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  • FIRST POST
    • bunglebus
    • By bunglebus 11th Mar 17, 1:52 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 15Thanks
    bunglebus
    How to make up the difference between benefits and bills
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 17, 1:52 PM
    How to make up the difference between benefits and bills 11th Mar 17 at 1:52 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 2
    • Ames
    • By Ames 11th Mar 17, 10:33 PM
    • 16,058 Posts
    • 27,793 Thanks
    Ames
    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
    Isn't that only if they're in social housing? The OP isn't clear but I read it that they're in a private rental. So the reduction would be the difference between two and three bad LHA, not necessarily a fixed 14%.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 19/100
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    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 12th Mar 17, 12:39 AM
    • 6,843 Posts
    • 4,011 Thanks
    teddysmum
    I'm surprised that the authorities reckon that two siblings of the same sex need a separate room when 16 years old, as many of us grew up sharing a room with a brother or sister until one of us left home and it wasn't a great problem.


    Even 'posh' people who go to boarding school have to 'slum it' by sharing a dorm with a number of others (not just a brother or sister) and there's no legislation against that situation..
    Last edited by teddysmum; 12-03-2017 at 12:43 AM.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 12th Mar 17, 6:18 AM
    • 15,062 Posts
    • 37,958 Thanks
    FBaby
    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?
    The issue is 'meant to cover'. As already stated, the benefits you receive are not meant to cover the extra that your adult son is costing you nor your pets. Pets are a luxury. OH and I have been getting very broody for a dog lately, but we both work, and it wouldn't be fair on a dog to be at home alone for hours, so we do without.

    Your situation must be frustrating, but the issue is that of making choices in terms of your lifestyle in accordance with your budget which is what everyone has to make. The issue is not with the amount of benefit you receive, which as it's been pointed is more than than some working people get.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 12th Mar 17, 7:04 AM
    • 2,749 Posts
    • 5,612 Thanks
    Murphybear
    Sell the pets - or use them as a food source if things get desperate.
    Originally posted by Housing Benefit Officer
    I'm sorry, that is a horrible thing to say. Have things got so bad that the very people who are supposed to help those in trouble suggested eating their pets?
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 12th Mar 17, 7:19 AM
    • 2,749 Posts
    • 5,612 Thanks
    Murphybear
    I suggest your adult sons share a room.

    I have been looking for a private rental for a while and have found that there are a lot more 2 bedroomed properties than 3 bedroomed and they are much cheaper.

    I have also found that about 75% of landlords will accept pets. However on the pets situation I do live in a rural area where there are a lot of older properties where pets are rarely a problem and "accepting pets" may only mean "one pet".
    • Merlinthewise
    • By Merlinthewise 12th Mar 17, 7:25 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Merlinthewise
    Although I can sympathise with your situation I think you will find that most people in your situation are struggling, with the cost of rentals going up and the Housing Benefit not going up.

    If you want advice from this forum it would be helpful if you stated how much your income is, not just a list of benefits. People could help you further.

    It doesn't help when people who are supposed to be in a position to help others make nasty suggestions such as getting rid of pets or using them as a food source, that is really horrible and not, as one poster said, amusing.
    • bigbulldog
    • By bigbulldog 12th Mar 17, 7:56 AM
    • 493 Posts
    • 434 Thanks
    bigbulldog
    I'm sorry, that is a horrible thing to say. Have things got so bad that the very people who are supposed to help those in trouble suggested eating their pets?
    Originally posted by Murphybear

    I think it's a joke,Jesus some people have no sense of humour.
    • bigbulldog
    • By bigbulldog 12th Mar 17, 8:01 AM
    • 493 Posts
    • 434 Thanks
    bigbulldog
    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?
    Originally posted by Darksparkle
    And they want more...
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 12th Mar 17, 8:04 AM
    • 307 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    Penitent
    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.
    Originally posted by Neffi1uk
    No need to get snippy. You misread the OP with regards to PIP and advised the under occupancy charge would apply before establishing if they were in council or private housing, so it was hardly out of line for me to assume you might have missed the bit about their housing benefit not covering their rent. I was actually trying to help, but I'll just leave you to it in future.
    • poppasmurf_bewdley
    • By poppasmurf_bewdley 12th Mar 17, 8:18 AM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 5,020 Thanks
    poppasmurf_bewdley
    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
    Surely, in your situation, it is up to you to alter your lifestyle and spending to fit your benefits received, rather than bemoan that the benefits don't fit your lifestyle.

    Most people I know live a lifestyle according to how much money they have. The ones in a financial mess are the ones who don't.
    There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe a 'Princess Coronation' locomotive in full cry. We shall never see their like again". O.S. Nock
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 12th Mar 17, 9:30 AM
    • 1,012 Posts
    • 2,564 Thanks
    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
    Originally posted by nannytone
    Remember though that their LHA rate would decrease to the two bed rate, and given that the rate is set at the 30th percentile the chances of them finding anything within the rate are minimal, don't you agree? Or were you just disagreeing for the sake of it?

