What benefits am I entitled to?
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housing benefit

hello. I developed neck problems (Wear and tear on vertebrae) 3 years ago but have persisted work as a taxi driver, working over 30 hours to justify receiving working tax credit.In that time I have been paying for the car and only earning £70 p.w.and have been claiming housing benefit accordingly. The housing asked last month for me to fill in an income and expenditure form and asked how I've been living on so little.I filled in same, showing a deficit of £600 per month and that the deficit has been paid by substantial credit card funds (from owing £6.5k to now £20k) They have now asked me to make a claim for DLA and submit notifications advising them of the outcome by 5th December (days away) . I have looked at the DLA site and see that this is for mobility and care issues which I do not need.Furthermore, I must allow 40 days for them to process it.I have been battling through illness and am working consistently on getting more able, but meanwhile need this housing benefit. Could anybody kindly assist ?

Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @graeme2016 welcome to the community, I have moved your post to the Ask a benefits advisor category so you can get more support.  

    It might also help you to look through the information available here or to call the helpline on 0808 800 3333

    Sam
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • graeme2016graeme2016 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you very much. 
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    No problem @graeme2016 - if you use the search box at the top of the page you can look through all of Scope (website, blog, community, etc) for things related to housing benefit.

    Hope that helps 
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    graeme, I think that in fact you might be eligible for PIP (the replacement for DLA).  Suggest that you take a look at eligibility criteria on DWP, Scope, CAB and Disability Rights online info on PIP.
  • graeme2016graeme2016 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you Matilda.The housing are asking for DLA application, though, and are saying they are stopping my payments if not.done.Do you think I must go to the DLA first, get rejected, and then pursue PIP to satisfy them? Additionally, this time imposition to return documentation to the housing is awful and stressful - would a formal request for an extention of time be apt do you think ?

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2016
    PIP has replaced DLA.  All new claims have to be for PIP.  The housing dept's  info is out of date if they are still talking about making new claims for DLA.  Tell them that DLA has been replaced by PIP and ask for more time to apply as you need help filling in the form.  If possible, try and get an appointment with your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) or a similar advice organisation who could advise you.  And if the housing dept continue to be unreasonable, complain to your MP.   Turn2us.org.uk give advice about claiming benefits.
  • graeme2016graeme2016 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Again, thank you so much
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Graeme2016

    If your housing benefit is still in payment then it may be that you need do nothing right now. Housing benefit can be paid based on a low income from self employment and the housing benefit department cannot require you to claim another benefit. But what they can do is suspend payment of the award and make further enquiries if they suspect something is wrong. Post again if this has happened.

    It may be that the tax credits office starts to ask questions about your self employment and questions whether you are actually working the number of hours you say you are. Again, post again if this happens.

    Personal Independence Payment is the replacement for DLA for people of working age. You can find more about PIP on the Scope pages here. But it may be just as or more important that you consider Employment and Support Allowance. ESA is a work related benefit that is paid when you can't work due to a health condition or disability. This would allow to stop work either for a short or longer period. It may also allow you to return to work at a later date but only having to do 16 rather than 30 hours per week. There is more information about ESA here which i suggest you look at and post again if you need more advice.

    This could be made a lot more complicated if you are in a universal credit full service area (probably not). You can find out here on the universalcreditinfo site and let us know if you think you are.

    David
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • graeme2016graeme2016 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Wonderful advice, David, which is appreciated. The housing have written thus , (recieved 25th inst). "Please make a claim for Disability Living Allowance and submit your notification letters advising me of the outcome. You must supply this information by 5th. December. Failure to supply the information requested will result in your claim being terminated and will not get any benefit". I am of the idea to reply on the lines of "I have looked at the enclosed DLA front page which states that it relates to mobility and care payments, which are not applicable as I currently work ably in excess of 30 hours. My age-related condition affects my ability to cover my creditors, which I must address accordingly.(e.g. economise, deal with creditors, reduce hours, change job, etc.) Meanwhile I confirm that I am continuing to work as a taxi driver and that there is no current change in my circumstances to report." Do you think this will be adequate for them to leave me alone ? I was only asking them for advice but they hit me back with deadlines which are very stressful to me. Again, thank you and regards.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Graeme2016,

