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Help with housing benefit

edited 12 June 2012 at 10:02AM in Housing benefit help
112 replies 148K views
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Replies

  • edited 14 August 2012 at 5:47PM
    mannarothmannaroth Forumite
    84 posts
    edited 14 August 2012 at 5:47PM
    Hello,

    Me and my girlfriend both recently graduated from university. We're currently living with her parents and have an appointment for Job Seeker's Allowance next Monday.

    We're both looking for work, but in the meantime I'm working on a web-based business idea which will take a few months to generate any income.

    We would like to move out from her parents' home, for both their sake and ours. Is there anything stopping us from simply finding a house, paying the deposit and first month's rent, and then signing on to Local Housing Allowance? Are there any rules about time in the property to prevent people doing that? I've researched that the one bedroom rate in this area is £121.15 per week, so if we find a house that falls into that boundary, would we be ok? Is there any reason we might not be accepted?


    Also, how long do housing benefit claims usually take, from first applying until actually receiving the money?

    Thanks.
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    Dear Mannaroth,

    Once you make a Housing Benefit claim, your local housing authority has a duty to make a decision within 14 days of the claim. However, you should be aware that it at times takes longer.

    If your Housing Benefit covers the price of rent payment, you do not have to make any payments towards your rent. If it does not, some local authorities provide discretionary housing payments. They are not payments of Housing Benefit. It is up to the local authority whether to give you this help. If you are not elegible to these extra payments, you will have to cover the difference between your rent and Housing Benefit payments.

    We would like also remind you that when you will move into a new property and apply for Housing Benefit, you should backdate your claim.

    Moreover, some local authorities offer rent deposit schemes as well as loans for a deposit of a month's rent on a private accommodation. The money is usually lent in advance and is then repaid by the tenant, possibly through Housing Benefit. Furthermore, some local authorities run rent bond schemes which provide a written bond in place of a deposit to guarantee up to the value of one month's rent.

    :)
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • Just to say at the start of this post- I'm not casually ignoring the request not to post on this thread but have assumed that this might not include posts made where a CAB response has already been given but it's felt there might be something genuine to add? Please accept my apologies and delete this post if this assumption is mistaken. Some of the additions aren't HB related but can't really be extricated.


    Hello,

    Me and my girlfriend both recently graduated from university. We're currently living with her parents and have an appointment for Job Seeker's Allowance next Monday
    Full time students aren’t able to claim JSA so the date you can start claiming will depend on the end date of your course. The university decides this date (it’s not necessarily related to the date you last attended but given it’s august now you should be clear to claim unless you sat/will sit any exams in the re-sit period.)

    We're both looking for work, but in the meantime I'm working on a web-based business idea which will take a few months to generate any income.

    One of the things you need to show to qualify for JSA is that neither of you is in ‘remunerative employment’. This basically means work done in expectation of payment whether you have been paid or not. If you work over 24 hours a week it might exclude you both from JSA. As you say that you are working on a ‘business idea’ I’m assuming that you aren’t trading yet and so it’s unlikely that they would consider you to be in work at this stage of the business but bear it in mind. If you are over 25 and you are trading and working on the business for 30 hours or more you can claim WTC instead of JSA if your annual profit is low enough. See here for tax credits how they look at self employed work:

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/start/claiming/income-hours/work-out-hours.htm

    As you seem to be in the early stages of setting up your business the New Enterprise Allowance which might help with this later would be useful for you to be aware of:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Jobseekers/programmesandservices/DG_198864

    We would like to move out from her parents' home, for both their sake and ours. Is there anything stopping us from simply finding a house, paying the deposit and first month's rent, and then signing on to Local Housing Allowance?

    You have implied that you have a money available for a deposit and rent in advance but see the CAB reply re help with deposits if not. To find out about schemes in your area see here:
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/paying_for_a_home/rent_deposit_and_bond_schemes
    You should be aware that a lot of landlords won’t accept anything other than cash so schemes that look to guarantee/underwrite would limit your accommodation choices.

    Are there any rules about time in the property to prevent people doing that?

    There are no rules about time in the property but you would only be considered for payments of housing benefit from a date related to the date you put in your claim. Housing benefit can only be paid for a period before you claim (ie ‘backdated’) if there are very good reasons for not claiming earlier- there’s no indication from your post to indicate that backdating would be possible or required. In order to get Housing Benefit from the first day of your tenancy you must make your HB claim in the same week your tenancy starts so don’t delay.

    I’ve researched that the one bedroom rate in this area is £121.15 per week, so if we find a house that falls into that boundary, would we be ok?

    For a couple if you move into self- contained accommodation it’s the one bedroom rate which applies. If you move into accommodation in which you share a living room, bathroom or kitchen with others the ‘shared room’ rate for your area would apply instead.

    If you have no income other than JSA you would get housing benefit to meet rent up to the level of the LHA rate which applies and no more. The possibility of Discretionary Housing Payments shouldn't really be taken into account as on the basis of the info you have given you are very unlikely indeed to be given these payments and they are often given temporarily whilst you find accommodation within the LHA rate.

    Once you find somewhere you like you can ask for an estimate of the HB you would get before signing up to a tenancy (ask the council about a 'pre tenancy determination')

    Is there any reason we might not be accepted?

