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DJ67

Is "Fair" In The DWP's Vocabulary?

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Hi,

I've used other areas of the CAG and so it was only natural that I'd come to you folks with this.

My girlfriend lives alone with her 14 year old daughter. She doesn't receive any child support from her daughter's father as he is unable to work.

My girlfriend has always worked and currently works 18.5 hours per week and earns a monthly take home pay of £550. She receives some child tax credit and family allowance but has been told that she isn't entitled to anything else.

She has to pay full rent and full council tax (minus the 25% single person reduction that is).

Her sister is in exactly the same position except that she didn't work for the first 12 years of her child's life. She was then pressurised into finding a job and works 16 hours per week. However, she is still getting all her rent paid and also her council tax.

As I've never claimed benefits I'm perplexed as to how the system works. Is there any advice that would be of benefit (no pun intended)? My girlfriend has applied on a number of occasions for additional help but is always told that she earns too much.

Many thanks in advance.

DJ67

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The DWP is not fair. From what I have seen.

 

I have been employed for about 10 years ever since I left college and I have been sanctioned 3 times since being unemployed. 1) Taking a interview a priory over a vacancy at it first stages being it announced on the job centre site. 2) Misleading information on the vacancy paper work they gave me when it says "what to do next to arrange an interview" which is in-correct. Checked they site where there was even more misleading information as the first page you come across says its "self-employed" vacancies. Under further investigation after being informed of a sanction I find out it's actually a normal vacancy. Still misleading information displayed on their site and have not received a letter abot this 3) Now been informed this very day that me leaving my job voluntarily has caused another sanction. After receiving paper work they were saying it was fine to receive JSA as I thought at the time I had justifiable reasons.

Edited by ErikaPNP
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Each case is decided upon individual circumstance but each benefit's income thresholds are the same. Your sister and your girlfriend must have different incomes in order for one to receive benefit and not the other. If your sister is working 16 hours a week she won't be entitled to income support and her HB/CTB will need to be based upon her income and capital, not a linked claim.

 

Your girlfriends' income appears very low to not be entitled to HB/CTB though. Very low indeed. Though of course the tax credit may push her over the income threshold. Has she actually applied and been refused or has she just been told unofficially that she won't qualify?

 

There are benefit calculators she can use to get an idea of how much benefits she can receive. These are however only intended as a guide:

 

Benefit calc 1

Benfit calc 2

 

She can also ask CAB or Welfare Rights to do a benefit calculation for her.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

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Always be skeptical of unofficial advice from benefit officials not to claim. It is possible they did not consider her child in the equation. Also, there is no fixed amount which is too much to be earning for HB/CTB as it depends on the amount of rent or council tax liability, as well as personal circumstances.

 

On a back of the envelope calculation assuming a rent of £100 a week and maximum tax credits, she should be getting about £50 a week housing benefit. More if her allowed rent is higher, or tax credits less.


Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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