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On Tax Credits but need to Apply for Housing Benefit

in Benefits & Tax Credits
17 replies 855 views
My partner has recently left me and our 3 children. Its going to be a struggle raising the kids on my own but what worries me more is the financial problems I am going to have. We bought a shared ownership flat 18 months ago and the rent and service charge is quite high. I work part time and my ex-partner works full time. From the discussions I have had with my ex-partner I think I will be receiving the minimum amount he needs to give me. I have researched and I think I am entitled to extra benefits for the rent and service charge if I change over to Universal Credit. I am looking for advice from anyone who has been in a similar position. I don't want to make a bad situation even worse.
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Replies

  • edited 12 May at 2:04PM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 12 May at 2:04PM
    If you were claiming Tax Credits as a couple and have separated you must inform HMRC immediately. Your Tax Credit entitlement ended the day you separated. A couple claim cannot be changed to a single claim. If you have delayed telling them you have likely been overpaid and you (and your ex) will owe them money (sorry, I know you don't want to hear that).

    Realistically it is therefore likely that you need to claim UC anyway and claiming UC will end any existing Housing Benefit claim.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • RubyroobsRubyroobs Forumite
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    As above you need to make a new claim for universal credit asap and claim the help from the rent element of Universal credit. You will get help with the rent part, but obviously not the mortgage part.

  • sarahj1990sarahj1990 Forumite
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    First Post
    Thanks for your replies. I will make a new claim in the next 1-2 days. The rent is £350.00 a month and service charge is £220.00, is there a maximum amount you can claim for your rent and service charge on Universal Credit. 
  • edited 12 May at 8:05PM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 12 May at 8:05PM
    The maximum help with rent is the lower of your eligible rent and service charges orthe relevant Local Housing Allowance for your post code.
    https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/Search.aspx

    You cannot claim UC if you have savings over £16,000.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • sarahj1990sarahj1990 Forumite
    8 Posts
    First Post
    Calcotti, thanks for the link. I have used the calculator and it says I am entitled to £220.00 a week. The rent and service charge is £570.00 a month or £131.53 a week, so would Universal Credit pay both my rent and service charge. 
  • edited 12 May at 9:38PM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 12 May at 9:38PM
    Some service charges are allowed, some are not. You will have to provide details of what the service charges are for.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • sarahj1990sarahj1990 Forumite
    8 Posts
    First Post
    When you are claiming Universal Credit does it take into account the child support you are getting from your ex-partner, for example my 3 girls do dance classes and some other activities. If my ex-partner sends me additional money for their activities is this going to cause me problems, or is the child support payments & payments for activities not included in the Universal Credit calculations which determine how much you are entitled to.   
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    When you are claiming Universal Credit does it take into account the child support you are getting from your ex-partner, for example my 3 girls do dance classes and some other activities. If my ex-partner sends me additional money for their activities is this going to cause me problems, or is the child support payments & payments for activities not included in the Universal Credit calculations which determine how much you are entitled to.   

    Child support payments are disregarded for all benefits and won't affect your UC entitlement.
  • sarahj1990sarahj1990 Forumite
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    First Post
    I really appreciate the help with answering my questions. With Tax Credits you have to notify them of any changes in the hours you are working and the more hours you work the less benefits you receive, is this the same process when claiming Universal Credit and how long does it normally take to get swapped over from Tax Credits to Universal Credit and for the housing benefit application to be processed.  I am just trying to workout if there are any major differences in Tax Credits and Universal Credits.
  • edited 13 May at 9:40AM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 13 May at 9:40AM
    If you are employed, each month your employer informs HMRC about your earnings, UC have access to this information and will automatically calculate your UC entitlement based on the earnings received that month. You will get less UC if your earnings are higher. The number of hours you work makes no difference.

    When you claim UC HMRC will be notified and Tax Credits stopped. Your first UC payment will be one month and one week later.

    There is no housing benefit application. You report your housing costs as part of the UC application and the help with rent is part of UC. If you can evidence the rent and service charges it should be processed in time for the first payment, if DWP need more information it will obviously take longer.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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