how can you claim housing benefit without being a job seeker

stu12345_2
stu12345_2 Posts: 800
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edited 6 November 2023 at 11:55AM in Benefits & tax credits
myself and wife are ready to chuck in the towel concerning stressful jobs. we are both 55, we work for same employer we do about 28 hours a week each, our employer said we can drop hours and create a new contract of 14 hours a week each. We would only go back to fulltime jobs if they were local and had low stress.
we could live on this 14 hrs each, but after doing a search we would get £50 a week housing element, but we do not want back to being fulltime job workers or job hunters at the moment...
 we do have non priority debts and have made comments on other threads,( which may or may not write off our debts, dro, bankrupt) but still unsure what to do.
we rent council. how do you claim the housing element only, but not job seeking.
pay your debt at your rate.not what the creditor demands.cos they have no power.they aren't the police.
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  • myself and wife are ready to chuck in the towel concerning stressful jobs. we are both 55, we work for same employer we do about 28 hours a week each, our employer said we can drop hours and create a new contract of 14 hours a week each. We would only go back to fulltime jobs if they were local and had low stress.
    we could live on this 14 hrs each, but after doing a search we would get £50 a week housing element, but we are not going back to being fulltime job workers or job hunters at the moment...
     we do have non priority debts and have made comments on other threads, but still unsure what to do.
    we rent council. how do you claim the housing element only, but not job seeking.
    You can't, unless you are exempt from the work search requirement due to illness/disability, or caring for someone severely disabled for 35+hours/week. 

    It was possible with Housing Benefit, but new claims for that are long gone.

    If you need breathing space then a fit note can give a work coach reason to turn off or reduce work search requirements.  Going part time for the sake of your health could be wise, with a fit note for the stress it's currently causing, and perhaps even the reduced stress might then enable you to look for a more suitable job.
  • Rubyroobs
    Rubyroobs Posts: 851
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    The simple answer is you can't. If you are claiming universal credit for rent element and you have no health conditions and no children under 13 then you'd be expected to look for full time work.
  • stu12345_2
    stu12345_2 Posts: 800
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    edited 5 November 2023 at 4:47PM
    our current jobs aren't stressful. but the shifts are bad..my employer said they would give us an afternoon only  shift instead. recently  I've applied for a high paying job . stressful but will clear our debts within 2 yrs..I will probably get the job as I did it for  yrs when younger.
    tbh we used to work ptime about 13 yrs ago and get housing benefit.it was very enjoyable knowing that I didn't have to sign on cos I worked ptime but also got housing benefit.we weren't living in luxury.but we were actually enjoying life.
    we aren't medically sick or anything.just tired fed up.
    the only real debt solution is a dmp which we are on..but it would take many years. won't get a dro cos we don't have  even the min enough to live on according to advisor if we go pttime and dro will be refused.
     so if we did make claim for a top up and filled in the forms to get job seekers and . perhaps the.  getting a  second job  doin 2 hours a week each which would equal this£50 housing element..then thus signing off again. 
    basically the gov says our 14 hrs a week money is too low to live on.but if we eventually earned 16 hrs we would be at the gov accepted living standards earnings and no need for any claims 

    also can I ask what would happen on our claim form when it says why did you leave your last job.but we haven't.we would still be there just doing less hours.

    pay your debt at your rate.not what the creditor demands.cos they have no power.they aren't the police.
  • huckster
    huckster Posts: 4,777
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    The other issue is that if you stopped working or significantly reduced hours without good reason, if you claimed Universal Credit, a Decision Maker could decide to sanction the benefit for a period.  

    Best course of action would be to continue in the job, while searching for other jobs you can move to, without the need to claim benefits.

    If you stopped working or dropped your hours and were accepted for Universal Credit without any sanction, the Job Centre would expect you to look for full time jobs.  Even for lead parent carers children aged 3 to 12, the Government are requiring 30 per hours work search.
    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.
  • stu12345_2
    stu12345_2 Posts: 800
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    edited 5 November 2023 at 5:32PM
    huckster said:
    The other issue is that if you stopped working or significantly reduced hours without good reason, if you claimed Universal Credit, a Decision Maker could decide to sanction the benefit for a period.  

