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Housing Benefit 52 week rule (temporary absence)


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Hello,

 

A friend was a victim to a trafficking situation by criminals ( can't go into details, on-going case) and the local council had to find them temporary accommodation whilst the case was being investigated by police.

To cut a long story short, the council have taken from April 2020 - March 2021 to find a permanent property to move into whilst Housing Benefit continued on the original property, the council were footing the bill for the 'safe house'. 

 

My friend was/is still in receipt of legacy benefits (ESA ETC) although the offer was made in March 2021, the viewing didn't take place until end of May 2021 (Council delays - unknown reasons) but this now resultas that my friend has lost eligibility to retain legacy benefits including HB and they are forcing them to claim UC.

 

We're all aware the Covid-19 has caused many delays in all area's of business, so does anyone know if legally, the 52 week rule was extended to account for this also, or has this remained the same please?

 

My friend has a support worker who has tried in vain to get updates from the council to no avail, and the Housing Manager admitted she had never dealt with a case of this severity before, so I question the validity of the delays between March - May preventing the continuation of legacy benefits, am I expecting too much?

 

Is there an appeals process?

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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ENGLAND.SHELTER.ORG.UK

Housing benefit is payable during limited periods of temporary absence if a claimant intends to return to their home and has not...

 

52 week rule was kept, with only exception being for Covid self-isolation period.

 

My reading is that Housing Benefit ends, so legacy benefits end, therefore a claim to UC will be required.

 

Does not appear that Government provided Councils with any discretion to continue paying Housing Benefit based on friends circumstances.

 

Your friend can appeal, but does not appear they have any grounds to do so.

 

Your friend should of course make sure they are not worse off due to claiming UC.

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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