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Homeless and threat to lose JSA


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Hi - My son has been homeless for a year or so. He cannot live at home - because of regular violence to himfrom his younger backwards brother. We have extended family units in the area and with his friends there are places he can sleep most nights. He can also sleep on the sofa here from time to time - but not too often.

 

After more than a year of claiming JSA as homeless, the local office are now claiming he he cannot prove he is homeless and therefore they are cutting off his JSA. They also say they will visit the places he says he sleeps to see if they are entitled to "rent" space (although he is paying nothing to anybody for sleeping at their homes). This will devastate him. I haven't a clue how these JSA people think they are entitled to do this. Can anybody help me here? References to the law and government guidance would be useful too. Thanks.

Edited by CllrChris
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This doesn't make sense. JSA has nothing to do with whether or not a person is homeless, and I don't even understand the reference to "rent" space. Are they looking to see if he can claim Housing Benefit? Or are the people he stays with themselves claiming HB and the council is considering whether a non-dependent deduction should be applied to their claims because your son has been staying with them?

 

Anyhow, first step: he should contact the Jobcentre Plus Benefit Centre that pays his JSA claim and ask them precisely why they say he is no longer entitled.

 

Edit to add: Sorry, I missed a key question out. How old is your son?

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This doesn't make sense. JSA has nothing to do with whether or not a person is homeless, and I don't even understand the reference to "rent" space. Are they looking to see if he can claim Housing Benefit? Or are the people he stays with themselves claiming HB and the council is considering whether a non-dependent deduction should be applied to their claims because your son has been staying with them?

 

Anyhow, first step: he should contact the Jobcentre Plus Benefit Centre that pays his JSA claim and ask them precisely why they say he is no longer entitled.

 

Edit to add: Sorry, I missed a key question out. How old is your son?

 

Yes - I think getting something in writing is essential. It doesn't make any sense to me either. He really doesn't stay with any of them any more than a night or two a week. I think the JSA are just trying to get him off their unemployed figures. But my son, although reasonably intelligent, seems to have been convinced they can stop his JSA.

 

Even if some he stays with are claiming HB - that should still not affect his JSA. It didn't when he was at home.

 

He's 24 BTW.

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You might also want to contact Shelter who might be able to help with your Son's homeless state.

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Yes - I think getting something in writing is essential. It doesn't make any sense to me either. He really doesn't stay with any of them any more than a night or two a week. I think the JSA are just trying to get him off their unemployed figures. But my son, although reasonably intelligent, seems to have been convinced they can stop his JSA.

 

Even if some he stays with are claiming HB - that should still not affect his JSA. It didn't when he was at home.

 

He's 24 BTW.

 

OK, so if he's 24, then my main concern is not relevant (I was thinking that if he was 16 or 17, different rules may apply). So yes, he needs to know exactly why they're trying to stop his JSA. In writing would be best, but part of the problem here is that he's only legally entitled to a written statement of reasons when they actually cut off his payments. He should call his Benefit Centre (number on any letter he's been sent) to ask precisely why they say he's not entitled. As we've noted, whether or not he's homeless should not affect his entitlement once he's 18 and out of full-time non-higher education. So at the very least, he needs to call and write down exactly what they say. There are some reasons to stop a person's JSA, but "you're not homeless" isn't one of them.

 

You're also correct that staying with someone who claims HB shouldn't affect your son's JSA. In some circumstances, it might affect the HB of the person he's staying with, but not always and in any case, that's a different matter.

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  • 2 months later...

If your son does go back to the JobCentre Plus, he needs to take someone with him. I had an interview there recently and it was unbelievable. Everything single thing they told me about my benefits (they were telling me I wasn't a carer when I quite clearly am, my son doesn't attend school when luckily enough I had proof he had been until a few days before, that I would lose just about every benefit I presently claim (incorrectly). Believe it or not, the person interviewing me also told me I wouldn't cope (I did get pretty stressed) if my OH moved out (won't go into why that came up here, its a long story) and my children would be taken into care. It was dreadful. Unfortunately it was unrecorded.

