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Discretionary housing

Sjcloud40
Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
Any advice would be greatly appreciated: 
I had a serious spinal accident Andy lost my career over night. I have been in rented accommodation for 10 years since this accident.
2 years ago I moved into a new district the only place that would take a dog under the Equality Act 2010 the rent in £1250 per month.
This council messed my whole claim up I am still repaying £5000 government debt because they never told me I had moved into a U/ C area I had to repay all the money to Employment & Support Allowance and tax credits. I went from hardship to severe hardship. 

I have a teenage daughter battling cancer it is costing us £180 per week for her care we have a letter from the teenage cancer trust they won’t add this in for payments out. They won’t issue a payment although they know I have been means tested and without this payment I cannot pay my rent. I applied for social housing the second I moved into the area the professionals who came out have just admitted they have never added me to any housing lists my MP are going after them. 
I really believe We are being discriminated against, my daughter is in hospital and we are split has a family. Any advice will be greatly received.


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Comments

  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    edited September 2019
    Hello @Sjcloud40. Welcome to Scope. 

    Do you know you can apply for discretionary housing payments? Here is more information on the national scheme. 

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments
    The payments can be used to cover some of the costs linked with social housing. For more information, call your local council. You can only apply if you are on Housing Benefit however. 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    Hi @Sjcloud40 and a warm welcome to the community. 

    Are you currently receiving Universal Credit now? I'm confused over the debt, did they continue paying you ESA and Tax Credits as well as Universal Credit? 
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  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Sorry - I am now in receipt of U/ C but Employment & Support Allowance and Tax credits demanded all the money back I had since moving into a U/C area, I never (the council admitted they never told me I had moved into a U/ C area and they wouldn’t backdate the claim so for 11 months I am repaying money I have been means tested for -I am still paying back 5k and never received backdate from U/C......

    The council have refused Discretionary housing, they haven’t added any of the 5k although the MP has been in touch and a letter from teenage cancer saying any parent with a child battling blood cancer costs £180 per week they have left me in serious hardship and believe it’s because I got the MP involved over the U/ C 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,613 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm assuming when you moved you didn't report the changes in circumstances, which meant you were overpaid?

    UC can only be backdated for 1 month and this is only in extreme circumstances.
  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    I did everything correctly- I called and changed address, I could the council in for a benefits assessment. They came out and gave me Discretionary housing etc.
    They admitted they didn’t realise I had moved into a post code area, and they made the grave error - this has had a huge impact to us repaying £5000, If I didn’t know U/ C even existed until I was told 11 months later 
  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Hello @Sjcloud40. Welcome to Scope. 

    Do you know you can apply for discretionary housing payments? Here is more information on the national scheme. 

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments
    The payments can be used to cover some of the costs linked with social housing. For more information, call your local council. You can only apply if you are on Housing Benefit however. 

  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Dear April, I have applied for social housing they have some new builds that will suit our needs in January the property I am In is a four bedroom dormer bungalow £1250 I cannot get upstairs to my children so it’s not ideal but the max we could go too. 
    They are doing everything not to pay pay out on Discretionary since March moving goal posts etc, but I have applied for housing, they have seen all my costs etc and for 6 years they have paid it this year they are doing everything  not too, we are much worse this year repaying 5k of government debt and got a child seriously sick 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,613 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2019
    Are you getting some expert advice regarding this? Whist overpayments are recoverable if the overpayment was caused from not reporting a change of circumstances.

    As you did report the change and you were allowed to reclaim the housing benefit then this could be an official error caused by your local council. Official errors are no recoverable so you shouldn't have to repay back any of that money.  It's also caused extreme financial hardship on you and your family. Of course you will need to prove that you did report the changes, but that will be easy to do as you say you moved to a different local council so you would have had to make a new claim for housing benefit.

    Definitely worth seeking expert advice because you should never be put under such financial hardship as this.



