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Suspension of Housing Benefit - Can anyone advise?
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# 1
Scarlett.1974
Old 07-06-2008, 11:09 AM
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Unhappy Suspension of Housing Benefit - Can anyone advise?

Good morning,

I hope someone might be able to advise me, because I'm worried sick here.

We've been receiving HB since March, no problem, went into bank every 2 weeks. In April my working hours (and pay) were reduced (cost cutting measures at work, I work for a small company) so I wrote to the council to inform them of this right away, sending in my new working contract and last 3 weeks payslips to show them my new wage. I wasn't expecting my HB to increase because according to my award notice we were receiving the maximum entitlement, but I thought I should tell them anyway because it says on all the letters to inform them of any change of financial circumstances.

I didn't hear anything until today - I have received 2 letters from them - 1 saying they require more evidence regarding my new wage and asking for my last 5 payslips (I am paid weekly) and also wanting to know how many hours a week I'm now working. The 2nd letter is the one that's got me all in a state though - it says that from 3rd June my claim has been suspended because my hours of work have changed :confused: This just makes no sense to me - after all, my hours have DEcreased not INcreased and subsequently, so have my wages.

My next payment is due on Monday, which I now assume won't go in

I will go to the local office on Monday with the information they're asking for, of course. But I'm ever so worried - how long might it take them to re-instate my payments? Has this ever happened to anyone else and did it get sorted quickly? It just seems mad to me that they'll just stop my payments, just like that...... I could understand if I'd had a pay rise, but my wages almost halved and without this money I'm not sure how we'll pay the rent at the end of the month.

Is this usual practise, for claims to be 'suspended' after ANY change of circumstances?

So sorry for waffling on and thanks to anyone who can help me.

Scarlett xx
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# 2
lil_me
Old 07-06-2008, 11:17 AM
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A change regardless of a reduction in income or increase in income can trigger a suspended claim, also with the new LHA coming into force since then, this change of circumstances may be significant enough for them to transfer you onto LHA.
One day I might be more organised...........:confused:
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# 3
Scarlett.1974
Old 07-06-2008, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil_me View Post
A change regardless of a reduction in income or increase in income can trigger a suspended claim, also with the new LHA coming into force since then, this change of circumstances may be significant enough for them to transfer you onto LHA.
Thank you lil_me for your reply

It just seems rather harsh to just stop your payments just like that and I guess I'm worried about how long it might take to re-start them again.
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# 4
Got2change
Old 07-06-2008, 11:27 AM
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You know what though - "suspended" can (and probably does in your case) mean "reviewed". It is just their terminology and I don't think that - if your hours/wage have decreased -you have too much to worry about, it's just that the timing is a bit c**p for you. As soon as you can, send them the evidence re. your income that they require and/or give them a call to check on progress....
(When I changed bank accounts, I asked them to not send the BACS payment until new one up and running; when I rang them to release it they went "Oh yes, your HB has been suspended...." - it's just the word they use.)

I'm sure it will be fine, you just have to make sure that you dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s at your end.
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# 5
lil_me
Old 07-06-2008, 11:32 AM
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I think some see the word suspended and think something bad, in the case of HB or LHA stopping for a while, suspended is the right word to use as it's definition can be

1. To cease for a period; delay.
2. To cause to stop for a period; interrupt:

So really it's the right word to use, just people are used to suspended meaning something bad.

It might be worth you checking what your entitlement would be if they do transfer it onto LHA. I won't lie, claims here seem to be taking forever, a friends DHP took 7 weeks for a decision instead of 2, possibly because of the LHA coming in.
One day I might be more organised...........:confused:
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# 6
Scarlett.1974
Old 07-06-2008, 11:39 AM
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Thank you Got2change and lil_me

You're right..... I saw the word "suspended" and immediately went into full on panic mode I'll call them on Monday morning and see if I can get it sorted out and get the information they require in ASAP.

Am feeling a bit calmer now

Thanks again for your replies, it's much appreciated
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