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Son is being classed as a non-dependant

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Son is being classed as a non-dependant

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ABD20ABD20 Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
Hello everybody,
I am currently working less than 16 hours a week and on income based Jobseekers allowance.
My son (just turned 19) has finished his BTEC Level 3 for the year 2019/2020 and will be continuing onto his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma In September for the year 2020/2021. I have phoned Child benefit and Tax Credits and was told that he would be eligible to receive both until his course ends next year.

The issue I'm facing is that the council are counting him as a non-dependant because my son's college will not supply a certificate to show that he is a student during the summer months but have said that they can only supply a certificate once he enrols on his Level 3 Extended Diploma in September.
Because of this and the fact that he is not employed; the council have said that they are going to class him as a non dependant and will be deducting the maximum amount from my housing benefit, which is the same amount they would deduct for a non dependant that earns over £469 a week (he has an earned income of £0 a week).

I have told the council on numerous occasions that he is not able to pay any rent as he is not earning anything and have told them that he is continuing on with his L3 Extended in September but they insist that he should apply for Universal credit. I have checked online and it appears that he would not be eligible for Universal Credit, so I am really not sure what I can do. My account is in arrears because of this and the letters I am receiving are very threatening. 
Please somebody help me with this.
Thank you for your time. 

Replies

  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
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    I'd phone the benefits office and ask what you can do and tell them you're in dire straits.  I'd also contact the Citizens Advice Bureau. And I'd also phone the council to tell them that you are having financial problems and need help. They have a duty to help you, whether it's by giving you an emergency loan or offering advice. Sending threatening letters isn't helpful to anyone. But definitely phone the council, they've got it wrong about Universal Credit and will probably end up having to pay you back the benefits you should receive - but that isn't helpful right now. 
  • edited 26 July at 8:18AM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 26 July at 8:18AM
    I think the council have got this wrong. If you are still receiving Child Benefit for him I think he is still a 'qualifying young person' and should not be treated as a non-dependant. Proof that you are still getting Child Benefit for him should be enough.

    (As an aside this is one of the instances where UC is more sensible than legacy benefits. For UC thee are no non dependant deductions in respect of people under 21 regardless of circumstances.)
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • hucksterhuckster Forumite
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    Apply to the Council for Discretionary Housing Payments giving them details about your Son being between education courses for the Summer break and the Council applying non dependant deductions. Visit your Councils website and they may have an online form for the Discretionary Housing Payments. Once you have done this, it is up to the Council to review your Housing Benefit entitlements.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
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