Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA -> UC & HB -> Need advice urgent

richydee2019richydee2019 Member Posts: 16 Listener
Hi everybody, im very new to all this computer stuff but iv got a couple of important questions i need answering and after looking around on the internet iv been advised to come to this forum. 

I will dive right in and explain my story.

I live at my dads and i am currently claiming ESA , but my dad is selling the house and has given me a thousand pound to find a new home.

I found the flat and i viewed it and iv spoken with the agent.

I then went into the job center to discuss my options. regarding housing benefit and benefits ect as i did not know where else to go.

I was promptly informed that to claim any housing benefits i must end my claim for ESA and start a new claim for Universal Credit.

This  took me by surprise and i am now wondering what should i do.

I only receive £175 a fortnight on ESA and i am told i would receive a little more on UC around £330 . So thats ok i guess.

Then theirs the rent bit. Im not sure what rent they will pay.

And also if they will pay full rent of £350 per month , when will they begin making the payments to my new landlord, as i would have to put up the 1st months rent.

I am assuming that i would also get an advance from UC and possibly the rent to. so i can cover a months rent either way.

But then how long until my landlord starts to receive rent payments, and how will i know if they have or not and will i be entitled my money back.

im a little confused as to where i stand and i also fear that the agent could also take me for as much money as they can whilst the process runs through, What worried me is that the agent told me not to tell the DWP that i have paid any rent otherwise the process could be delayed whereas if i tell the DWP i have paid rent they would not have to be as forth coming with the payments, which seemed a little odd for the agent to tell me not to tell the DWP that i have paid a monts rent???

 so im very interested in how i should approach this situation as to protect myself from paying rent that will also have been  paid by the DWP when my UC claim begins.

If anybody can help me with some advice i would be great full as i am supposed to be handing over the deposit and 1 months rent on Tuesday and then changing over to UC and applying for RENT ect with my tenancy agreement.

If anybody can help advise me please do as i really cant afford to mess things up and loose the flat and or the money and or my benefits.

Thank you in advance for any advice,.


Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Which group are you in for ESA? £175 a fortnight isn't enough for Support Group, unless you're having money deducted from your ESA. Also if your claim for ESA started before April 2017 then that amount isn't enough for WRAG.

    UC is paid monthly. If you're over 25 then you'll receive £317.82 per month standard allowance or £251.77 if you're under 25.

    Depending on which group you're in for ESA and when your claim for ESA started will determine what group you'll be in when you claim UC. Until you answer this question then i won't be able to tell you how much extra you maybe able to receive.

    For your housing element then again it will depend on your age. If you're under 35 and you don't claim a qualifying benefit such as PIP daily living or DLA mid/high rate care then you will only receive the shared rate of the local housing allowance. If you're over 35 then you'll receive the 1 bedroom rate of local housing allowance.

    How much you're entitled to will depend on the local housing allowance rate for the area you'll be living. Check this here.
    https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/  As you're privately renting then you'll need a copy of your tenancy agreement to be able to claim the housing element. I'm not sure what they mean by "don't tell DWP you've paid 1 months rent" almost all landlords expect 1 months rent in advance plus a bond anyway.

    You will be able to apply for an advance payment for your UC but this will need to be repaid back from future UC payments. When asking for the advance payment then make sure you ask for enough to cover your first months rent.

    Your first UC payment will be 5 weeks after you first apply and then you'll receive 1 months money. The following payments will be paid every month after that.


