Bedroom entitlement Universal Credit — Scope | Disability forum
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Bedroom entitlement Universal Credit

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notsogood
notsogood Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi any help with the issue below would help. 
A 19 year old student is in receipt of UC and enhanced ADP, she is starting University in September 2024.

She will be claiming housing costs for the place she lives at during University. She will need to go back to the family home most weekends and all holidays, as she won’t cope with being away at university for long periods. She also has an overnight carer at the family home, that she shares with her mum.

Would she be allowed a bedroom allocation on her mums UC claim at the family home, as she will only be temporarily absent from that home, or will the fact that she has a rent liability elsewhere ie at university, mean that she can’t have a bedroom allocation at the family home.

It’s a very difficult situation because the mother currently private lets and will not be able to cover the £300 LHA reduction if the daughter is not allowed a bedroom, so will have to move.

the daughter says that knowing she can’t “run home” to a bedroom (safe space) and the help of the overnight carer when things get tough at university scares her and she is seriously thinking of not going to University. 

Living at home during University is not possible as the commute would be too difficult for her to manage.

I’m inclined to think she won’t be counted as part of her mum’s household as well as having housing costs at University.


Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,149 Disability Gamechanger
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    Your thoughts are correct and her mum will not be entitled to the extra bedroom for the daughter because she's not treated as living with her.

    Has the daughter been through a work capability assessment yet? Also if there's a student maintenance loan available to her then it will affect her UC entitlement, even if she doesn't take that loan.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • carbow32
    carbow32 Community member Posts: 115 Pioneering
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    Is this because the student is disabled and won't be in student accommodation.

    I have browsed this subject a few times because I will be in the same situation in a couple of years (although my daughter has no disability).  It seems like quite a grey area.  Especially with the 1st year students having less than a 52 week tenancy at the university.  I would call CA or Shelter for sure.

    Teenage students – on a full-time university course.

    To avoid any deductions to your Housing Benefit, make sure you update the benefits department in your borough with proof of your child’s enrolment at university. The university’s student services team are able to issue these letters.

    If you receive support via Universal Credit and your child is going to be away from home during term time, then update Universal Credit that your child is away at university for their course but that their main residence remains your home. Doing so will avoid deductions from the benefits entitlement linked to the child.

    In both cases, no non-dependent deduction or bedroom tax will be applied.

  • carbow32
    carbow32 Community member Posts: 115 Pioneering
    edited December 2023
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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,149 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2023
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    carbow32 said:
    Is this because the student is disabled and won't be in student accommodation.

    I have browsed this subject a few times because I will be in the same situation in a couple of years (although my daughter has no disability).  It seems like quite a grey area.  Especially with the 1st year students having less than a 52 week tenancy at the university.  I would call CA or Shelter for sure.

    Teenage students – on a full-time university course.

    To avoid any deductions to your Housing Benefit, make sure you update the benefits department in your borough with proof of your child’s enrolment at university. The university’s student services team are able to issue these letters.

    If you receive support via Universal Credit and your child is going to be away from home during term time, then update Universal Credit that your child is away at university for their course but that their main residence remains your home. Doing so will avoid deductions from the benefits entitlement linked to the child.

    In both cases, no non-dependent deduction or bedroom tax will be applied.


    That doesn't apply in this case because the daughter is already claiming help with the rent through UC so the mothers home is not their main residence. UC will not be able to pay the mother for an extra room as well as help with the rent where the daugher is living.

    I also wouldn't advise ringing any DWP department or your local Authority for such advice because the majority of the time, you're given incorrect advice.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • carbow32
    carbow32 Community member Posts: 115 Pioneering
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    Aww okay I see the difference.  I know I've looked around the web and never seem to be able to get a clear answer.  Can I hijack the thread a little for my situation (and anyone else it might apply to).  I am in a 2 bed social housing and my daughter will be off to Uni in a couple of years.  She will come back Christmas, Easter, Summer (and weekends when she is out of clean clothes no doubt).  In my case will the bedroom tax be applied or not?  Thanks in advance.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,149 Disability Gamechanger
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    carbow32 said:
    Aww okay I see the difference.  I know I've looked around the web and never seem to be able to get a clear answer.  Can I hijack the thread a little for my situation (and anyone else it might apply to).  I am in a 2 bed social housing and my daughter will be off to Uni in a couple of years.  She will come back Christmas, Easter, Summer (and weekends when she is out of clean clothes no doubt).  In my case will the bedroom tax be applied or not?  Thanks in advance.