  • charlie79
    charlie79 Member Posts: 239 Pioneering
    Poppy I have never known someone so knowledgeable and give excellent advise. Your wording your advice are so impeccable. You would be excellent and and valid asset working for one of the charities who give advice which is honest and accurate. SJcloud follow up on her information, her advice was on what to do and information helped me with my situation many a time and the laws she know inside out. 
  • Joanne_Alumni
    Joanne_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi @Sjcloud40, I have read through your posts and I am still not sure how your overpayment has arisen. Have I got this right?
    You moved into a new area and claimed housing benefit because you were not aware that you should have made a claim for U/C.
    This was awarded and you continued to get your ESA and Child Tax Credits. Did you have a Severe Disability Premium on your ESA? This would have prevented you from claiming UC and claiming Housing benefit would have been the right thing to do.
    If not, at what point after moving did someone say you should have claimed UC?
    I do not understand how there is an overpayment if you carried on getting the benefit you were entitled to, even if this was ESA, before moving on to UC.
    Was there a period during which you were paid both benefits? @poppy123456 is right that this sounds like it would be an official error and it would be worth trying to challenge this.
    Sorry if I am asking you to repeat things you have already written, I would just like to get things straight in my head so I can try to help.
    Joanne 
    Scope
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,613 Disability Gamechanger
    charlie79 said:
    Poppy I have never known someone so knowledgeable and give excellent advise. Your wording your advice are so impeccable. You would be excellent and and valid asset working for one of the charities who give advice which is honest and accurate. SJcloud follow up on her information, her advice was on what to do and information helped me with my situation many a time and the laws she know inside out. 
    Wow, thank you so much for those amazing words, i'm blown away.

    I'm here to give the best advice i possibly can because having been through it all myself i definitely know what it feels like to go through some extremely difficult times. Including many months with no money to put food on the table for my 3 young children. The thought of anyone else going through that just eats away at me.

    Once things started to improve financially i vowed that if i could help just 1 person then i'd be happy. That one person has most likely turned into many hundreds :D
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,613 Disability Gamechanger
    @Joanne_Scope thanks for your help here, much appreciated.

    Having just read back through the first comment i see that Sjcloud moved house 2 years ago and even if they were claiming the SDP this would have been before the new rules came out that prevented a claim for UC. The new rules weren't introduced until January 16th 2019.
  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Thank you so much for your comments.
    I moved into a U/ C area in Aug 2017, I called Benefits and Housing out together they missed I had come from Employment & Support allowance & Tax credits into a U/ C area.
    Employ & Support allowance & Tax credits called it over payments because I should of claimed U/C but I didn’t know I had to claim or I would of done immediately.
    i have got a letter from the council
    11 months later they admitted they never told us. 
    We have been claiming housing benefit since 2012 when I had my accident, I moved in 2017 200 yards into a different district and this has left me in huge financial distress. My daughter is having stemcell transplant her only chance of survival and it has split my family up whilst she is in hospital for 6 weeks, we are left with no clean clothes nothing it’s awful Xx
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,613 Disability Gamechanger
    Can i just confirm that at the time when you moved house your local council allowed you to make a new claim for housing benefit,  and you continued to paid housing benefit, is this correct?

    Sorry for all the questions, but it's still not completely clear to me.
  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Yes of course ask anything - yes l had housing benefit paid for under One area and made a new claim and it continued paid for by the new council ( it should of been made by UC but the council missed it and paid it for 11 months they tried asking for repayment for 11 months  but the MP intervened because it was their grave error X

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    Hi @Sjcloud40, I'll leave the benefit and overpayment things in @Joanne_Scope's capable hands so I don't confuse things.

    However, I know you're having trouble with Teenage Cancer Trust and I wanted to ask whether you'd tried contacting Macmillan to see if there's any other help you could get? 
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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,613 Disability Gamechanger
    Was the £5,000 overpayment just from housing benefit? Are you still repaying this because in an earlier comment you said you were and then you said they tried asking for it but your local MP intervened. I'm still quite confused, i'm afraid.
  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    I am repaying £5000 for Employment & Support Allowance, Tax credits because when I moved into the property in Aug 2017 ( I emailed the council and asked for a Benefits & Housing officer to visit ) I was then put onto Housing Benefits Through the new council...

    Then 11 months later I was told, I had to apply for U/C and would have to repay the new council HB for 11 months ( The MP stopped this from happening) but I am repaying Employment & Support Allowance and Tax credits. I pay £300 per month back.... The council admitted the grave error and said they didn’t realise the huge error....





  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Hi @Sjcloud40, I'll leave the benefit and overpayment things in @Joanne_Scope's capable hands so I don't confuse things.

    However, I know you're having trouble with Teenage Cancer Trust and I wanted to ask whether you'd tried contacting Macmillan to see if there's any other help you could get? 

  • Sjcloud40
    Sjcloud40 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Hi Adrian, Thank you for your response Teenage cancer & Macmillan have been incredible.
    Teenage cancer wrote a letter saying it was costing us £180 per week to get our daughter to and from gruelling treatment and have been doing this for 19 months, it’s  all across Teenage cancer’s page but Discretionary housing won’t include the payment they have put £20 for Parking she is based over 7 hospitals!!!! I feel it’s Discrimination all the way because the MP was called in last year 

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