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    • bunglebus
    • By bunglebus 11th Mar 17, 2:52 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 15Thanks
    bunglebus
    How to make up the difference between benefits and bills
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 17, 2:52 PM
    How to make up the difference between benefits and bills 11th Mar 17 at 2:52 PM
    My question is simple: How is one expected to survive off benefits when they do not pay the full amount of the expenditure they're meant to cover?

    Our rent is 750 PCM, our housing benefit is 607.64 as per the local government maximum. We are entitled to and need the three bedrooms in our house, 1 adult son who works a low paid job and gives us a bit of housekeeping, one teenaged son in full time education.
    We have a dog and two cats so moving is made difficult as few landlords will accept pets, plus if you don't have any money how do you pay for moving costs, deposit etc etc?

    Our council tax is 1419.46 P/A, of which 1102.57 is covered by Council Tax Support. This leaves approx 168.77 PCM shortfall between rent and council tax.

    We receive PIP as my wife is disabled, Standard Daily Living and Enhanced Mobility which is used for her Motability car. I receive Carer's Allowance and Income Support.

    We moved here just over four years ago, I was working full time until Dec 2015 but now I am her full time carer.

    I'm looking into a Discretionary Housing Payment but my main question is, how are we meant to make ends meet? I asked this question during a call about benefits to the powers that be, and they just said no-one gets the full amount.
Page 1
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 11th Mar 17, 3:01 PM
    • 7,369 Posts
    • 10,615 Thanks
    KxMx
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:01 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:01 PM
    I'd suggest you need to do two things, decrease your outgoings and increase the amount your adult son pays you.

    What kind of budgeting and tracking of expenses/outgoings do you do?

    Often these exercises are very illuminating and allow you to stretch a fixed income further.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 11th Mar 17, 3:03 PM
    • 36,000 Posts
    • 46,355 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:03 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:03 PM
    Do you actually have to care for your wife full time. Im sure you can earn up to a certain amounr before it affects benefits
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
    • poppasmurf_bewdley
    • By poppasmurf_bewdley 11th Mar 17, 5:24 PM
    • 5,190 Posts
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    poppasmurf_bewdley
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:24 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:24 PM
    I'd suggest you need to do two things, decrease your outgoings and increase the amount your adult son pays you.

    What kind of budgeting and tracking of expenses/outgoings do you do?

    Often these exercises are very illuminating and allow you to stretch a fixed income further.
    Originally posted by KxMx
    Spot on there. Either that or tell him you're downsizing the house and he will have to find somewhere else to live. You should be looking at 300/400 a month from him, as that is the minimum he would have to pay for a room in a house share.

    Do you actually have to care for your wife full time. Im sure you can earn up to a certain amounr before it affects benefits
    Originally posted by McKneff
    There is always a job you can do to earn some money. Even a paper round will bring in 15/30 a week - and many pensioners do this job to earn extra.
    "There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe a 'Princess Coronation' locomotive in full cry. We shall never see their like again". O S Nock
    • bunglebus
    • By bunglebus 11th Mar 17, 5:53 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    bunglebus
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:53 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:53 PM
    Correct on both counts - son pays 30 a week, and to be fair often buys his own food/stays at his girlfriend's so doesn't cost much (mind you I was paying 120 a month out of 100 a week in 1994). I could do some part time work.

    However my main question is more how are we expected to make ends meet if neither of the above was feasible? It just seems odd that the benefits are not the same as the outgoings that we must pay. More questioning the system than my own circumstances.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 11th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    • 16,373 Posts
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    elsien
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    The system would say that you don't need a three bedroom house. Your two sons could share a room if needs must.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 11th Mar 17, 6:31 PM
    • 999 Posts
    • 2,587 Thanks
    Bogalot
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 17, 6:31 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 17, 6:31 PM
    Correct on both counts - son pays 30 a week, and to be fair often buys his own food/stays at his girlfriend's so doesn't cost much (mind you I was paying 120 a month out of 100 a week in 1994). I could do some part time work.