    PIP and DLA can both be paid for people who work full-time - they are benefits for the extra costs of disability, not to do with whether or not you work. As my colleague David explained, the housing benefit dept can't require you to claim another benefit, but it may be that if you got PIP/DLA, you'd be entitled to more housing benefit. They can't stop your housing benefit because you choose not to apply - they could suspend for another reason though, such as not supplying information, though that doesn't seem to be the case here at all.

    Also, as Matilda points out, you can't make a new claim for DLA if you're over 16. It would be PIP (personal independence payment) instead. That is a benefit which looks at things in your home life which you may have difficulty doing. There's an component for daily living and one for mobility. You can get one component by itself, or both together, depending on what applies. PIP doesn't require that you have care needs as such, just that some things in the home are hard for you to do or perhaps take longer. You can have a look at the criteria here.

    If you got PIP, that would be another route to being able, if you chose, to work 16 or more hours and still get WTC, rather than working 30. 

    I'd suggest responding to housing benefit to state a few facts:

    It's not possible to make a new claim for DLA once over 16
    I've considered claiming PIP (you can say if you think PIP doesn't apply to you, but do look at the conditions first)
    I have an age-related condition which means that I struggle to meet my outgoings (do edit this if I've misunderstood it) but for the time being I am continuing to work 30 hours as a taxi driver & there is no current change in my circumstances.

    It is worth considering PIP I think because it would allow you to work fewer hours, & even if you chose not to do so, PIP could still boost your income. 

    I'd also consider a complaint to housing benefit. They can't suspend payment because you decide not to claim PIP. They are out of date with their information about DLA. They can suspend for failure to supply information, but your information could legitimately be that you have considered the criteria for PIP and decided not to apply (even if you met the criteria, you don't have to apply if you do not wish to).

    I'd keep a copy of any letters you send them - I'm sure you're doing that anyway. Do complain if this continues, as it looks like misuse of the local authority's powers, as well as being out of date!

    Will

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • graeme2016graeme2016 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you very much, Will
  • Heatherbelle56Heatherbelle56 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Can I get a visit to fill in.firms ..I'm separating from my.partner and trying to.not make him angry but housing benefit are demanding all sorts of Information about him  I'm in a virile situation  and just need to set my self up with hissing asap  ready for after Xmas  .hrs still paying rent but I need to.be able to stand on my own to.move away  from him ..I. Have pip so does my daughter who has autism  .. I'm. Trying to.do this discreet  so he don't get mad at us if I can sort this out I can then remove him.from.my house and move away it's only my. ametriptaline on the tenancy  .. I sent loads about myself and my daughter  now Tey want things about him how do.  Do.this with a angry man whose seems to know my every move  I'm taking this chance while he's at work  ..I. just need  quick help  ..
  • Heatherbelle56Heatherbelle56 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Volatile  situation sorry handso don't work. That we'll typing 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi Heatherbelle56,

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Please can you ring the Scope helpline on 0808 800 3333 and they will be able to help you find a local advice agency. Some of these are able to do home visits in certain circumstances. Or they will be able to tell you about your nearest citizens advice bureau who can also help with this.

    Best wishes,

    Michael

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • graeme2016graeme2016 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you for the advice,team. I took down the letter and spoke face-to-face with the housing benefit.The net result seems to be that I will continue to recieve housing benefit for the time being.One interesting thing to note, though  - the council tax reduction element .With a declared low income, I am due for £8.64 per week reduction.A distinct bonus, although I am advised by them that it cannot be backdated for the last 3 years that I have been paying the full rate, essentially as I had not made a claim for it.

    Lessons learnt:
    1. Council Tax Reduction exists
    2. Not to assume the Housing Benefit Section liaises fully with the Council Tax         Section, even though they may sit next to each other
    3. Claim it 

    Thanks again, and regards
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