    Best course of action would be to continue in the job, while searching for other jobs you can move to, without the need to claim benefits.

    If you stopped working or dropped your hours and were accepted for Universal Credit without any sanction, the Job Centre would expect you to look for full time jobs.  Even for lead parent carers children aged 3 to 12, the Government are requiring 30 per hours work search.
    maybe  .but my gut instinct is saying drop hours .cos my employer wants a month's notice to reduce hours and I believe come march 24. they are raising my hourly rate enough that it will cover any shortfall or benefit equivalent cos technically it's only about £25 max housing  element each. element only. we are taking about here. and it's only say another couple hours here or there I'm wanting in a second wee extra job...to cover this housing  element  and work wise ,cos that be enough to get out of the dwp out of my  hair and sign off and bob along whilst I consider fresh debt solutions for pttime workers
    pay your debt at your rate.not what the creditor demands.cos they have no power.they aren't the police.
  • peteuk
    peteuk Posts: 1,227
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    stu12345_2 said:.
    we could live on this 14 hrs each, but after doing a search we would get £50 a week housing element, but we do not want back to being fulltime job workers or job hunters at the moment...
    And 

    the only real debt solution is a dmp which we are on..but it would take many years. won't get a dro cos we don't have  even the min enough to live on according to advisor if we go pttime and dro will be refused.
    So which is it, cause if you’re on a dmp working full time (and I’ve been there) you cant really drop to part time.  But you will both be expected to work 35 hours a week to claim UC or spend that time on work related activities.

    Id love to drop to part time but 1) cant afford it and 2) dont want to live on benefits to afford it.  

    I totally get your stressed, but working part time isn’t the magic bullet that will make you stress free
    Proud to have dealt with our debts
    Starting debt 2005 £65.7K.
    Current debt ZERO.
    DEBT FREE
  • stu12345_2
    stu12345_2 Posts: 800
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    edited 5 November 2023 at 5:44PM
    Pete .maybe we need to take year out and go to pt time from our full-time hours. if that means making £1 token payments to unsecured debts then that's the way it will be.
    then whoknows. anyway the debts have defaulted.there is no interest anymore.
    maybe bankrupt or maybe dro. perhaps do pttime for a yr till dro or bankruptcy is over if we do any of those.
     the dro route isn't fully dealt with cos I could only make initial enquiries cos we work full-time at mo and not get a dro. have considered bankruptcy.would get it ok. but don't want an IPA attached for 3 yrs.which would attach if we continue full-time.but if we were pt time no IPA attached cos no excess income to contribute 
    pay your debt at your rate.not what the creditor demands.cos they have no power.they aren't the police.
  • peteuk
    peteuk Posts: 1,227
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    Pete .maybe we need to take year out and go to pt time from our full-time hours. if that means making £1 token payments to unsecured debts then that's the way it will be. then who knows. anyway the debts have defaulted.there is no interest anymore.

    If your on a DMP with a credible source then the “interest” should have already been stopped

    If you’re talking about interest as in intent then yes the default drops off your credit file doesnt make it status barred, thats six years (5 in Scotland) since last payment.  So if your on a DMP then unlikely to be SB due to the fact you make a payment each month,

    Before going PT talk to your DMP provider (if you have one) or step change about the effects of doing so on your DMP because in theory if you choose to go PT it might upset some of your debtors as you’ll end up paying them less (thus making it a longer process). Just the same with a years token payments, might not be acceptable. 
    Proud to have dealt with our debts
    Starting debt 2005 £65.7K.
    Current debt ZERO.
    DEBT FREE
  • stu12345_2
    stu12345_2 Posts: 800
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    edited 5 November 2023 at 5:57PM
    with stepchange at mo. debts defaulted already so no interest on balance. creditors can argue all they want but if you show them pt time wages and our outgoings then they have to see it's token payments only 
    I know if we go ptime stepchange will suggest dro or bankruptcy .
    pay your debt at your rate.not what the creditor demands.cos they have no power.they aren't the police.
  • marcia_
    marcia_ Posts: 1,512
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