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Housing Benefit - 13 week protection rule?
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# 1
doodoot
Old 08-12-2011, 1:29 PM
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Question Housing Benefit - 13 week protection rule?

Hi guys, am asking a question on behalf of a friend...I know someone here will know the answer.

She has lived in private rented accommodation for 2 years, paid the rent herself but wasn't aware during that time that she was entitled to HB and CTB.

She applied a couple of months ago and has been awarded both benefits.

Her letter states that her payments will drop in January because of the 13 week protection rule.

When she called the BO she was told that this is due to her paying her rent before the claim, and having not claimed in the last 52 weeks.

However, she wasn't given a reason for this rule being in place and the guy on the phone had no idea.

Luckily she is very MSE and the benefits will make life easier for her, but I'm surprised at this rule...am sure it would be a trial for those who have fallen on hard times and get less money after 13 weeks.

TIA.
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# 2
Morlock
Old 08-12-2011, 1:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoot View Post
...am sure it would be a trial for those who have fallen on hard times and get less money after 13 weeks.
It can be a trial for people, meaning they have to rehouse themselves if they cannot afford the rent.

Your friend should still be entitled to CTB and HB, although housing benefit will be at LHA rates according to status. The shortfall in rent will have to be topped up from other income.
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# 3
Dognobs
Old 08-12-2011, 2:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoot View Post
Hi guys, am asking a question on behalf of a friend...I know someone here will know the answer.

She has lived in private rented accommodation for 2 years, paid the rent herself but wasn't aware during that time that she was entitled to HB and CTB.

She applied a couple of months ago and has been awarded both benefits.

Her letter states that her payments will drop in January because of the 13 week protection rule.

When she called the BO she was told that this is due to her paying her rent before the claim, and having not claimed in the last 52 weeks.

However, she wasn't given a reason for this rule being in place and the guy on the phone had no idea.

Luckily she is very MSE and the benefits will make life easier for her, but I'm surprised at this rule...am sure it would be a trial for those who have fallen on hard times and get less money after 13 weeks.

TIA.
How was she able to do this? And now gets HB?
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# 4
tomjonesrules
Old 08-12-2011, 2:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoot View Post
Luckily she is very MSE and the benefits will make life easier for her, but I'm surprised at this rule...am sure it would be a trial for those who have fallen on hard times and get less money after 13 weeks.
Award letters are very clear where the thirteen week rule is applied, the claimant would be in no doubt that they may not receive the same amount after this time.

The rules goes back to a time where unemployment was primarily short term. It gave people a cushion whilst they found something else. Now I suppose you would class it as a cushion whilst someone adapts to their new lower income?
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# 5
doodoot
Old 08-12-2011, 3:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dognobs View Post
How was she able to do this? And now gets HB?
Not wanting to give her full circumstances away completely, I will offer you the general picture - if only to put your mind to rest.

She works part-time, gets tax and child credits but didn't apply for benefits as she assumed that working people don't qualify.

She has no car, no satellite tv, walks to work, doesn't drink/smoke/have nights out and has a PAYG phone but no landline.

Hence why she was able to afford her rent.
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# 6
suelees1
Old 08-12-2011, 8:07 PM
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TBH doodoot you don't need to explain as it's no-ones business how she managed before.

If tenants have been liable for the rental for the property but haven't claimed HB in the previous 12 months the LA doesn't restrict LHA for the first thirteen weeks and will therefore pay benefit based on the contractual rent. This was really to help those who could afford it previously (as an example because they were in work but now not) and so the LA award this extra benefit as a buffer. It gives the tenants time to look at cheaper places. After this this period of protection LHA will reduce it to the LHA rate in the area.
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# 7
doodoot
Old 08-12-2011, 10:16 PM
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Thanks suelees.

Yes I know that I don't have to explain, but as a regular poster I know that I would have been intrigued as to how she could afford it...I'm too nosey I suppose.

As someone who doesn't claim benefits I'm struggling to understand how this HB gets worked out.

You say that the first 13 week's amount is the full rent amount, then it drops to what the LHA in her area is?

Did I read that correct?
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# 8
tomjonesrules
Old 08-12-2011, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoot View Post
Thanks suelees.

Yes I know that I don't have to explain, but as a regular poster I know that I would have been intrigued as to how she could afford it...I'm too nosey I suppose.

As someone who doesn't claim benefits I'm struggling to understand how this HB gets worked out.

You say that the first 13 week's amount is the full rent amount, then it drops to what the LHA in her area is?

Did I read that correct?
Yes, that is correct, if she has paid the rent herself for the past twelve months she will be eligible for help up to the full amount for thirteen weeks. After this the maximum eligible amount will be the one bed LHA rate (assuming she is 25 or over, or 35 or over from next year).
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Morlock
Old 08-12-2011, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tomjonesrules View Post
After this the maximum eligible amount will be the one bed LHA rate (assuming she is 25 or over, or 35 or over from next year).
doodoot mentions that her friend receives child tax credit so she would be eligible for at least the two-bedroom LHA rate, possibly more depending on the details of her offspring (number of, age and sex).
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# 10
tomjonesrules
Old 08-12-2011, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morlock View Post
doodoot mentions that her friend receives child tax credit so she would be eligible for at least the two-bedroom LHA rate, possibly more depending on the details of her offspring (number of, age and sex).
Good point, missed that!
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# 11
suelees1
Old 09-12-2011, 8:35 AM
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I've copied this so hope it makes sense

The 13 week rule is in HB Reg 11 (9)(10) and (11)

(9) Subject to paragraph (10), where the relevant authority is satisfied that a person to whom paragraph (11) applies was able to meet the financial commitments for his dwelling when they were entered into, there shall be no maximum rent during the first 13 weeks of the claimant’s award of housing benefit
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