    That will depend on where she's classed as "normally residing" and it will be up to a decision maker to make that decision. When she does move out you will need to report the changes and let a decision maker decide. They won't be able to make a decision before the changes take place.

    When my daughter moved out for Uni, she wasn't classed as normally residing because of the distance from home to Uni. This meant i had a spare bedroom but kept entitlement to SDP in my ESA.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • carbow32
    carbow32 Community member Posts: 115 Pioneering
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    carbow32 said:
    Aww okay I see the difference.  I know I've looked around the web and never seem to be able to get a clear answer.  Can I hijack the thread a little for my situation (and anyone else it might apply to).  I am in a 2 bed social housing and my daughter will be off to Uni in a couple of years.  She will come back Christmas, Easter, Summer (and weekends when she is out of clean clothes no doubt).  In my case will the bedroom tax be applied or not?  Thanks in advance.

    That will depend on where she's classed as "normally residing" and it will be up to a decision maker to make that decision. When she does move out you will need to report the changes and let a decision maker decide. They won't be able to make a decision before the changes take place.

    When my daughter moved out for Uni, she wasn't classed as normally residing because of the distance from home to Uni. This meant i had a spare bedroom but kept entitlement to SDP in my ESA.
    Am only getting the LCWRA so gonna be financially difficult I will cross the bridge when I get to it I guess.
  • TheManFromLondon
    TheManFromLondon Community member Posts: 174 Pioneering
    edited December 2023
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    notsogood said:
    It’s a very difficult situation because the mother currently private lets and will not be able to cover the £300 LHA reduction if the daughter is not allowed a bedroom, so will have to move.



    Out of curiosity (i genuinely want know), which Council is that? Bedroom tax is 12,5% for one bedroom, how it ends up to £300 reduction in your property? 

    Are you like in central London? i.e. E1? 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,011 Scope online community team
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    Hello @TheManFromLondon. Bedroom tax doesn't apply to those renting privately. The LHA is the Local Housing Allowance (the amount they'll pay towards a property when privately renting). There is often a large shortfall in the LHA compared to actual rents. 
    Community Manager
    Scope
  • Kimmy87
    Kimmy87 Community member Posts: 315 Pioneering
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    LHA is expected to rise in April, after the rates have been frozen for several years. 
    Still won't meet the rent for many, but every little helps. 
  • TheManFromLondon
    TheManFromLondon Community member Posts: 174 Pioneering
    edited December 2023
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    Hello @TheManFromLondon. Bedroom tax doesn't apply to those renting privately. The LHA is the Local Housing Allowance (the amount they'll pay towards a property when privately renting). There is often a large shortfall in the LHA compared to actual rents. 
    Please explain further.

    I rent privately. I get housing element in my UC, which is the LHA for the 2 bedrooms in my house.

    What do you mean bedroom tax does not apply to private renting? If i go to a 3 bedroom privately the LHA will apply to me for 3 bedrooms regardless being 2 people in the property?

    Please share a resource of what you shared here to read it on a Council or gov page.
  • TheManFromLondon
    TheManFromLondon Community member Posts: 174 Pioneering
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    @Adrian_Scope

    Thank you so much for your reply, I found all. I was not aware of that fact and will certainly help with my situation.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,149 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @TheManFromLondon. Bedroom tax doesn't apply to those renting privately. The LHA is the Local Housing Allowance (the amount they'll pay towards a property when privately renting). There is often a large shortfall in the LHA compared to actual rents. 
    Please explain further.

    I rent privately. I get housing element in my UC, which is the LHA for the 2 bedrooms in my house.

    What do you mean bedroom tax does not apply to private renting? If i go to a 3 bedroom privately the LHA will apply to me for 3 bedrooms regardless being 2 people in the property?

