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Housing benefit suspended

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Housing benefit help
15 replies 48.4K views
shazm.69shazm.69 Forumite
88 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Housing benefit help
2 weeks ago my daughter her partner and their 2 children moved into my home after losing their home in spain. I told the HB office straight away they just said thats fine just bring in their details. 2 days later i had a letter saying my housing benefit was suspended. I panicked as i was due a payment the next day. I rang them and they said they needed proof that my daughter and her spanish partner were not employed.
My daughter has since made a claim for income support so we have to wait for the offer letter before going back to the council. Her partner is not working here yet as he hasnt even got a national insurance number.
This is really stressing me out on top of having a family of 4 living in my living room with absolutely no money. It feels like im getting penalised for being honest i wish i had waited 2 days now until after my payment was made. I have been told by the council not to worry it will be backdated but im worried it wont be and dont know how long it will take. This has come at the wrong side of christmas. I have even booked an appointment to see a doctor as i cannot cope with it all. I have 3 other children that also live with me and a 6 yr old that is so excited for christmas i cant tell her Santa has no money.
I just need some advice on how long it will take for the suspension to be lifted and if it will be backdated please.
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Replies

  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    Note that her husband is allowed to seek work and to start work if he finds it (Spanish national). His NI number could be sorted out later, although until that happened larger than normal tax deductions would be taken from his wages.

    Two suggestions: 1. ask your daughter's family to register as homeless with your local council on Monday morning. Firstly this would give them a chance of being offered more suitable accommodation; it would also confirm to Housing Benefit that they have not joined your household and ease your own problems; 2. contact one of your elected councillors and ask them to take up the case. Say that you are suffering severe hardship and point out that even people on benefit are allowed to have family come to stay with them for two weeks.

    Oh: the Housing Benefit people asked for proof that your "guests" are not working, not for proof that they are receiving benefit. Get them to write and sign letters to confirm that they are not working and have no income.
  • shazm.69 wrote: »
    2 weeks ago my daughter her partner and their 2 children moved into my home after losing their home in spain. I told the HB office straight away they just said thats fine just bring in their details. 2 days later i had a letter saying my housing benefit was suspended. I panicked as i was due a payment the next day. I rang them and they said they needed proof that my daughter and her spanish partner were not employed.
    My daughter has since made a claim for income support so we have to wait for the offer letter before going back to the council. Her partner is not working here yet as he hasnt even got a national insurance number.
    This is really stressing me out on top of having a family of 4 living in my living room with absolutely no money. It feels like im getting penalised for being honest i wish i had waited 2 days now until after my payment was made. I have been told by the council not to worry it will be backdated but im worried it wont be and dont know how long it will take. This has come at the wrong side of christmas. I have even booked an appointment to see a doctor as i cannot cope with it all.
    I just need some advice on how long it will take for the suspension to be lifted and if it will be backdated please.

    On what grounds is your daughter claiming income support?

    Have either of them applied for JSA?

    Have you looked at whether they would pass the habitual residence test?
  • She had an appointment at the job centre and they said she should claim income support as he has no ni number and she has 2 children under 3.
    Her partner is willing and able to work asap.
    She has applied for HB and i have to write a letter to say im evicting them. Although i could never do that.
    I just need to know how long it will take and if it will be backdated????
  • elmerelmer Forumite
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    It will be backdated, and as for how long it will take, phone and ask the council how long they are currently taking to work on Changes of circumstances claims.

    My council is currently six weeks due to the volume of work coming in at the moment, but each council will be different depending on the work outstanding.

    elmer
  • shazm.69 wrote: »
    She has applied for HB and i have to write a letter to say im evicting them. Although i could never do that.

    What property has she applied for HB for?

    Also, no letter from you stating that they are going to be evicted is necessary, they have no legal right to stay in the property and you can exclude them whenever you want. What they will be interested in is what caused them to lose their home in Spain.
  • Her partner lost his job. They were living with his family when they found out he lost his job they told them to leave. Also my daughter is only 20 and she wanted to come home when we did but couldnt as she had spanish children and he didnt want to come. When they lost their home she persuaded him to come home to the uk with her. He wants to work so its not like hes here to sponge from the government. Thanks for the helpful advice i will just keep praying everything works out. Im just terrified that they might get sent back to spain or something. I feel so sorry for them they are like little lost sheep.
  • Well, firstly, they won't get sent back to Spain - both your daughter and her husband have the right to live in the UK.

    The Housing Benefit will get reinstated, but it is possible that there will be an amount deducted from it because your daughter and her partner are living there. This is called a 'non-dependent deduction.' If your daughter is awarded Income Support (or income-based Jobseekers' Allowance) then there will be no non-dependent deduction for your daughter (not sure about the partner - will carry on researching).

    I can't quite see why she has been advised to claim Income Support. Only certain groups of people are entitled to claim this, and by the looks of it she has been advised to claim as a lone parent. However, she isn't a lone parent as she lives with her partner, so unless there is something I have missed she wouldn't be entitled to claim this.

    Even if she is considered a lone parent (or in one of the other groups of people who can claim IS), she won't be awarded benefits unless she passes the 'habitual residence test.' Can't post links, but google 'turn2us habitual residence test.'

    As for the housing situation - they can apply to the council as homeless, but one of the tests for being given housing is that they must not be 'intentionally homeless' from their last settled accommodation - the house in Spain. If they were evicted due to rent arrears, it is possible that the council would refuse to accommodate them, although this could be challenged.
  • Okay, my understanding is that there wouldn't be a non-dependent deduction for your daughter's partner either, as long as she is awarded a means-tested benefit such as IS or income-based JSA. I will try to check that at work tomorrow (I work in a legal advice centre) and get back to you.

    If you're struggling to get by, have you thought about looking to see if there is a local Foodbank that might be able to help with food?

    Actually, I just re-read your previous posts - if they were just staying with family in Spain, this wouldn't be considered 'settled' accommodation, so you'd have to consider the circumstances from whichever was their last 'settled' property.

    I know we're talking about things that aren't directly related to your original q, but these are important too.
  • Thank you so much for your advice.
    They went to stay with his family after i had to return to the uk last year. My husband left me and my other 3 children. My eldest already had a daughter with her spanish partner and they lived with me. She couldnt come with us as he didnt want to at the time it broke my heart to leave her as she was only 19. Everything was fine until i lost my job. My husband made me sell the house as it was mortgaged we came away from spain with nothing. I thought it would be so easy to find work here but alot has changed since i left.
    Thanks again :)
  • It's obviously a difficult time for you all at the moment, but I think it will get better soon. Even if they are not currently awarded benefits due to the habitual residence test, this is a short-term issue.

    I just checked and there is only one non-dependent deduction for a couple, so if one partner is receiving IS or income-based JSA there will be no deduction for the other person.

    If they are not currently awarded benefits, and their income is no more than £124 per week, the non-dependent deduction will be £11.45 per week. So, less Housing Benefit for you, but not as bad as a complete suspension!

    I suggest they make a joint claim for income-based JSA (unless they are eligible for Income Support or Employment Support Allowance). They may not be awarded it at the moment, but this will depend on how long they have been in the UK and demonstrating an intention to settle in the UK (e.g. enrolling the children in schools, looking for housing).

    All the best!
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