that she now finds himself in.

As parents it is only natural to worry about your child future but what is more important is that you don’t innocently jeopardise your child’s access to means test benefits. Do your research; understand how these state benefits work. Then speak to your Trust Planner and get your Solicitor to update your will.

Name changed for confidentiality reasons