 

So if your son goes back, he MUST take someone with him who can remember what happens, take notes if necessary and to make sure anything they say is checked up on when they can get to a pc. Every single thing I was told was incorrect. What your son has been told might well be incorrect as well.

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  • 6 months later...

hi,

i've just seen your post and the local council has a duty to house your son because he is statutory homeless:

- he is vulnerable because of actual violence and threats of violence [which are likely to be carried out] it is not reasonable for him to stay at your place and hence he moved out to be safe

- he has a local connection to the borough / area because he has been living there .. [how long]. list his addresses of past 5 years supporting with documents like bank statements, gym / library membership, school, work, jobcentre letters

- eligible for housing because in priority need: vulnerable due to fleeing violence

- on JSA so eligible for social security / homelessness accommodation, mind you it will be an offer of an assured shorthold tenancy with a private landlord the council has to offer these days, not necessarily social housing.

 

Housing benefit will cover most of the rent. Immediately make a nil income declaration with a recent bank statement at the council for the housing benefit to stay in payment if JSA gets sanctioned.

 

The DWP / Jobcentre has to know your change of circumstances, eg address. The one who is claiming benefits and your son is staying with sometimes might get into trouble if DWP finds out your son is living there, kind of.

 

He would really need to save up to rent a room and then the housing benefit would cover the rent or most of it.

He can apply for a budgeting loan to get rent in advance / deposit to get accommodation if he has been on JSA for over 26 weeks. Four times the weekly rent of a room is a reasonable amount to apply for and likely to be granted if proven homeless.

 

Google Streetlink and "No Second Night Out". If you report the whereabouts of a rough sleeper, they come out and register the person on CHAIN [Central Homlessness and Information Network]. There is a phone number on the website or a form to fill in. They take the rough sleeper to a hub to have a roof over his head while / for the time / days / weeks they are trying to find him shelter.

 

Shelters are full so turning up at one or calling one yourself usually won't work. The Jobcentre will have to accept the letter from the outreach workers stating your son is a registered rough sleeper. They will find him in an underpath / block of car park [roof over his head]. Jobcentre wants to know where your belongings are if you say you homeless and where you slept past 3 nights: form to be filled in, as you will know. It is perfectly ok to be a homeless JSA claimant [as if..]. tick the box that you are homeless, yet you have to give an address of correspondence to receive benefit letters, etc. Homeless Day Centre may agree to help.

 

A homelessness application to the council should be successful to get your son housing if you get your evidence right an can prove he was fleeing domestic violence, registered on CHAIN, stronger local connection to the borough than to any other borough. Prove in writing that is not intentionally homeless because he was fleeing domestic violence. A police report or at least a CAD police call out number would be helpful or a written witness statement from you. The council will try to show that he is intentionally homeless [moved out when he did not really had to] and he has more local connections to other boroughs so you prove the opposite with 50 pages of evidence and reasoning, print-out of relevant legislation in your claim and you win it. OK: 30 page may do but you get my point: they will try to refuse the application to save money.

 

DWP will / may take your son's JSA away if he can not prove his address or the fact that he is homeless. No legal right to live at the friends' places where he sleeps so statutory homeless. GP can help with a statement about mental health, etc. These days the Jobcentre is vicious [to save money] and will sanction you for anything and everything, eg for not attending appointments [about which they did not post you a letter]. The onus of the proof is on the claimant so it is for them to prove that they posted that letter. Computer notes shall not suffice but Certificate of Posting / Recorded Signed For: they will back off and reconsider the sanction in a positive manner.

 

Your son is eligible for hardship payment after 2 weeks after the date of the sanction or immediately if chronically ill [repeat prescription to be attached to claim]. Pick up form to claim at Jobcentre if it happens.

 

Please click on the .jpg links below to see relevant legislation and read through Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 on www dot legislation dot gov dot uk to understand housing rights of the homeless and councils duty to house you. Holler back if it was helpful. Thank you.

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  • 1 year later...

this thread is over a year old, please start a new thread for yourself so mods can direct it to the correct forum for advice

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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