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    • bunglebus
    • By bunglebus 11th Mar 17, 2:52 PM
    • 16Posts
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    bunglebus
    How to make up the difference between benefits and bills
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 17, 2:52 PM
    How to make up the difference between benefits and bills 11th Mar 17 at 2:52 PM
    My question is simple: How is one expected to survive off benefits when they do not pay the full amount of the expenditure they're meant to cover?

    Our rent is £750 PCM, our housing benefit is £607.64 as per the local government maximum. We are entitled to and need the three bedrooms in our house, 1 adult son who works a low paid job and gives us a bit of housekeeping, one teenaged son in full time education.
    We have a dog and two cats so moving is made difficult as few landlords will accept pets, plus if you don't have any money how do you pay for moving costs, deposit etc etc?

    Our council tax is £1419.46 P/A, of which £1102.57 is covered by Council Tax Support. This leaves approx £168.77 PCM shortfall between rent and council tax.

    We receive PIP as my wife is disabled, Standard Daily Living and Enhanced Mobility which is used for her Motability car. I receive Carer's Allowance and Income Support.

    We moved here just over four years ago, I was working full time until Dec 2015 but now I am her full time carer.

    I'm looking into a Discretionary Housing Payment but my main question is, how are we meant to make ends meet? I asked this question during a call about benefits to the powers that be, and they just said no-one gets the full amount.
Page 1
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 11th Mar 17, 2:59 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 4,137 Thanks
    Penitent
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 17, 2:59 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 17, 2:59 PM
    I can't help in terms of other benefits you could claim. All I can recommend is posting a full list of your income and outgoings (called a statement of affairs or SOA) on the the Debt Free Wannabe board. They're pretty good at identifying where savings could potentially be made.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=76
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 11th Mar 17, 3:01 PM
    • 7,126 Posts
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    KxMx
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:01 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:01 PM
    I'd suggest you need to do two things, decrease your outgoings and increase the amount your adult son pays you.

    What kind of budgeting and tracking of expenses/outgoings do you do?

    Often these exercises are very illuminating and allow you to stretch a fixed income further.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 11th Mar 17, 3:03 PM
    • 35,525 Posts
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    McKneff
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:03 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:03 PM
    Do you actually have to care for your wife full time. Im sure you can earn up to a certain amounr before it affects benefits
    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
    • poppasmurf_bewdley
    • By poppasmurf_bewdley 11th Mar 17, 5:24 PM
    • 4,994 Posts
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    poppasmurf_bewdley
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:24 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:24 PM
    I'd suggest you need to do two things, decrease your outgoings and increase the amount your adult son pays you.

    What kind of budgeting and tracking of expenses/outgoings do you do?

    Often these exercises are very illuminating and allow you to stretch a fixed income further.
    Originally posted by KxMx
    Spot on there. Either that or tell him you're downsizing the house and he will have to find somewhere else to live. You should be looking at £300/400 a month from him, as that is the minimum he would have to pay for a room in a house share.

    Do you actually have to care for your wife full time. Im sure you can earn up to a certain amounr before it affects benefits
    Originally posted by McKneff
    There is always a job you can do to earn some money. Even a paper round will bring in £15/30 a week - and many pensioners do this job to earn extra.
    "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery." Mr Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
    • bunglebus
    • By bunglebus 11th Mar 17, 5:53 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    bunglebus
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:53 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:53 PM
    Correct on both counts - son pays £30 a week, and to be fair often buys his own food/stays at his girlfriend's so doesn't cost much (mind you I was paying £120 a month out of £100 a week in 1994). I could do some part time work.

