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Housing Benefit - under 35 but exempt

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Hi all,

 

Firstly I hope this is the right place to post this. I have just joined having been referred here via a friend of a friend.

 

I am in the 30-34yrs group, have chronic illness and disability, am in receipt of ESA and DLA (mid-rate care, high-rate mobility). I moved to my current 1-bed flat a year ago. Housing Benefit was awarded, pre me informing them of the change in care rate (from low) as per the previous rules of being entitled to a 1-bed place on my own. I noticed my error in not informing them when I got the paperwork through, and my Housing Benefit subsequently was raised. I was told I got this and also not the single room rate because of my mid-rate care component.

 

Today I get a letter from the council and they are now saying because I don't have 24hr care, and thus don't need an extra room, that I am only entitled to shared accommodation. I reminded them, on two phone calls, that mid-rate care exempts from this under-35 single room rate. The first clerk told me this wasn't the case and asked the housing officer who confirmed. I did my research and found on Shelter's site it indeed confirmed the exemption rule by which I qualified. I called back, and was told, yet again, that this is wrong and actually government legislation says 24hr-care for an extra room was your only exemption.

 

I had only just agreed a 6 month contract on my place, and currently I now have to find about half the rent per month. Because of my severe health issues, a house share is not viable, and nor is making up the short fall until I'm 35 due to all the extra costs being chronically ill and disabled incurs, which is some way off! I know I'm in the right and the council are in the wrong. I have contacted my MP and they have this afternoon emailed my council. I'm scared though. What if they don't budge? What can I do? I'm also scared of being made homeless. I have to have a place of my own - I have allergies that, if I house shared as you normally would, could quite literally kill me. Even amongst the few friends who I might usually call upon, it would require them to make such huge changes in their lifestyle and diet that it's just not realistic.

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What does it say on your council website? If you need 24 hour and have a live in carer, you're entitled to an extra bedroom. If you're under 35 and receive mid or high rate care DLA, then yes, you're entitled to enough for a 1 bed place.

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Shelter have confirmed this as well, if I read the post correctly. Perhaps ask if they can interfere with the Council on your behalf.


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shelter have confirmed this as well, if i read the post correctly. Perhaps ask if they can interfere with the council on your behalf.

 

thanks for taking a look cb!!!!!


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I have tried ringing Shelter today and I can't get through :( I don't suffer with anxiety usually, but I am now :(

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PS I don't need 24hr care and thus no extra bedroom needed, but I do receive mid-rate care and do need a place of my own. I can even get medical backup to say as such if needed.

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We have a a Shelter Rep on the forums, I will send him an S.O.S for you. Although I suspect that he might not be able to look in until Monday..

 

I am sure there will be others who will look in over the weekend..


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We have a a Shelter Rep on the forums, I will send him an S.O.S for you. Although I suspect that he might not be able to look in until Monday..

 

I am sure there will be others who will look in over the weekend..

 

again thanks CB


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:thumb:

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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

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1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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is anybody receiving carers allowance for looking after you?


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Hi

 

Do you get any Disability Premiums with your HB?

 

From what you have posted I am wondering if the Council are actually using the new welfare reform rules on HB and extra rooms? If they are then this does not actually come into force until April 2013 and most local authorities/housing associations are sending out letters to those that could be affected.


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No, noone receives any carer's allowance for me.

 

I receive a 'Severe Disability Premium' and an 'Enhanced Disability Premium'. The thing is, I don't have any extra rooms, just: 1 bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, living room. It's a small flat, not tiny, but not exactly luxury large either. I could understand it more if I had 2 bedrooms, but I don't. They want me to have shared accommodation. I did get through to Shelter eventually, but the chap (while helpful and reassuring) couldn't really confirm anything more than I'd found on their site, i.e. that I should be exempt because I receive mid-rate care DLA. He is referring me somewhere local that can provide specialist help, but not sure when I will hear from them. Hopefully mid-next week.

 

I'm not quite in blind panic mode now, but I can't say I'll be happy until I know where I stand with all this.

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Apparently, if it's any help, the council had on my notes that I was in 'shared accommodation'. I said this has never been the case, yet they won't alter it to it being a self-contained unit.

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which council is it?


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the dwp issued a leaflet confirming that those in receip of a severe disability premium are exempt

 

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/sar1.pdf

 

take a copy of the leaflet to your council office and ask them to amend your hb to one bedroom self contained rate - if they refuse, you should get it in writing - then submit an appeal, an official complaint including a claim for compensation, and a request for a discretionary housing payment

 

it doesnt matter whether the accommodation is shared or self contained - you are exempt from shared rate which means that you are entitled to self contained rate even if you are in shared accommodation


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which council is it?

 

It's Colchester Borough Council. Thanks also for the link to the DWP site. The only issue I have is being able to get in. I'm mostly housebound (something which I explained to them) and getting to the council offices in town is difficult for me on my own (Social Services have left me rot despite me asking for help, another long story!). Would emailing the council via the email they provided on their letterhead suffice?

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you might want to quote their own website to them

 

http://www.colchester.gov.uk/article/1860/LHA-for-people-24-34yrs

 

which states the change does not affect you if you get the severe disability premium to work out your benefit because you're entitled to the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance


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single 18 - 34 year olds normally get the shared accommodation rate - whether in shared or self contained accommodation

 

single 18 - 34 year olds entitled to SDP get 1 bedroom self contained rate - whether in shared or self contained accommodation

 

single 18 - 34 year olds who need an extra room for overnight care get 2 bedroom self contained rate - assuming property has at least 2 bedrooms


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single 18 - 34 year olds normally get the shared accommodation rate - whether in shared or self contained accommodation

 

single 18 - 34 year olds entitled to SDP get 1 bedroom self contained rate - whether in shared or self contained accommodation

 

single 18 - 34 year olds who need an extra room for overnight care get 2 bedroom self contained rate - assuming property has at least 2 bedrooms

 

Surely, if you're in shared accommodation, you'll just get the shared rate?

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Surely, if you're in shared accommodation, you'll just get the shared rate?

 

Not if you get an SDP, as you are totally exempt from shared accommodation rate. HB Reg 13D(2)(a)


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I just thought I should let you know that I have just spoken to CBC (I noticed they'd made an error with my postcode, for some strange reason!), and I thought I would ask if their stance was still the same regarding the shared/single room rate. They have admitted they made an error and the housing officer (a different one from last week's, who also happened to work for the DWP previous) is going to sort it this afternoon. I even had an apology for all the stress it caused me which subsequently made me very ill over the weekend, and for the treatment I got from the other clerks and housing officer.

 

Thank you SO much all!

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Good result there sounds like the previous HO needs further training!!!


Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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