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  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    I am a single working (full time) male for your information. This actually is a generic benefit enquiry that I may post in other areas asking for advice.

    It has almost been agreed that my son, aged 11 will come and live with me when and if I find a suitable property that will house both of us. Currently it is not possible for him to come and live with me as I am living in a rented room.

    I have middle rate DLA, and my son is in receipt of the middle rate care and lower rate DLA.

    I have had a benefit check if the above situation happens and it appears it is possible to rent privately with LHA supporting my income. Working/Child Tax Credits will also help.


    However, my issue is that he may be going to a specialist school from September (Year 7). I am wondering how it would affect his DLA and my Tax Credit as well as my Housing Benefits? He may be coming home every weekend as that is the reason he is coming to live with me, as he needs a father figure to discipline him and teach him life skills (his mother is on benefits and I am only thinking he is becoming too smart to cave in to her and answers back). His mother is not able to cope with 3 other young children (only two of the four are mine).
    • Here are my questions
    • How will my WTC/CTC be affected?
    • How will his DLA be affected?
    • How will my Housing Benefit be affected?
    • Is there anything else I should be aware of?
    Finally, how do I start with informing my council (which is a different council) to agree to my son to go to the specialist school which the other borough have already agreed to do? What is the process and how do I start if we decided to go ahead.

    Many thanks

    A
    Originally posted by garfieldd
    Dear Garfieldd
    I can only answer the question you have about housing benefit. As I understand it, you are concerned about whether your son is with you full time or not will affect your benefit. From an income point of view, his DLA would not be counted in the household income, so there should be no effect. There is a more complex issue on the Local Housing Allowance in that you will need to convince the local authority that you need accommodation large enough for two of you. From what you say, this seems highly likely, but you will need to inform the local authority about this arrangement.
    Your total set of questions would merit your going for more personal advice at your local CAB office.
    Hope this helps
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
  • FoxyNoxy
    Housing benefit
    Hi, this seems like a complicated one and I'm really worried! I got housing benefit on the grounds of being a deaf student.

    I told housing benefit about a bond that I had of £3k. That was used as 'income' when the decision was made. However when the bond matured, I was going through an awful time of my life, so I spent it in literally months of holidays, clothes, printer, etc. Not my proudest moment but I almost failed my degree to boot.

    When I'd got back on track, I told them that the money was no longer available. They sent me a letter asking me where I spent the money.. I provided receipts for everything except about £700, alongside a letter explaining I was going through a hard time and showing the associated costs. A small plea begging them not to stop my benefit too.

    My rent was never not paid.

    The question that I have is: are they likely to stop my benefit due to extravagant spending? Or are they probably just going to act as though I still have £3k in a bond or £700 on my person? I'm so worried in case I lose my benefit, as it would leave me homeless and force me to quit my degree. The amount of money I get is the only part of my income that makes living in or near London do-able.

  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    Hi, this seems like a complicated one and I'm really worried! I got housing benefit on the grounds of being a deaf student.

    I told housing benefit about a bond that I had of £3k. That was used as 'income' when the decision was made. However when the bond matured, I was going through an awful time of my life, so I spent it in literally months of holidays, clothes, printer, etc. Not my proudest moment but I almost failed my degree to boot.

    When I'd got back on track, I told them that the money was no longer available. They sent me a letter asking me where I spent the money.. I provided receipts for everything except about £700, alongside a letter explaining I was going through a hard time and showing the associated costs. A small plea begging them not to stop my benefit too.

    My rent was never not paid.

    The question that I have is: are they likely to stop my benefit due to extravagant spending? Or are they probably just going to act as though I still have £3k in a bond or £700 on my person? I'm so worried in case I lose my benefit, as it would leave me homeless and force me to quit my degree. The amount of money I get is the only part of my income that makes living in or near London do-able.