    However my main question is more how are we expected to make ends meet if neither of the above was feasible? It just seems odd that the benefits are not the same as the outgoings that we must pay. More questioning the system than my own circumstances.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 11th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    • 15,076 Posts
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    elsien
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    The system would say that you don't need a three bedroom house. Your two sons could share a room if needs must.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 11th Mar 17, 6:31 PM
    • 1,000 Posts
    • 2,581 Thanks
    Bogalot
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 17, 6:31 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 17, 6:31 PM
    Correct on both counts - son pays £30 a week, and to be fair often buys his own food/stays at his girlfriend's so doesn't cost much (mind you I was paying £120 a month out of £100 a week in 1994). I could do some part time work.

    However my main question is more how are we expected to make ends meet if neither of the above was feasible? It just seems odd that the benefits are not the same as the outgoings that we must pay. More questioning the system than my own circumstances.
    Originally posted by bunglebus
    Why is it not feasible to make ends meet, are you paying off debts? If you added up your income it would be more than many working households get. As suggested above, complete a statement of affairs and look at where you can make cutbacks.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 11th Mar 17, 6:33 PM
    • 3,874 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 17, 6:33 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 17, 6:33 PM
    The limits on HB etc are there in part to stop landlords constantly increasing rent in the knowledge that it will be paid by the LA. The OP does need to look at every aspect of income and expenditure, with particular emphasis on the rent paid by the son and the possibility of part time work. There is a small disregard on earnings so there isn't a huge amount of wiggle room in that area.
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam3; 12-03-2017 at 9:20 AM. Reason: Quoting deleted post
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 11th Mar 17, 7:00 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
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    Penitent
    However my main question is more how are we expected to make ends meet if neither of the above was feasible? It just seems odd that the benefits are not the same as the outgoings that we must pay. More questioning the system than my own circumstances.
    Originally posted by bunglebus
    Benefits are one size fits all, they can't account for people's individual circumstances. For example, you have three pets and an adult son living with you who the benefits aren't designed to support. They will increase your food bill and affect the size and type of property you need live in. Equally, someone else may have large debt repayments, a hobby that uses a lot of electricity, etc. These are all things that benefits aren't designed to support.

    Where do you draw the line in terms of people's extra costs? Think of it this way: if someone had posted here saying they had three adult children who each needed their own bedroom and had three horses, would you question why their benefits didn't cover their outgoings?

    Unfortunately, it's a case of trying to cut your cloth accordingly (which is why I suggested doing a SOA on the Debt Free Wannabe board).
    Last edited by Penitent; 11-03-2017 at 7:06 PM.
    • thorsoak
    • By thorsoak 11th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • 5,449 Posts
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    thorsoak
    don't you claim child benefit?
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th Mar 17, 8:23 PM
    • 2,751 Posts
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    Cakeguts
    Correct on both counts - son pays £30 a week, and to be fair often buys his own food/stays at his girlfriend's so doesn't cost much (mind you I was paying £120 a month out of £100 a week in 1994). I could do some part time work.

    However my main question is more how are we expected to make ends meet if neither of the above was feasible? It just seems odd that the benefits are not the same as the outgoings that we must pay. More questioning the system than my own circumstances.
    Originally posted by bunglebus
    It is not how much he costs you in terms of food. He is costing you the rent on a 3 bed house which has to be more than £30 per week. Either he starts to pay you a realistic share of the rent or he finds his own place allowing you to downsize.
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 11th Mar 17, 8:43 PM
    • 4,549 Posts
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    Darksparkle
    So you get as a household:
    PIP
    Income Support
    Carers Allowance
    Child Tax Credits (assuming FTNAE)
    Child Benefit (assuming FTNAE)
    Housing Benefit
    Countil Tax Support
    Wages

    But that's not sufficient?
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 11th Mar 17, 8:50 PM
    • 1,000 Posts
    • 2,581 Thanks
    Bogalot
    It is not how much he costs you in terms of food. He is costing you the rent on a 3 bed house which has to be more than £30 per week. Either he starts to pay you a realistic share of the rent or he finds his own place allowing you to downsize.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Actually he's not costing them a penny in rent. They'll get the full LHA for a three bed property, there's no non dependent deduction because they're in receipt of PIP.