    If your only income is JSA then us you should get Housing benefit up to the LHA rate which applies.

    Also, how long do housing benefit claims usually take, from first applying until actually receiving the money?

    They should make a decision within 14 days of having all the information and evidence from you that is needed NOT 14 days from the date you claim. You should pre-empt the information needed and send it all in with your claim form to allow a payment to be made as soon as possible. See here for info on what you will need to supply (it’s not exhaustive but is likely to cover everything needed in your case) http://www.medway.gov.uk/housing/housingbenefit/evidenceforclaims.aspx
  • Thank you very much for the replies.

    One final question:

    For the purposes of LHA rent calculations, does a studio flat count as a one bedroom?
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    mannaroth wrote: »
    Thank you very much for the replies.

    One final question:

    For the purposes of LHA rent calculations, does a studio flat count as a one bedroom?


    Yes -if the 2 of you make up one household then your studio flat would count as a 1 bedroomed accommodation
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • Just to say at the start of this post- I'm not casually ignoring the request not to post on this thread but have assumed that this might not include posts made where a CAB response has already been given but it's felt there might be something genuine to add? Please accept my apologies and delete this post if this assumption is mistaken. Some of the additions aren't HB related but can't really be extricated.


    Hi enabledebra


    There may be times when a CAB advisor is not able to give certain information due to the details they have been given by the OP but if you want to join the discussion post official reply this is fine.


    Many thanks for the help you give on the forum.


    MSE Wendy
    *** Get the Martin's Money Tips Free E-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips ***
  • edited 22 August 2012 at 2:08PM
    m-beem-bee Forumite
    47 posts
    edited 22 August 2012 at 2:08PM
    I currently live with my mother who is unemployed and claims housing benefits.
    I am working full time with an employment agency where my basic wage which includes my holiday. So for example my £10 an hour wage includes a percentage of my holiday pay. This forms part of my Gross income, but before the gross income gets taxed they deducted the holiday pay which I will get back when I actually take a holiday. Due to my mum's housing benefits I have to pay rent and council tax based on my income. So right now I am paying rent and council tax based on my gross income which includes my holiday pay. But when I take a holiday from work I'm still required to pay the same amount even though I worked less hours and not making the same amount of money.
    So mainly what I am trying to say is that according to my gross income including holiday pay and my (gross) income after holiday pay are two different figures and therefore for I should be paying less than what I have been paying for the last 3 months. Right now my rent is based on my gross income including holiday pay. Is that correct? or should I be charged my gross income after holiday is deducted?

    Adding more detail.
    So payslip details are as follows
    Gross income: £xx:xx
    holiday deducted £xx:xx
    Tax £xx:xx
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    m-bee wrote: »
    I currently live with my mother who is unemployed and claims housing benefits.
    I am working full time with an employment agency where my basic wage which includes my holiday. So for example my £10 an hour wage includes a percentage of my holiday pay. This forms part of my Gross income, but before the gross income gets taxed they deducted the holiday pay which I will get back when I actually take a holiday. Due to my mum's housing benefits I have to pay rent and council tax based on my income. So right now I am paying rent and council tax based on my gross income which includes my holiday pay. But when I take a holiday from work I'm still required to pay the same amount even though I worked less hours and not making the same amount of money.
    So mainly what I am trying to say is that according to my gross income including holiday pay and my (gross) income after holiday pay are two different figures and therefore for I should be paying less than what I have been paying for the last 3 months. Right now my rent is based on my gross income including holiday pay. Is that correct? or should I be charged my gross income after holiday is deducted?

    Adding more detail.
    So payslip details are as follows
    Gross income: £xx:xx
    holiday deducted £xx:xx
    Tax £xx:xx


    Hello M-Bee

    From the information that you have given the H/B entitlement is correct in that they have worked it out on your Gross wage .

    Therefore gross is before deductions and Net is after deductions.

    Please refer to the link below for further help

    http://www.direct.govuk/en/Diol1/DoItOnline/DoItOnlineByCategory/DG_172666

    :)
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • Hi, my friend's landlord is selling his home so she will no longer be able to rent the room she currently pays £350pcm for, which includes bills.

    She's 54, single, British and works 42hrs+ a week in a care home, and earned £12,991.92 before tax last year (to 5/4/2012).

    Most studio flats in Worthing, West Sussex start at £400pcm with Bills on top of this.

    Is she likely to be entitled to housing benefit?

    Any advice would be very much appreciated - I'm posting this on her behalf as she doesn't have access to the internet!

    Many thanks! :)
  • pmlindyloopmlindyloo Forumite
    12.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi, my friend's landlord is selling his home so she will no longer be able to rent the room she currently pays £350pcm for, which includes bills.

    She's 54, single, British and works 42hrs+ a week in a care home, and earned £12,991.92 before tax last year (to 5/4/2012).

    Most studio flats in Worthing, West Sussex start at £400pcm with Bills on top of this.

    Is she likely to be entitled to housing benefit?

    Any advice would be very much appreciated - I'm posting this on her behalf as she doesn't have access to the internet!

    Many thanks! :)


    Your friend can put her details into the benefit calculator here:

    http://www.turn2us.org.uk/benefits_search.aspx

    to find out her entitlements.

    She might be entitled to some help with her rent and maybe a little working tax credit too.
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