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ENTITLEMENT PROBLEM: ESA, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction
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# 1
Joosh
Old 19-11-2013, 3:49 PM
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Default ENTITLEMENT PROBLEM: ESA, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Hello,

I have a bit of a problem.

I'm 22 and currently living in a 2 bed flat with 3 other adults, i.e. two couples (just still relatively short term boyfriend/girlfriend thing, no marriages etc).

I recently in October was involved in a car crash that left my right hand completely out of action, and it is not looking remotely good until at least mid January. I am now on Employment Support Allowance for general costs such as food, transport (can't drive currently) and bills including previous contracts such as insurances and mobile phone payments.

My predicament here is that I still have rent and council tax to pay at around 230 per month all together. I cannot afford that as I am unable to work and ESA doesn't contribute much at all to it after other expenses.

I inquired about Housing Benefit and council tax reduction and it appears I am not entitled to anything at all. The factor that causes this is that I live with 3 other adults who earn a salary of probably around 15,000 each, generating a household gross income of at least 45,000, along with my 0.

This seems to be causing me to have no entitlement. This is a house share from a private landlord, we are all totally financially exclusive, we share absolutely zero money between us, other than sharing the rent, council tax, tv license and associated house bills cost.

Just because they earn a salary doesn't affect my position whatsoever, the fact I'm in a couple means nothing, after tax my girlfriend hasn't anywhere near enough money to help me. She has nearly 2k of overdraft to pay off.

If I can't afford to pay my rent I will have to leave.

What can I do here? It seems very unfair that they are assuming my girlfriend and housemates can pay my household living costs, they all have their own debts and even if they could they wouldn't as it's their earnings.

Any advice please?

Thank You,
Joosh
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# 2
paddedjohn
Old 19-11-2013, 4:08 PM
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You have a partner, she should be supporting you.
Be Alert..........Britain needs lerts.
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# 3
Poppie68
Old 19-11-2013, 4:22 PM
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You leaving is not going to solve anything as it is a 2 bedroom property and your girlfriend would surely not want a stranger sharing her room. Is it not possible to discuss going back to work with your employer and maybe doing a different job until you gain use of your right hand.


EDIT: forget the employment question....just remembered are'nt you the poster who was enquiring about getting your JSA backdated? How have you been affording rent etc from your JSA?

Last edited by Poppie68; 19-11-2013 at 4:30 PM.
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# 4
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Old 19-11-2013, 4:29 PM
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Good point Poppy how is you moving out going to make a difference? Your girlfriend will still have half the rent and council tax to pay whether you are living there or not. It's a temporary situation you will just have to cut back and make up for it later. When you are back on your feet make sure you save an emergency fund so that when you are in this type of situation again it isn't as difficult.
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# 5
nannytone
Old 19-11-2013, 4:39 PM
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your refusal for housing benefit council tax support has nothing to do with the other housemates income .... just the one you share a bed with!
you feel uts wrong to ask her to support you, but its ok for total strangers to do it instead?

as has been said, her share would be half even if you werent there so it makes no difference.
btw... ESA is supposed to be used for your essentials and not loans/contracts, so apart from the rent, you should have enough to cover your share of the bills
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# 6
Poppie68
Old 19-11-2013, 4:43 PM
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If you have recently finished UNI i'm presuming you are in reciept of IR ESA as you would'nt qualify for CB ESA....how did they award you IR if you have a fulltime working partner?
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# 7
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Old 19-11-2013, 4:51 PM
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I think you're getting a bit confused, the flatmates are irrelevant to you. The only thing that matters is the partner you share a room with and what he/she earns.

If you moved out the partner would be shelling out the same in council tax and rent.
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# 8
Caz3121
Old 19-11-2013, 5:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppie68 View Post
If you have recently finished UNI i'm presuming you are in reciept of IR ESA as you would'nt qualify for CB ESA....how did they award you IR if you have a fulltime working partner?
I am guessing they did not declare their "relatively short term boyfriend/girlfriend"!
Be prepared for ESA to stop too
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# 9
Jobseeeker
Old 19-11-2013, 6:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppie68 View Post
If you have recently finished UNI i'm presuming you are in reciept of IR ESA as you would'nt qualify for CB ESA....how did they award you IR if you have a fulltime working partner?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caz3121 View Post
I am guessing they did not declare their "relatively short term boyfriend/girlfriend"!
Be prepared for ESA to stop too
Not necessarily they might have just worked a lot of hours at uni and paid NI.
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# 10
Joosh
Old 21-11-2013, 3:19 PM
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Hi guys,

JSA backdated my NI to 25th May 2013. I am the person posting about it before yes, I was No Fixed Address at that time.

