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Advice needed ASAP: Income Support want to stop benefits for a property unsold overseas


Millennia
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Help / advice urgently needed please. My situation is this. I moved overseas some years ago with a partner who left me shortly afterwards. Unable to speak the language, get work etc over there, I put the house on the market and returned to the UK (2010). I claimed Income Support as a lone parent and declared the house so that everything was above board. I had to provide the sale doicuments to prove that i was actively trying to dispose of the property, and intended to remain in the UK.

 

All was ok until this week when the benefits seem to be doing a complete overhaul of everyone :( I have had 3 forms to fill in this last 4 weeks, all with only a week deadline so no time to seek advice or help. All about the property. I again sent off the original documents that prove the house was placed on the market. The property was placed for sale at less than the value at that time, and later reduced again within that year. The DSS now want a new valuation, current documents to prove the house is still for sale and more evidence that i am trying to dispose of it. and all in english!! I am gutted...

 

English documents from overseas are not going to happen, and i cannot afford a translator. Also i cannot afford to go to the property to do any maintenance, legal work etc.. I can do some online with the agent, but am worried now. Property is not selling anywhere, not here in the UK or overseas.

 

The DSS are threatening to stop my Income Support if they do not approve my benefit to continue. this would mean my housing benefit would also stop. I have 3 young children (one of whom is disabled) and I am worried sick.

I have done everything by the book, and yet i feel hounded to the point of illness. My children have had very little time with me over the last 4 weeks because i have been spending hours filling in one form after another and struggling with my own health problems on top.

 

Any help or advice is appreciated please.

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When you have alternative property here or abroad that you have putup for sale it is usually disregarded for approx 26 weeks before they start to contact you to check that you are still actively taking steps to sell the property it will continue to be disregarded.

If you are not taking steps then they could determine that you still have these assets which will have a value and could the assume that you have this money which could take you over the allowed capital limits.

Can you contact to request extra time as the property is over seas?

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You do not have to pay for the translation of documents. They have a service that they use which is dedicated to the translation of documents.

 

If there is a problem in getting the documents to them within the deadline (and there may well be, given that it's all overseas), get in touch and let them know so that they don't stop payment for non response.

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.

 

 

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It looks like your claim is undergoing a review by a B.I.C on behalf of your local office..

It has probably been picked for review because of the property abroad... They usually give one month to get all the required information and I would say you have had a orange form an A2 and an A64A this is about the property.

Complete both and return but make sure you post it back in the envelope provided, this will have the correct address on it.

If you cant get all the information straight away ring, they will give you time.

Where is your ex living now? If he is still abroad can he not help you get the information, long shot but worth a try.

Also if you have been on benefit for over two years and they have not reviewed this property prior, then you have bee very lucky, they normally review every twenty six weeks.

They give a disregard for the twenty six weeks, and can extend it.

Is there a mortgage on the property? Is there any equity?

If no equity then you may be fine

Hope you get it sorted, but they are human and if you ring them they wil give you more time

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Hi everyone. Thank you for all the replies.

 

It seems all my claim is undergoing a review..Ive had 3 forms, including a 'integrety form' within the last 4 weeks.. I am worried sick by it all :(

 

I contacted them and explained the difficulties of dealing with overseas agents etc. To add to any delays August is national holiday period in France and i wont get any response until sept at the earliest. I was advised to phone the DWP every fortnight to make sure i will get the next payment. I am so upset by it all.. I have spent weeks filling in forms whilst trying to look after 3 children and being a carer... I am exhausted.

 

I have emailed the Notaire selling the property and am awaiting his response (email is quicker than snail mail and i dont speak the language to phone)

There is no mortgage on the property, and any equity will go on paying off debts over there, clearing the property and selling fees etc. Its all a worry because i cant even afford the trip over there to sign papers and empty my belongings from the house. There also needs to be checks on the property (electric, asbestos etc) prior to sale, and i cant afford those either...

 

If I advertise the property on a private sale website, will this also count as me trying to dispose of it in the meantime? Thats something that I can do from here now!

 

I dont know where my ex is, and he has no link with the property.

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Your claim is being reviewed by a BIC, Benefit Integrity Centre, sound onumus but please dont worry its just an ordinary BDC doing standard case reviews for other BDCs who havent got the time to do it themselves.

 

Its common and they do lots of reviews

 

First make sure all the forms go back on time completed.

 

Phone the BIC and explain about the holidays in France and that you are doing your best to sell it.

Have you told the BIC the ull details, that when you sell the house you will not gain any capital from it.

Have you proof of the debts etc, this will help your case.

 

They ask you to phone every two weeks for payment because they need to know you are tying to get the information, its a nightmare but it keeps the benefit in payment

I would say, be seen to be doing everything you can to push the sale of the property, stick it on as many property sites as you can.

Once they have all the evidence they need they will do a decision on the property.

But you may have to repeat this every six months, because thats how long they disregard the property for usually.

You have had two years to date so you need to get as much together as you can.

 

Have you claimed Carers Allowance for your child, what rate of DLA are they on?, if Middle Rate Care or above then you can claim.

CTC and CHB and of course your childs DLA. I am saying this if the worse comes to the worse and you lose your I.S you can still claim these.

Plus HB and CTB.

 

I am not saying they will close the claim but you would only lose the I.S top up..

and when you do manage to shift it you can go back on..

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE
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Hello there, I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

To comment on a tiny part of your post:

 

There also needs to be checks on the property (electric, asbestos etc) prior to sale, and i cant afford those either...

 

Some people we know sold a property in France recently and the fees for these checks were paid by the notaire from the sale proceeds. Is that an option for you?

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi HoneyBee & MIKEY DABODEE

 

I will have to speak to the notiare about that, he did mention that i would have to pay for these checks upfront, but said that he would put the checks aside until i have a valid buyer first.

 

Mikey: My son gets highest rate DLA and I get carers allowance for him. He doesnt get mobility. I also get CTB and HB, but i thought that if i lost the I.S. then wouldnt i also lose CTB and HB? Isnt the HB also dependant on assets/capital etc?

 

Milly

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hi Milly,

yes sorry, :(

if I.S decided to count your property as capital and it niled your claim then yes HB would take the same decision.

Do HB know about the property?

I am sure I.S will give you the time to get the details they need and hopefully you will be ok

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