    Originally posted by FoxyNoxy

    Hi FoxyNoxy

    Please find further information below:
    Yes, as a disabled student, you can get Housing Benefit as long as your income is below a certain level and you don't have more than £16,000 of savings. You can also get other financial help if you’re a disabled student. In England and Wales, you can get more information from the Directgov website at www.directgov.gov.uk in a number of different formats. For example, you can download films in British Sign Language about some disability benefits. In Scotland, see the website of the Student Awards Agency at www.saas.gov.uk.

    If your Housing Benefit does not cover all of your rent and you need more help, you may be able to get some additional money from the local authority.

    You therefore do not have more than £16,000 so this should not affect your HB unless there are other circumstances not listed here.

    However please visit :
    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/benefits_e/benefits_help_if_on_a_low_income_ew/help_with_your_rent_-_housing_benefit.htm#if_you_are_a_student
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
  • lornao1
    Good evening
    I hope you could advise me, my husband and I have decided to spilt up, the property that we live in was bought solely by my husband. He has said that he is going to sell the house. We have 2 children aged 13 and 11. I was wondering basically where this leaves me and what my rights are ?

    Thanks
  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    Good evening
    I hope you could advise me, my husband and I have decided to spilt up, the property that we live in was bought solely by my husband. He has said that he is going to sell the house. We have 2 children aged 13 and 11. I was wondering basically where this leaves me and what my rights are ?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by lornao1
    Dear Lornao1
    This forum is strictly only for housing benefit enquiries, but I interpret that you are seeking advice on all matters related to the ending of your marriage. The advice I give is based on assuming that you live in England -if that's wrong, please let me know.
    Firstly and probably most urgently - you need to take steps to secure your housing rights: I quote from our website www.adviceguide.org
    "If you and your partner are owner-occupiers, it's possible that only one of you is the actual owner of the property. If this is the case, the partner who is not the owner will need to protect their right to stay in the property and make sure the owner doesn't sell it without their knowledge. Even if you actually move out when the relationship ends, you may want to move back in again later.
    To protect your rights to stay in the property, you have to fill in a form and send it to either the District Land Registry or the Land Charges Department in Plymouth. In Northern Ireland, it's either the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds. This depends on where the property is registered.
    This procedure is not complicated and it is not necessary to consult a solicitor. However, anyone who wants to protect their rights in this way should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau."

    You can get initial answers on a number of questions you may have by consulting the website above, but you really should get more advice that is related to your exact situation, by -for example- visiting your local CAB
    Wrt Housing Benefit: if you move out into rented property and your income is low and your capital is under £16000 then you may well be able to get HB as help to pay the rent. This is administered by your local authority along with Council tax benefit. For some more detail, have a read at http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/benefits_e/benefits_help_if_on_a_low_income_ew/help_with_your_rent_-_housing_benefit.htm

    Hope this helps
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
    • Former MSE Wendy
    • By Former MSE Wendy 6th Aug 12, 4:41 PM
    • 868 Posts
    • 1,782 Thanks
    Former MSE Wendy
    Hi folks

    Can I make a request that this thread is only used for people to ask a question and for the official CAB representative to reply.

    It's great that so many want to try and help answer questions but we would like to keep the sticky threads as official as possible.

    This doesn't apply to non sticky threads in the CAB board where any replies you are able to give are appreciated.