    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    edited July 2019
    You sound really worried and stressed about the whole thing @richydee2019, answer Poppy’s questions we can help a bit more!! 
    I wanted to say though that if/when you sign up to universal credit you’ll have the option of having the rent paid to you or directly to the landlord. It’s actually better to have it paid to you and you pay the landlord because UC pay them in bulk on a rota which means some people fall massively in arrears. If you’re able to handle money yourself get your rent money paid to you and then pay your rent as soon as you get your universal credit each month ❤️
  • richydee2019richydee2019 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    edited July 2019
    SORRY I SHOULD OF MENTIONED, I WAS IN THE SUPPORT GROUP IM SURE BUT I WAS THEN LOWERD DOWN TO 198 A FORTNIGHT 175 AFTER PAYMENTS / LOAN ECT . I AM OVER 35 SO I SHOULD RECEIVE FULL RENTS ( I HOPE) .  I DONNOT HAVE TO SUPPLY SICK NOTES ECT. AND I DONNOT HAVE TO GOTO JOB CENTER ANYMORE, I JUST RECEIVE MY BENEFITS ESA...  IM JUST HOPING MY RENTS WIL BE PAID , ALSO IM GOING TO PAY THE 1ST MONTHS RENT, BUT WILL EVERYTHING BE SORTED IN TIME FOR THE NEXT DUE RENT , AND IF NOT AND I PAY THE 2ND MONTHS RENTY, WILL I EVENTUALLY GET THIS BACK FROM THE LANDLORD CONSIDERING DWP WILL PAY THE RENT IN ARREARS (I THINK) SO WILL THEY PAY THE 2 MONTH'S RENT I P;AID IN ADVANCED.. AND IF SO DO I THEN ASK THE AGENT TO REPAY ME THE ARREARS ECT. OR DO I LET THEM TAKE THE 2 MONTHS RENT THAT DWP HAVE PAID FOR SINCE START OF MY  TENANCY...
  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    Do you get pip at all?
  • richydee2019richydee2019 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    YES I WAS EXPECTING THE RENT TO BE PAID DIRECT TO ME ALSO, BUT THE AGENT IS SAYING THAT THE TENANCY AGREEMENT WEILL REQUIRE THE DWP TO PAY THEM DIRECT, NOW IF THATS THE CASE, THEN WHY WOULD I BE REQUIRED TO PAY THE RENT IN ADVANCE CONSIDERING THE AGENT WILL BE RECEIVING THE RENT ANYWAY...
  • richydee2019richydee2019 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    IM SO CONFUSED, I JUST DONT WANT THE AGENT TAKING MONEY FOR RENT FROM ME WHEN DWP WILL BE PAYING THE RENT FOR ME ...AND HOW DO I CHECK TO SEE WHETHER THERES BEEN ANY RENT PAID TO THE AGENTS ECT.. AND WHY CAN I NOT HAVE THE RENT PAID TO MYSELF. AND WHY IS THE AGENT REQUESTING THE RENT PAID TO THEM, (I DONT MIND THAT TO BE HONEST) BUT THEN IV STILL GOTO PAY THE 1ST MONTHS RENT AND DEPOSIT ECT THAT DWP WILL EVENTUALLY ALSO PAY TO THE AGENT/LANDLORD.. SO THE RENT WILL OF BEEN PAID TWICE. ONCE BY MYSELF AND THEN AAIN BY DWP. SO THE AGENT WOULD IN THAT CASE BE DOUBLE DIPPING ...IM HOPING THATS NOT THE CASE, BUT THIS IS ONE OF MY CONCERNS. SORRY ABOUT CAPS... JUST REALIZED..
  • richydee2019richydee2019 Member Posts: 16 Listener
  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    I’m heading to bed just now but I’ll answer you about this in the morning, okay? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm also going to bed so will leave @Hart86 to answer this because their knowledge on UC is much better than mine. Thanks Hart.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • richydee2019richydee2019 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    thank you all very much i think i too might just manage to get some rest now i have a little support and info. thank you all very much and good night.
  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    First, you haven’t answered if you get PIP? I just need to know because if you do, and you’re moving in on your own, you might be entitled to SDP which means you could apply for Housing Benefit instead of Universal Credit.

    As tenants, we pay rent in advance but Universal Credit pay it in arrears.

    It also takes a month and 7 days to get a payment from Universal Credit from when you first apply.
    If you move in on the 1st August and apply for Universal Credit the same day, you’d get your first payment from them on the 8th September but by then, your rent will be overdue. It’s worth you applying for Universal Credit before you move. As long as you’ve verified your rent (by bringing your tenancy agreement to the job centre) before the last day of your assessment period, they will still cover your whole rent for that month as it’s based on your circumstances on the last day of your assessment period!! 

    The agent probably doesn’t know but unless you have rent arrears, a proven history of debt/struggling to manage money, or a health condition that makes managing money difficult, neither they, nor you, can request Universal Credit pay the rent directly to them. Some very nice case managers may allow it but they’re not supposed to and don’t usually!!

    You need to be aware that when you apply for Universal Credit your ESA is supposed to stop straight away. You can apply for an advance to cover your bills and rent for this period.
    Your Support Group ESA status should transfer to Universal Credit (be sure to report a health condition when you register and if they ask you for a sick note DO NOT hand them in. Explain you were in the support group for ESA and they need to send an mpg1 form to ESA. If you hand in a sick note it will trigger a new assessment.

    As you’re in the support group and over 35 from Universal Credit you should get:
    + £317 standard rate
    + £336 LCWRA (ESA support group equivalent)
    + and rent up to the LHA for a 1 bed place in your area. It’s worth finding out how much this is in advance as it usually less than rent is. 

    You will also also need to apply for a council tax discount from your local council. ❤️
  • richydee2019richydee2019 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Sorry no I don't get pip, just esa
  • richydee2019richydee2019 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    edited July 2019
    thank you for everybody's advice i have done a few checks and i will get what i need for the rent ect, im also going to get the rent paid to myself and il pay the landlord myself to save any problems and or arrears. 

    [Image edited by moderator to remove postcode - Adrian] 

    save any prt
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    Hello @richydee2019. I've edited one of your pictures because your postcode was showing, I hope that's okay,

    I believe Poppy has already advised on another thread but just to clarify: from these screenshots it would seem your rent is less than the LHA for your area. They'll only give you the lower of the two amounts (so £360 a month rather than £90 a week).
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    These screenshot amounts would suggest you’re in the work related activity group not support, is that right @richydee2019
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hart86 said:
    These screenshot amounts would suggest you’re in the work related activity group not support, is that right @richydee2019
    Yes, according to this other thread here https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/61617/esa-2-universal-credit-hb-few-more-questions#latest richydee is in the WRAG not support group and they have already moved house.

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
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