    The costs of the adult child would be pretty low - food, a small amount for additional utilities (he's not going to use any more heating or lighting than already used). Given that without him there they would only be entitled to the two bedroom rate, then even in a two bed property it's quite possible they'd be worse off without him there.

    (That's not to say that he shouldn't pay more, but a realistic share of the rent and council tax would be around £55 a month.)
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 11th Mar 17, 9:00 PM
    • 12,149 Posts
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    nannytone
    Actually he's not costing them a penny in rent. They'll get the full LHA for a three bed property, there's no non dependent deduction because they're in receipt of PIP.

    The costs of the adult child would be pretty low - food, a small amount for additional utilities (he's not going to use any more heating or lighting than already used). Given that without him there they would only be entitled to the two bedroom rate, then even in a two bed property it's quite possible they'd be worse off without him there.

    (That's not to say that he shouldn't pay more, but a realistic share of the rent and council tax would be around £55 a month.)
    Originally posted by Bogalot
    the OP has to pay in excess of £140 a month to top up the rent of a 3 bed house.
    he may be able to get a 2 bed house nearer the LHA rate, or at least not that much over it
    • venison
    • By venison 11th Mar 17, 9:04 PM
    • 1,171 Posts
    • 1,223 Thanks
    venison
    Do you really need the mutability car? You could save a fair few quid getting rid of that.
    Doomed I say we're all doomed.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 11th Mar 17, 9:36 PM
    • 8,839 Posts
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    meer53
    Your pets must cost quite a bit each month ? If you could take a part time job, ask your son to look for a better paid job and look to rehome the dog and 2 cats it might help. I know people are attached to their pets but if you can't afford them then it's silly to struggle on. It might also help you find cheaper accomodation as you've mentioned it's hard to find somewhere when you have pets.

    How old is the teenager ? My teenager got a job as soon as she got her NI number, i don't take any money from her but it helps that she doesn't have to ask me for money now if she wants anything.
    • Neffi1uk
    • By Neffi1uk 11th Mar 17, 9:38 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Neffi1uk
    You will be losing housing benefit because you have an adult non dependent in the property, your working son, and a fixed deduction based on his earnings is made from both your housing benefit and council tax support.

    I would imagine that his £30 housekeeping doesn't cover that shortfall and you need to have a conversation with him about the cost to you of him living at home with you. Mind you if he leaves you will then be deemed to be unde occupying your home and your housing benefit will be reduced by 14%, so you won't be a great deal better off.

    Correcting myself, there no NDD due to the PIP award. Is your rent over the LHA for your area?
    Last edited by Neffi1uk; 11-03-2017 at 9:41 PM.
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 11th Mar 17, 10:02 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 4,137 Thanks
    Penitent
    You will be losing housing benefit because you have an adult non dependent in the property, your working son, and a fixed deduction based on his earnings is made from both your housing benefit and council tax support.

    I would imagine that his £30 housekeeping doesn't cover that shortfall and you need to have a conversation with him about the cost to you of him living at home with you. Mind you if he leaves you will then be deemed to be unde occupying your home and your housing benefit will be reduced by 14%, so you won't be a great deal better off.

    Correcting myself, there no NDD due to the PIP award. Is your rent over the LHA for your area?
    Originally posted by Neffi1uk
    The OP said:

    My question is simple: How is one expected to survive off benefits when they do not pay the full amount of the expenditure they're meant to cover?

    Our rent is £750 PCM, our housing benefit is £607.64 as per the local government maximum.
    Originally posted by bunglebus
    • Neffi1uk
    • By Neffi1uk 11th Mar 17, 10:56 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Neffi1uk
    Thank you for pointing that out. Funnily enough I can read.

    You'd be surprised at how often I see a client who thinks they get one thing, and call it that, but in fact get something different. When giving advice, as I do for a living, I find it best to gain absolute clarity before proceeding.
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