    Thanks all
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 12th Aug 12, 3:18 PM
    • 1,518 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    Mersey
    LHA Query
    My neighbour is in receipt of LHA and entitled to 9 months' transitional protection. The same is due to expire in Sep 2012. My question is will his LHA entitlement revert to the 1 bedroom rate when he becomes 35, 4 months after that?
  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    My neighbour is in receipt of LHA and entitled to 9 months' transitional protection. The same is due to expire in Sep 2012. My question is will his LHA entitlement revert to the 1 bedroom rate when he becomes 35, 4 months after that?
    Originally posted by Mersey
    Dear Mersey
    I am assuming that you live in England - if that isn't so then the advice I give may be different, so please let me know.
    I infer from what you have written that your neighbour is single and currently under 35. He/she has 9 months transitional protection and when this is up (you say in September) then he/she will only be entitled to the shared accommodation rate set by your local housing department.
    When he/she attains 35, then yes he/she would be entitled to the 1 bedroom rate on the assumption that he/she is single and that the accommodation is not shared (if it were then the shared rate would still apply). He/she needs to inform the housing department of the change when the age of 35 is achieved.
    Hope this helps
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 12th Aug 12, 8:43 PM
    • 1,518 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    Mersey
    Many thanks! That was what I was thinking. I told him it should happen aoutomatically, although knowing the Council, it wouldn't, so I said to email them the month before.
  • Griffonshowl
    Housing benefits
    I live with my wife and we recieve 205 pounds tax credits every 4 weeks, if i earn 14,900 this tax year and she doesnt earn anything will we qualify for housing benefit. We are 27+26 with one chold under 2
  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    I live with my wife and we recieve 205 pounds tax credits every 4 weeks, if i earn 14,900 this tax year and she doesnt earn anything will we qualify for housing benefit. We are 27+26 with one chold under 2
    Originally posted by Griffonshowl
    Dear Griffonshowl
    We would need more information from you to be able to calculate what you may be entitled to. From what you have written, I am making the following assumptions:
    You live in England
    Since you appear to only receive £205 per 4 weeks in tax credits, it seems that you do not get working tax credit and therefore you and your wife are working less than 24 hours per week. Also I take it that there is no entitlement to any disability benefits.
    You talk about Housing Benefit -this applies only to local authority or social housing - if you are in private rented accommodation you will need to apply for Local Housing Allowance which may be a different sum.
    I also have to assume that you do not have savings over £6000 - above this figure and any entitlement is reduced.
    Having said all that and if I have made correct assumptions about your circumstances, then yes, you should be entitled to both Housing Benefit and Council tax Benefit!
    The amount you may receive will reduce your housing bills but will not eliminate them. I have made a calculation based on what you have told me plus the assumptions above -also assuming that the £14900 pa you mention is BEFORE tax deductions. It looks like you could get around 50% of your rent paid and a small part of your council tax bill.
    For both benefits, you'll need to apply to your local authority.
    Hope this helps -if I've made any wrong assumptions then please let me know.
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
  • mannaroth
    Hello,

    Me and my girlfriend both recently graduated from university. We're currently living with her parents and have an appointment for Job Seeker's Allowance next Monday.

    We're both looking for work, but in the meantime I'm working on a web-based business idea which will take a few months to generate any income.

    We would like to move out from her parents' home, for both their sake and ours. Is there anything stopping us from simply finding a house, paying the deposit and first month's rent, and then signing on to Local Housing Allowance? Are there any rules about time in the property to prevent people doing that? I've researched that the one bedroom rate in this area is £121.15 per week, so if we find a house that falls into that boundary, would we be ok? Is there any reason we might not be accepted?


    Also, how long do housing benefit claims usually take, from first applying until actually receiving the money?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by mannaroth; 14-08-2012 at 6:47 PM.
  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    Dear Mannaroth,

    Once you make a Housing Benefit claim, your local housing authority has a duty to make a decision within 14 days of the claim. However, you should be aware that it at times takes longer.

    If your Housing Benefit covers the price of rent payment, you do not have to make any payments towards your rent. If it does not, some local authorities provide discretionary housing payments. They are not payments of Housing Benefit. It is up to the local authority whether to give you this help. If you are not elegible to these extra payments, you will have to cover the difference between your rent and Housing Benefit payments.

    We would like also remind you that when you will move into a new property and apply for Housing Benefit, you should backdate your claim.

    Moreover, some local authorities offer rent deposit schemes as well as loans for a deposit of a month's rent on a private accommodation. The money is usually lent in advance and is then repaid by the tenant, possibly through Housing Benefit. Furthermore, some local authorities run rent bond schemes which provide a written bond in place of a deposit to guarantee up to the value of one month's rent.

