Newly BR, no IPA given (phew) but now my benefits have increased due to COVID :-/

Hi everyone

Well I finally took the plunge and was declared BR last week.  I had my OR Interview on Monday and no IPA was given which I was very relieved about.  My income is made up of a full time salary which is topped up by benefits.  However, yesterday less than 24 hours after my interview I got a letter saying due to COVID my housing benefit has been 'temporarily' increased.  I am certain that this increase will mean I will now have to enter into an IPA which is what I desperately wanted to avoid.  I called the council to ask how long this increase will be for and they didn't know.  I don't want to sound ungrateful, on the contrary I am EXTREMELY grateful for all the benefits I get (child/working tax credits & Housing benefit as a single parent) but I was so relieved when I put the phone down and now I feel stressed all over again :-(  The increase is roughly £40 per week which is quite substantial really so I am guessing this will go into an IPA for as long as the increase remains.  I'm not sure how short an IPA can be if this increase is only for a few months?

No idea if anyone can help, think I just need some reassurance, been up for most of the night fretting!

Thank you


  • mwarbymwarby Forumite
    2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If it tips you into IPA, the IPA would be for just under 3 years (3 years from when bankruptcy started), although if when income goes back down your IPA can go to £0 (but then can go up again even after discharge)

    It's possible that the OR has some kind of special instruction as to now to handle this during covid-19 but I'm not aware. I think the only thing you can do is discuss with the OR, you are obliged to keep the OR informed of changes in circumstances like this sadly

    On the plus side an IPA isn't all that bad many who have had IVAs have had 5 years of payments, 3 years, hopefully many of them at £0 a month will pass quickly. Once your IPA is done that's all income yours and no debts
  • Flora_McDoraFlora_McDora Forumite
    39 Posts
    10 Posts Second Anniversary
    Gosh Holly - I think we were both up most of the night worrying about an IPA 😕
    Flora x
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