    However my main question is more how are we expected to make ends meet if neither of the above was feasible? It just seems odd that the benefits are not the same as the outgoings that we must pay. More questioning the system than my own circumstances.
    Originally posted by bunglebus
    Why is it not feasible to make ends meet, are you paying off debts? If you added up your income it would be more than many working households get. As suggested above, complete a statement of affairs and look at where you can make cutbacks.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 11th Mar 17, 6:33 PM
    • 4,887 Posts
    • 5,220 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 17, 6:33 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 17, 6:33 PM
    The limits on HB etc are there in part to stop landlords constantly increasing rent in the knowledge that it will be paid by the LA. The OP does need to look at every aspect of income and expenditure, with particular emphasis on the rent paid by the son and the possibility of part time work. There is a small disregard on earnings so there isn't a huge amount of wiggle room in that area.
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam3; 12-03-2017 at 9:20 AM. Reason: Quoting deleted post
    • thorsoak
    • By thorsoak 11th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • 5,662 Posts
    • 25,923 Thanks
    thorsoak
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    don't you claim child benefit?
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th Mar 17, 8:23 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,241 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Correct on both counts - son pays 30 a week, and to be fair often buys his own food/stays at his girlfriend's so doesn't cost much (mind you I was paying 120 a month out of 100 a week in 1994). I could do some part time work.

    However my main question is more how are we expected to make ends meet if neither of the above was feasible? It just seems odd that the benefits are not the same as the outgoings that we must pay. More questioning the system than my own circumstances.
    Originally posted by bunglebus
    It is not how much he costs you in terms of food. He is costing you the rent on a 3 bed house which has to be more than 30 per week. Either he starts to pay you a realistic share of the rent or he finds his own place allowing you to downsize.
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 11th Mar 17, 8:43 PM
    • 5,051 Posts
    • 3,287 Thanks
    Darksparkle
    So you get as a household:
    PIP
    Income Support
    Carers Allowance
    Child Tax Credits (assuming FTNAE)
    Child Benefit (assuming FTNAE)
    Housing Benefit
    Countil Tax Support
    Wages

    But that's not sufficient?
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 11th Mar 17, 8:50 PM
    • 999 Posts
    • 2,587 Thanks
    Bogalot
    It is not how much he costs you in terms of food. He is costing you the rent on a 3 bed house which has to be more than 30 per week. Either he starts to pay you a realistic share of the rent or he finds his own place allowing you to downsize.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Actually he's not costing them a penny in rent. They'll get the full LHA for a three bed property, there's no non dependent deduction because they're in receipt of PIP.

    The costs of the adult child would be pretty low - food, a small amount for additional utilities (he's not going to use any more heating or lighting than already used). Given that without him there they would only be entitled to the two bedroom rate, then even in a two bed property it's quite possible they'd be worse off without him there.

    (That's not to say that he shouldn't pay more, but a realistic share of the rent and council tax would be around 55 a month.)
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 11th Mar 17, 9:00 PM
    • 12,230 Posts
    • 18,158 Thanks
    nannytone
    Actually he's not costing them a penny in rent. They'll get the full LHA for a three bed property, there's no non dependent deduction because they're in receipt of PIP.

    The costs of the adult child would be pretty low - food, a small amount for additional utilities (he's not going to use any more heating or lighting than already used). Given that without him there they would only be entitled to the two bedroom rate, then even in a two bed property it's quite possible they'd be worse off without him there.