    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
    • enabledebra
    • By enabledebra 17th Aug 12, 12:33 AM
    • 7,395 Posts
    • 10,909 Thanks
    enabledebra
    Just to say at the start of this post- I'm not casually ignoring the request not to post on this thread but have assumed that this might not include posts made where a CAB response has already been given but it's felt there might be something genuine to add? Please accept my apologies and delete this post if this assumption is mistaken. Some of the additions aren't HB related but can't really be extricated.


    Hello,

    Me and my girlfriend both recently graduated from university. We're currently living with her parents and have an appointment for Job Seeker's Allowance next Monday
    Full time students aren’t able to claim JSA so the date you can start claiming will depend on the end date of your course. The university decides this date (it’s not necessarily related to the date you last attended but given it’s august now you should be clear to claim unless you sat/will sit any exams in the re-sit period.)

    We're both looking for work, but in the meantime I'm working on a web-based business idea which will take a few months to generate any income.

    One of the things you need to show to qualify for JSA is that neither of you is in ‘remunerative employment’. This basically means work done in expectation of payment whether you have been paid or not. If you work over 24 hours a week it might exclude you both from JSA. As you say that you are working on a ‘business idea’ I’m assuming that you aren’t trading yet and so it’s unlikely that they would consider you to be in work at this stage of the business but bear it in mind. If you are over 25 and you are trading and working on the business for 30 hours or more you can claim WTC instead of JSA if your annual profit is low enough. See here for tax credits how they look at self employed work:

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/start/claiming/income-hours/work-out-hours.htm

    As you seem to be in the early stages of setting up your business the New Enterprise Allowance which might help with this later would be useful for you to be aware of:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Jobseekers/programmesandservices/DG_198864

    We would like to move out from her parents' home, for both their sake and ours. Is there anything stopping us from simply finding a house, paying the deposit and first month's rent, and then signing on to Local Housing Allowance?

    You have implied that you have a money available for a deposit and rent in advance but see the CAB reply re help with deposits if not. To find out about schemes in your area see here:
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/paying_for_a_home/rent_deposit_and_bond_schemes
    You should be aware that a lot of landlords won’t accept anything other than cash so schemes that look to guarantee/underwrite would limit your accommodation choices.

    Are there any rules about time in the property to prevent people doing that?

    There are no rules about time in the property but you would only be considered for payments of housing benefit from a date related to the date you put in your claim. Housing benefit can only be paid for a period before you claim (ie ‘backdated’) if there are very good reasons for not claiming earlier- there’s no indication from your post to indicate that backdating would be possible or required. In order to get Housing Benefit from the first day of your tenancy you must make your HB claim in the same week your tenancy starts so don’t delay.

    I’ve researched that the one bedroom rate in this area is £121.15 per week, so if we find a house that falls into that boundary, would we be ok?

    For a couple if you move into self- contained accommodation it’s the one bedroom rate which applies. If you move into accommodation in which you share a living room, bathroom or kitchen with others the ‘shared room’ rate for your area would apply instead.

    If you have no income other than JSA you would get housing benefit to meet rent up to the level of the LHA rate which applies and no more. The possibility of Discretionary Housing Payments shouldn't really be taken into account as on the basis of the info you have given you are very unlikely indeed to be given these payments and they are often given temporarily whilst you find accommodation within the LHA rate.

    Once you find somewhere you like you can ask for an estimate of the HB you would get before signing up to a tenancy (ask the council about a 'pre tenancy determination')

    Is there any reason we might not be accepted?

    If your only income is JSA then us you should get Housing benefit up to the LHA rate which applies.

    Also, how long do housing benefit claims usually take, from first applying until actually receiving the money?

    They should make a decision within 14 days of having all the information and evidence from you that is needed NOT 14 days from the date you claim. You should pre-empt the information needed and send it all in with your claim form to allow a payment to be made as soon as possible. See here for info on what you will need to supply (it’s not exhaustive but is likely to cover everything needed in your case) http://www.medway.gov.uk/housing/housingbenefit/evidenceforclaims.aspx
  • mannaroth
    Thank you very much for the replies.

    One final question:

    For the purposes of LHA rent calculations, does a studio flat count as a one bedroom?
  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    Thank you very much for the replies.

