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My daughters nightmare please advise

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Hi everyone.

 

I'm hoping I might be able to glean some information and guidance from this great community. The problem is one you may have heard many times involving benefits and concerns my daughter:

 

Factoids

  • My daughter is 22 years old and lives with 1- year old daughter and fiance in two-bed Sanctuary Housing flat (council housing association).
  • Fiance has no income and is on a company training course with the promise of a job at the end of February.
  • This is their first home and lived there since May 2018.
  • Father (me) is also her Power of Attorney - she has severe mental health issues and I speak to authorities regarding her bills on her behalf.

 

Benefits

  • ESA (currently in receipt of payments but in review)
  • Child Tax credits

 

My daughter made her first application for housing benefit in May but here we are in November and still waiting for a single payment. The keep asking for more information and then tell her she needs to reapply because her ESA payment may be affected. She's been passed from pillar to post several times now and she's concerned about demands for Council Tax and rent which she's fallen behind on paying. Now she has received a letter telling her she has to see someone to review her ESA at the end of November, so any payments for other benefits (Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit) will be on hold until December at least. Predictably, I'm certain if the ESA is resolved and maintained Housing Benefit et al., will make her reclaim again taking her into January or February of 2019.

 

Her mum and I are helping her in any way we can to keep her from caving into demands and stress. However, I find it disgraceful how a young mum and daughter can do the right thing in getting a home and being a family, yet be so disgustingly treated by the authorities there to assist her.

 

I can see no end to this merry-go-round of passing the book and it's six months since making her application for Benefits and she still has not received a penny. If anyone can offer any guidance I would be very grateful!

 

Many thanks for reading.

Craig

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I don't have the specialist knowledge to advise you but I'm sure somebody will be along. However, I would certainly make sure that I wrote to my member of Parliament about it and if possible make an appointment to go and see him/her at her surgery hours.


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The first issue is are they in a Universal Credit Full Service area and if so, was it Full Service when they put in the claim for HB?

 

If they are/where then she should have been told to claim UC in May and closed her ESA claim down.

 

If not, she needs to ask the Local Authority why they have not processed the claim and/or what information they still need to process it?

 

I am surprised the Housing Association have not started eviction, unless her rent has been paid?

  • Haha 1

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Seems the issue is probably the fiance/partner moving in with her. The ESA claim should then be changed to including fiance/partner. ESA is income related, therefore fiance/partner information becomes relevant.

 

Due to the ESA claim issue being raised ?, the council have not paid housing benefit, because they are uncertain about the ESA issue.

 

Remember that DWP benefits do pass on information to Councils, so if benefit payments are suspended or there is any change in circumstances, the Council will be made aware of this.

 

The appointment in November is possibly a compliance interview to review information. The compliance officers now seem to deal with both DWP issues and Council benefits. So they will get to the bottom of everything. Make sure ALL information is taken to this interview, as it might help to resolve the claims and have them paid back to May.


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In answer to some of the questions...

 

No. My daughter is not in a Universal Credit area and is still under the old system.

Yes. The issue regarding ESA does now seem to involve her fiance.

 

In light of all this, I can not understand how all this information was disclosed to all authorities long ago and yet it is taking such a ridiculously long time to get anywhere. As far as I'm aware her partner does not receive any form of income beyond what he's entitled to from the component of Family Credits. At the moment I think her total income for the household is around £850.00 of which £400.00 is rent.

 

The ESA meeting is a review and if you're correct then this review could be a blessing rather than an additional hindrance. I'm not hopeful any of these benefits will be back-dated to May though, because I'm sure they said they can only back-date four weeks from the decision to pay.

 

Many thanks for your help folks. I'll update after the ESA review on the 24th November.

 

Craig

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There have been problems, as ESA offices have been closed down and work transferred around, as part of the process of moving staff to work on Universal Credit.

 

Can I suggest that a Data Protection Subject Access Request is made to see what information ESA do hold and what has happened.

 

My instinct is telling me that someone from ESA placed a review on the claim due to your daughters change in circumstances (which they were not sure about, did not have all info) , the council have not paid housing as a result and then for whatever reasons, this has resulted in it being necessary for a face to face review meeting being necessary.

 

I think you really need to ask, whether ESA received all information they requested, following the change in circumstances in May 2018. What were ESA not happy with, that caused them to place the claim under review ?

 

If it is a simple error and relates to an existing application, they will go back to the relevant time. Not subject to one month backdating limit.


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You can make the subject access request on the Gov.uk site


We could do with some help from you.

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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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Many thanks for this unclebulgaria. I think the SAR and also a written letter to my local councillor and MP are probably also in order.

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