    (That's not to say that he shouldn't pay more, but a realistic share of the rent and council tax would be around 55 a month.)
    Originally posted by Bogalot
    the OP has to pay in excess of 140 a month to top up the rent of a 3 bed house.
    he may be able to get a 2 bed house nearer the LHA rate, or at least not that much over it
    • venison
    • By venison 11th Mar 17, 9:04 PM
    • 2,047 Posts
    • 2,192 Thanks
    venison
    Do you really need the mutability car? You could save a fair few quid getting rid of that.
    Ex Board Guide
    • meer53
    • By meer53 11th Mar 17, 9:36 PM
    • 9,152 Posts
    • 13,288 Thanks
    meer53
    Your pets must cost quite a bit each month ? If you could take a part time job, ask your son to look for a better paid job and look to rehome the dog and 2 cats it might help. I know people are attached to their pets but if you can't afford them then it's silly to struggle on. It might also help you find cheaper accomodation as you've mentioned it's hard to find somewhere when you have pets.

    How old is the teenager ? My teenager got a job as soon as she got her NI number, i don't take any money from her but it helps that she doesn't have to ask me for money now if she wants anything.
    • Neffi1uk
    • By Neffi1uk 11th Mar 17, 9:38 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Neffi1uk
    You will be losing housing benefit because you have an adult non dependent in the property, your working son, and a fixed deduction based on his earnings is made from both your housing benefit and council tax support.

    I would imagine that his 30 housekeeping doesn't cover that shortfall and you need to have a conversation with him about the cost to you of him living at home with you. Mind you if he leaves you will then be deemed to be unde occupying your home and your housing benefit will be reduced by 14%, so you won't be a great deal better off.

    Correcting myself, there no NDD due to the PIP award. Is your rent over the LHA for your area?
    Last edited by Neffi1uk; 11-03-2017 at 9:41 PM.
    • Neffi1uk
    • By Neffi1uk 11th Mar 17, 10:56 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Neffi1uk
    Thank you for pointing that out. Funnily enough I can read.

    You'd be surprised at how often I see a client who thinks they get one thing, and call it that, but in fact get something different. When giving advice, as I do for a living, I find it best to gain absolute clarity before proceeding.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 11th Mar 17, 11:33 PM
    • 17,239 Posts
    • 30,367 Thanks
    Ames
    You will be losing housing benefit because you have an adult non dependent in the property, your working son, and a fixed deduction based on his earnings is made from both your housing benefit and council tax support.

    I would imagine that his 30 housekeeping doesn't cover that shortfall and you need to have a conversation with him about the cost to you of him living at home with you. Mind you if he leaves you will then be deemed to be unde occupying your home and your housing benefit will be reduced by 14%, so you won't be a great deal better off.

    Correcting myself, there no NDD due to the PIP award. Is your rent over the LHA for your area?
    Originally posted by Neffi1uk
    Isn't that only if they're in social housing? The OP isn't clear but I read it that they're in a private rental. So the reduction would be the difference between two and three bad LHA, not necessarily a fixed 14%.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 12th Mar 17, 1:39 AM
    • 9,037 Posts
    • 5,387 Thanks
    teddysmum
    I'm surprised that the authorities reckon that two siblings of the same sex need a separate room when 16 years old, as many of us grew up sharing a room with a brother or sister until one of us left home and it wasn't a great problem.


    Even 'posh' people who go to boarding school have to 'slum it' by sharing a dorm with a number of others (not just a brother or sister) and there's no legislation against that situation..
    Last edited by teddysmum; 12-03-2017 at 1:43 AM.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 12th Mar 17, 7:18 AM
    • 16,681 Posts
    • 41,268 Thanks
    FBaby
    My question is simple: How is one expected to survive off benefits when they do not pay the full amount of the expenditure they're meant to cover?
    The issue is 'meant to cover'. As already stated, the benefits you receive are not meant to cover the extra that your adult son is costing you nor your pets. Pets are a luxury. OH and I have been getting very broody for a dog lately, but we both work, and it wouldn't be fair on a dog to be at home alone for hours, so we do without.

    Your situation must be frustrating, but the issue is that of making choices in terms of your lifestyle in accordance with your budget which is what everyone has to make. The issue is not with the amount of benefit you receive, which as it's been pointed is more than than some working people get.
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