    One final question:

    For the purposes of LHA rent calculations, does a studio flat count as a one bedroom?
    Originally posted by mannaroth

    Yes -if the 2 of you make up one household then your studio flat would count as a 1 bedroomed accommodation
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
    • Former MSE Wendy
    • By Former MSE Wendy 21st Aug 12, 12:03 PM
    • 868 Posts
    • 1,782 Thanks
    Former MSE Wendy
    Just to say at the start of this post- I'm not casually ignoring the request not to post on this thread but have assumed that this might not include posts made where a CAB response has already been given but it's felt there might be something genuine to add? Please accept my apologies and delete this post if this assumption is mistaken. Some of the additions aren't HB related but can't really be extricated.
    Originally posted by enabledebra

    Hi enabledebra


    There may be times when a CAB advisor is not able to give certain information due to the details they have been given by the OP but if you want to join the discussion post official reply this is fine.


    Many thanks for the help you give on the forum.


    MSE Wendy
  • m-bee
    I currently live with my mother who is unemployed and claims housing benefits.
    I am working full time with an employment agency where my basic wage which includes my holiday. So for example my £10 an hour wage includes a percentage of my holiday pay. This forms part of my Gross income, but before the gross income gets taxed they deducted the holiday pay which I will get back when I actually take a holiday. Due to my mum's housing benefits I have to pay rent and council tax based on my income. So right now I am paying rent and council tax based on my gross income which includes my holiday pay. But when I take a holiday from work I'm still required to pay the same amount even though I worked less hours and not making the same amount of money.
    So mainly what I am trying to say is that according to my gross income including holiday pay and my (gross) income after holiday pay are two different figures and therefore for I should be paying less than what I have been paying for the last 3 months. Right now my rent is based on my gross income including holiday pay. Is that correct? or should I be charged my gross income after holiday is deducted?

    Adding more detail.
    So payslip details are as follows
    Gross income: £xx:xx
    holiday deducted £xx:xx
    Tax £xx:xx
    Last edited by m-bee; 22-08-2012 at 3:08 PM.
  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    I currently live with my mother who is unemployed and claims housing benefits.
    I am working full time with an employment agency where my basic wage which includes my holiday. So for example my £10 an hour wage includes a percentage of my holiday pay. This forms part of my Gross income, but before the gross income gets taxed they deducted the holiday pay which I will get back when I actually take a holiday. Due to my mum's housing benefits I have to pay rent and council tax based on my income. So right now I am paying rent and council tax based on my gross income which includes my holiday pay. But when I take a holiday from work I'm still required to pay the same amount even though I worked less hours and not making the same amount of money.
    So mainly what I am trying to say is that according to my gross income including holiday pay and my (gross) income after holiday pay are two different figures and therefore for I should be paying less than what I have been paying for the last 3 months. Right now my rent is based on my gross income including holiday pay. Is that correct? or should I be charged my gross income after holiday is deducted?

    Adding more detail.
    So payslip details are as follows
    Gross income: £xx:xx
    holiday deducted £xx:xx
    Tax £xx:xx
    Originally posted by m-bee

    Hello M-Bee

    From the information that you have given the H/B entitlement is correct in that they have worked it out on your Gross wage .

    Therefore gross is before deductions and Net is after deductions.

    Please refer to the link below for further help

    http://www.direct.govuk/en/Diol1/DoItOnline/DoItOnlineByCategory/DG_172666

    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
  • StayPositive
    Who can claim Housing Benefit
    Hi, my friend's landlord is selling his home so she will no longer be able to rent the room she currently pays £350pcm for, which includes bills.

    She's 54, single, British and works 42hrs+ a week in a care home, and earned £12,991.92 before tax last year (to 5/4/2012).

    Most studio flats in Worthing, West Sussex start at £400pcm with Bills on top of this.

    Is she likely to be entitled to housing benefit?

    Any advice would be very much appreciated - I'm posting this on her behalf as she doesn't have access to the internet!

    Many thanks!
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