    There would be nothing stopping the four of them moving to a two bed property. They would still qualify for the three bed rate if they did this.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 12th Mar 17, 9:55 AM
    • 8,552 Posts
    • 12,266 Thanks
    meer53
    OP, i hope you come back to the thread, the replies aren't what you want to hear but thats how it is i'm afraid. What do you think would happen if people were paid benefits to match their lifestyle ? I work full time, have no partner and have 2 children living at home, i can't afford a dog, i manage to get by on my salary, i don't get benefits. The same applies to everyone, you have to live within your means or it gets very difficult. If you post an SOA as people have advised maybe someone could help you so that you can keep your pets and manage without having to find a part time job. Maybe not, but if you don't try you'll never know. Lots of people on here have great ideas about saving money, try it.
    • WantToBeSE
    • By WantToBeSE 12th Mar 17, 10:00 AM
    • 7,523 Posts
    • 30,496 Thanks
    WantToBeSE
    Would it be possible for the children to help out with the caring duties for your wife, so that you could work part time?
    3/6 month emergency fund challenge #20
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    • Lanzarote1938
    • By Lanzarote1938 12th Mar 17, 12:29 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 862 Thanks
    Lanzarote1938
    The OP doesn't say how old the younger child is but it will be a big financial hit when the child related benefits for him are lost. Best to sort out finances now and live within their means before they have even less to live on.
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 12th Mar 17, 6:04 PM
    • 11,880 Posts
    • 17,488 Thanks
    nannytone
    I unfortunately own my house so my two daughters aged 20 and 17 have to slum it together, If i was council tenant i could demand more! (hint of sarcasm)
    Originally posted by Savile
    you could 'demand' all you want, but that isn't the same thing as getting it!

    first of all you would have to be eligible for social housing in the first place, and then wait, in some areas, MANY years for a property to become available.

    just because you 'need' a certain number of bedrooms doesn't mean you would get them!


    i know someone that had 7 kids in a 2 bed house.

    they youngest were 4 and the eldest had left home before a 3 bed became available
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Mar 17, 6:15 PM
    • 4,064 Posts
    • 7,988 Thanks
    marliepanda
    you could 'demand' all you want, but that isn't the same thing as getting it!

    first of all you would have to be eligible for social housing in the first place, and then wait, in some areas, MANY years for a property to become available.

    just because you 'need' a certain number of bedrooms doesn't mean you would get them!


    i know someone that had 7 kids in a 2 bed house.

    they youngest were 4 and the eldest had left home before a 3 bed became available
    Originally posted by nannytone
    So why did they have children they couldn't house sufficiently? Can't really complain about availability.
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    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 12th Mar 17, 6:28 PM
    • 11,880 Posts
    • 17,488 Thanks
    nannytone
    So why did they have children they couldn't house sufficiently? Can't really complain about availability.
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    where does it say that they complained?

    my post was in response to sail's post saying if he was in social housing he could 'demand' a larger property.

    they were adequately housed when they started a family, but circumstances changed and they needed to move in order to care for her sick mother. they had to downsize in order to get a quick move, and were prepared to wait until something suitable became available
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 13th Mar 17, 6:21 AM
    • 19,169 Posts
    • 30,933 Thanks
    Spendless
    How do you think people manage when they lose their job and can't find another, or only a lower paid one or one further away that ups their commuting costs?

    They allocate any money they receive from any other sources or they reduce their outgoings or they look to move somewhere cheaper.

    Ok you may have different things you can/can't do compared to someone working, but ultimately it remains the same thing - you will need to reduce costs/increase income in order to suit the household bills.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 13th Mar 17, 6:24 AM
    • 19,169 Posts
    • 30,933 Thanks
    Spendless
    they were adequately housed when they started a family, but circumstances changed and they needed to move in order to care for her sick mother. they had to downsize in order to get a quick move, and were prepared to wait until something suitable became available
    Originally posted by nannytone
    That always amazes me, that people continue to increase their family size with little or no thought to the 'what if.......' scenarios. The bigger the family size the tougher it will be if a downwards change of circumstances happen.

    It's amongst the reasons I stopped at two.
    • rockingbilly
    • By rockingbilly 13th Mar 17, 7:12 AM
    • 600 Posts
    • 204 Thanks
    rockingbilly
    That always amazes me, that people continue to increase their family size with little or no thought to the 'what if.......' scenarios. The bigger the family size the tougher it will be if a downwards change of circumstances happen.

    It's amongst the reasons I stopped at two.
    Originally posted by Spendless
    Likewise here. We waited 8 years before having children after we were married 1n 1972 The home came first followed by the children to fill it.
    Two was the max, we could not afford another. My salary was the only household income as my wife stopped working as soon as she found out she was pregnant and remained a housewife ever since.
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