    Please share a resource of what you shared here to read it on a Council or gov page.
    As Adrian advised bedroom tax applies to social housing only. See link https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/benefits/how_to_deal_with_the_bedroom_tax

    For privately rented LHA applies so if you’re only entitled to 2 bed then you won’t be entitled to 3 bedrooms. You can still live in a 3 bed property if you want but you will need to cover any shortfall of rent yourself. See link https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/about-local-housing-allowance#:~:text=Local%20Housing%20Allowance%20is%20used,and%20the%20rent%20you%20pay.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • honeyhoney
    honeyhoney Community member Posts: 81 Courageous
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    My situation: - we rent a 4-room house privately

    - our family consists of 6 people: me, my wife, 4 sons, 24, 19, 13, 11 years old

    - we have a "joint lease agreement" (me, wife, son of 24 years)

    They took £85 from us for 2 months as: "an adult lives with you and must contribute to the rent"

    I wrote that it was illegal, because my son24 years old  has been on a rental contract for  and pays his share of the rent, so why are you still taking it?

    I received a reply that I was right, but that my second son 19 years had not been in education any more , so the 85 pounds was and will still taken away.

    I wrote to them that he is 19, so he is under 21, and that they had no right to take anything from me.

    I got a reply after 3 days that they checked it and I was right and that they sent an appeal to the "specialist team" and that everything should be corrected next month and I will get a refund.

    This month I'm watching the statement and I can't believe it with my own eyes,
    although there is no longer a deduction of 85 pounds as "an adult lives with you",
    instead they gave me a deduction of 200 pounds because they classified LHA as a 3-room house.

    I really don't have the strength to deal with this      ...benefits system.

    Can someone confirm to me what LHA we are entitled to
    as a family of 6 ?
    even though the oldest son is on our tenancy agreement.
    And where should I sue them?


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,149 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2023
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    instead they gave me a deduction of 200 pounds because they classified LHA as a 3-room house.

    I really don't have the strength to deal with this      ...benefits system.

    Can someone confirm to me what LHA we are entitled to
    as a family of 6 ?
    even though the oldest son is on our tenancy agreement.
    And where should I sue them?



    For your situation because your eldest son aged 24 is liable for his own part of the rent then 3 bedrooms is correct. You would be entitled to a bedroom for yourself and partner to share, then a bedroom for your 19 year old, plus your youngest 2 will share a bedroom, which makes it 3 bedrooms. When the 13 year old reaches 16 then he will be entitled to a bedroom of his own, so you would be entitled to 4 bedrooms.

    You can check the LHA rates here. https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/ Please note, the rates will be weekly so you will need to convert it to monthly... x 52 and then divide by 12 for the monthly rate.

    Edit to add, you mention they have deducted £200. How much is your sons rent liability? Sue them?

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • honeyhoney
    honeyhoney Community member Posts: 81 Courageous
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    I don't understand it, there are still 6 people in the house and we are a family, so what about that?

    "If you're a joint tenant
    Everyone sharing a property is counted even if they are joint tenants."


    From::

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-a-low-income/housing-benefit/how-an-extra-bedroom-affects-your-housing-benefit/check-if-youre-allowed-an-extra-bedroom-for-housing-benefit/

    son pays 1/3 of the rent LHA for a 3-bedroom  is 200 pounds less than for a 4-bedroom house

  • honeyhoney
    honeyhoney Community member Posts: 81 Courageous
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    Before (when we met the criteria) we had an LHA for a 4-room house, even though we were renting a 3-room house. But only me an wife were on tennancy agreement.

    We had to move out 3 months ago (section 21 after 14 years of renting)

    For 2 months they paid LHA for a 4-person house, but they deducted 85 for our son

    This month they stopped deducting for our son but paid LHA for a 3 bedroom house which is £200 cheaper in my area

    I don't work LCWRA, my wife works part time
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,149 Disability Gamechanger
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    I don't understand it, there are still 6 people in the house and we are a family, so what about that?

    "If you're a joint tenant
    Everyone sharing a property is counted even if they are joint tenants."


    From::

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-a-low-income/housing-benefit/how-an-extra-bedroom-affects-your-housing-benefit/check-if-youre-allowed-an-extra-bedroom-for-housing-benefit/

    son pays 1/3 of the rent LHA for a 3-bedroom  is 200 pounds less than for a 4-bedroom house

    I don’t think it’s as straight forward as that but my brain is frazzled tonight. It’s been a very long and busy day! 

    For this reason I’m going to tag a member and f the scope team who will hopefully be able to advise you further. 

    @Adrian_Scope can you please help here. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • honeyhoney
    honeyhoney Community member Posts: 81 Courageous
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    Don't worry, poppy123456 :) Thanks for the answer anyway. Even they (UC) seem to have a problem with this.

    They wrote me a reply 2 weeks ago. "We are still waiting for our team of specialists to contact us"

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