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jacks mom

housing benefit query

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Sorry this is a long winded, but here goes.

January 2012 we moved into our present home,which is a four bedroomed property. The landlord reduced the rent as he wanted to be paid HB directly to him. The rent was agreed at £825.00 pcm, LHA rate was £725.00 pcm, we pay a £100.00 pcm shortfall directly to him every month. The advertised rent for the property was £1100 so he reduced it by £275.00.

 

He did say when we had been here 12 months the rent would go back up to the £1100.00. We weren't concerned about this because by then we were entitled to the four bedroomed LHA rate as our son reached 16 early in December and as our other two children, a boy and a girl are 9 and 12 we knew were entitled to a four bedroomed property.

 

Early in December the LA assessed our claim again due to a change of circumstances (son reaching 16) they then paid 100% of the rent meaning we didn't have to top up. In January the rent increased to £1100, the council were informed of the proposed increase in November.

 

The LHA now came in at £950.00 pcm leaving us to top up £150 which we felt we could afford, as i am severly disabled and the house is ideal for me we felt it was worth the extra money.

 

A few days ago the council contacted me to tell me although we are DEFINATLY entitled to a four bedroomed property and the LHA that goes with it, BUT they can't pay it, because due to my son becoming 16 this resulted in a change of circumstances hence changing the anniversary date of our claim. So what was January 23rd now became December 4th. They went on to tell me that an increase in the rate can only be considered on the anniversary and not before. So this meant they can't pay the rate we are entitled to until December 2013.

 

I have applied for DHP but we were turned down for that as well, because the DM decided to take into account my DLA. Although it is disregarded for HB it is totally up to the DM if they decide to take it into account for DHP.

 

Totally at a loss now what to do, this house has been adapted for my needs, stair lift etc so i really don't want to move. Any help would be great

Many thanks

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Under current HB rules, I am afraid that the Council is correct that:

 

  • Your son turning 16 resets the LHA anniversary date
  • Maximum rent for HB purposes is not normally reviewed until anniversary date

however...

 

  1. LHA anniversary dates are due to be abolished in April 2013, so you will move onto increased rent subject to applicable 4 bedroom rate in April (rather than December)
  2. if you have a partner, you can move onto new rent subject to applicable LHA rate earlier by changing which one of you is the HB claimant
  3. if you do not have a partner, you can move onto new rent subject to applicable LHA rate earlier by taking a 1 week break in your benefit entitlement

Edited by id6052

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Thank you so much for your advice. Submitting a new claim is a really good idea and i'd not thought of it before. i don't think i could do it because at present the LA pay the LL directly which he had to reduce the rent to secure this, as he won't be able to do this again, its a no go.

 

However when i contacted the LA i asked about the anniversary dates being abolished, I was told this wouldn't affect us as our renewal date wasn't until December and the the new renewals were only applying to those with an anniversary date between January and March. Which of course ours would have been had it not been moved to December. Is this correct?

 

Many thanks once again

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any awards which would normally have an anniversary date between April and December are going to have a review in April

 

any awards which would normally have an anniversary date between January and March are not going to have a review until April

 

this is due to the fact that all LHA awards are to be reviewed in April 2013, and they did not want awards being reviewed twice in 3 months


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So if this is the case we only have to get through to April not December. Although i realise the new LHA rate may be lower than the current one.

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So if this is the case we only have to get through to April not December. Although i realise the new LHA rate may be lower than the current one.

 

that is correct, do you have a partner? as that would allow you to switch over sooner without taking a break in benefit


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You have been so helpful. It would appear that the new LHA rate is exactly the same as the old one so that is really good news. Yes i have a partner but if we submit a new claim we will have to re apply for direct payment to our LL (he only accepted us on this condition) and as we had to jump through hoops for this i doubt it would be accepted again. If we only have to manage until April i think we can just manage this.

 

You have taken such a load off our mind, thank you

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Hello jacks mom. I'm pleased that you have the answer to your query courtesy of a cagger.

 

If you want to thank id6052, you could click on the star at the bottom of their post and leave a message. It's free. :)

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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