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Benefit Housing Advice

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A friend of mine who is 27 yrs old had a 4 bed housing asso property in one part of town but had to change over to a newer part of town and a smaller property which is 2 bed with same housing asso.

 

Now shes had to sort the housing benefit out for it and was told it was straight forward her being a tenant anyway.

She went to sort out the housing benefit today and has been told she has to make a new claim for it which has a 4 week deadline and that she now needs to apply for Universal Credit even though shes on JSA.

 

They are saying she has to apply for UC now which will take 6 weeks and that she'll be without anything till its sorted but she'd also run past the 4 wk deadline and would owe 2 weeks full rent.

 

She has really bad depression and mental illness ... hence how she was given sick notes from her doctor as shes unable to work.

 

Now the housing asso has also told her she will receive £60 per week on UC but from that she is responsible for paying the HA £30 per week as they are saying she won't be entitled to full housing benefit her only being 27 yr old.

Edited by Mr.P
Remove bit about cutting throat

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Housing benefit is only backdated four weeks from the date of the claim for someone of her age so as she has left it six weeks before claiming universal credit, the housing element (HB) of universal credit will only be backdated four weeks leaving her owing two weeks rent.

 

As she has one spare bedroom (she is only entitled to the housing element of UC for a one bedroom flat), she will be subject to the bedroom tax so her housing element will be reduce by 14% of the full rent. She will have to make up that 14% difference out of the rest of her universal credit. The £30 per week she must pay to the housing association will likely be a combination of the 14% bedroom tax and an amount towards the two weeks arrears which she owes so should reduce once the arrears are paid off. However, she will have to continue to top up the 14% bedroom tax reduction in her housing element from the rest of her UC.

 

As she has made a new claim for UC, she can apply for an advance payment. That is a loan which she will have pay back once her UC claim is processed in 5-6 weeks time so not only will she have to pay an amount towards the arrears plus the 14% bedroom tax, she will also have a reduction in UC until the advance payment is repaid which usually takes 12 months. To apply for an advance payment, she can call the universal credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

 

She can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment from her local council which may pay off the rent arrears and the ongoing 14% bedroom tax but it is discretionary as suggested and not guaranteed. She will also have to keep applying for it to cover the bedroom tax as the DHP is only a temporary payment, the bedroom tax will be ongoing.

 

Doesn't the Tory government treat mentally ill people well?

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I should add that she is only entitled to the one bedroom element of UC as she is in social housing, she wouldn't even be entitled to that in the private sector, she would receive the Shared Accommodation Rate as she is under 35.

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I should add that she is only entitled to the one bedroom element of UC as she is in social housing, she wouldn't even be entitled to that in the private sector, she would receive the Shared Accommodation Rate as she is under 35.

 

 

Thanks for the info. Is the 14% £30 per week. She has a 2nd bedroom as she has her child staying at weekends. Its disgusting the way people with mental health are treat. The housing asso has been on her back and shes afraid she could be evicted if it takes 6 weeks for any money and then she'll owe 2 weeks rent on top which I really do not know how shes going to pay.

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She will need to find out how much the full rent is for the property then deduct 14%. She will then need to pay that 14% shortfall in the housing element each week, it makes no difference that her child stays at weekends, that may be the reason she was offered a two bedroom property but for housing benefit purposes she will be treated as a single person.

 

For example, if her rent is £100 per week, she will need to pay £14 per week out of her 'standard allowance' of UC towards the rent. The £30 per week probably includes an amount towards paying off her arrears, if so, she can ask that the amount she pays towards the two weeks arrears is reduced to £3.70 per week. It's unlikely that the £30 per week is bedroom tax only, unless her rent is close to £200 per week but it's possible depending on where she lives.

 

She won't be evicted within six weeks, the housing association would need to give her two month's notice before even starting eviction proceedings, and the UC housing element will likely be backdated to a month before her claim so most of the arrears which she is building up now should be paid when she receives here UC payment. She may have to make sure she pays that herself, and needs to be aware that her rent will be included in her universal credit payment if she is not on an alternative payment arrangement in which the landlord receives the rent payment directly.

 

Make a DHP claim as soon as possible, she should be able to do that on the local council's website.

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