As for the living arrangements, I didn't live here before and I was NFA but I'd began seeing my gf more and more and eventually ended up here 3+ nights a week so the housemates told me I needed to move in full time as it was getting unfair the amount of time I was staying there. After the accident I had a small amount money in my overdraft so I agreed for a few months of staying here full time since I was given the ultimatum, plus, my GF was struggling to pay the rent and her overdraft that's soon to end so me being here is at least making it cheaper for her for the time being.

I told DWP and they're yet to get back to me with any correspondence, however my overdraft is going to be very dry soon and my gf can't afford half the rent as she was originally paying a 3rd, but her housemates wont want to pay a 3rd each when I'm here for free, meaning my gf will be forced to pay 1/2 the rent if I'm to be here with no income. Otherwise my option is NFA again.

I'm out of action til at least mid-Jan. I can't afford to be here until then with next to no income.

My point here is that if I cant pay the rent, my gf can't afford to keep me, as housemates are sharing equally, equal split of rent each regardless of room occupation. Also, I can't not pay the contracts I'm in (insurances and mobile phone) so whether it's relevant or not I still have to pay them.

Regards,
Joosh
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# 11
nannytone
Old 21-11-2013, 3:54 PM
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you will need NI contributions in 2010/11 and 2011/12 to get conts based ESA.
if you havent got these, then your girlfriends income will mean you wont get income related ESA either
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# 12
Joosh
Old 21-11-2013, 3:58 PM
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Ouch.

Looks like I'm homeless again!
If its not cheap, find a way to make it cheap.
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# 13
Caz3121
Old 21-11-2013, 4:09 PM
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you could looked for a room in shared accommodation elsewhere. You should then get some housing benefit and ESA (at least the assessment phase) Your girlfriend and her housemates will then go back to paying 1/3rd each so less for your girlfriend (if she is currently paying half) and more for the other two
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# 14
BigAunty
Old 21-11-2013, 4:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joosh View Post
the housemates told me I needed to move in full time as it was getting unfair the amount of time I was staying there.
virtual strangers told you to make a major lifestyle decision and you complied...?

an alternative strategy was to keep on your own place and offer to contribute towards the energy bills there, for example. or ignore them.
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# 15
Jobseeeker
Old 21-11-2013, 5:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joosh View Post


my gf can't afford half the rent as she was originally paying a 3rd, but her housemates wont want to pay a 3rd each when I'm here for free, meaning my gf will be forced to pay 1/2 the rent if I'm to be here with no income. Otherwise my option is NFA again.

My point here is that if I cant pay the rent, my gf can't afford to keep me, as housemates are sharing equally, equal split of rent each regardless of room occupation.
Regards,
Joosh
Ah, I see. In that case you are correct you would be better off living in a different flatshare on your own and claiming income based ESA.
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Old 21-11-2013, 5:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAunty View Post

an alternative strategy was to keep on your own place and offer to contribute towards the energy bills there, for example. or ignore them.
OP didn't have a place, he was NFA (no fixed abode).
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# 17
Joosh
Old 21-11-2013, 6:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAunty View Post
virtual strangers told you to make a major lifestyle decision and you complied...?

an alternative strategy was to keep on your own place and offer to contribute towards the energy bills there, for example. or ignore them.
I was there quite a lot due to my living situation. It was quite unfair on them and they weren't ok with just a monetary contribution, it was move in or not at all. Things were awkward and it wasn't good for anyone inc my girlfriend.
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# 18
Joosh
Old 21-11-2013, 6:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobseeeker View Post
Ah, I see. In that case you are correct you would be better off living in a different flatshare on your own and claiming income based ESA.
Yeah I just looked into that. Is it possible for me to get a rental agreement while on ESA? As I wont get HB or CTRB until I have a rental agreement...
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# 19
princessdon
Old 21-11-2013, 6:51 PM
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You also need to consider that if you are on IR ESA and have been living with a partner this will need to be repaid as you weren't eligible.

Obviously CB ESA it won't apply.
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# 20
Caz3121
Old 21-11-2013, 6:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joosh View Post
Yeah I just looked into that. Is it possible for me to get a rental agreement while on ESA? As I wont get HB or CTRB until I have a rental agreement...
you will need to find one that accepts housing benefit. As this is paid in arrears you will need to pay the first months rent upfront and probably a deposit too. Your council may run a deposit scheme if you enquire
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