Universal Credit
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UC and rent

EllEll Member Posts: 10 Connected
edited October 2019 in Universal Credit
We privately rent our home. It is a 2 bedroomed bungalow which has wide doorways and plenty of room for my husbands wheelchair. In short, it is an ideal home for us. 
The rent is £1,000 a month. UC only pay £600 towards our rent. Which means finding another £400, which has been coming out of our very limited savings. 
UC have advised us that they will only pay what they think our home is worth ( I think that was the gist of it). I cannot find another single home in our area, similar to ours where the rent is £600. 
I’m at my wits end, I’m worried we will have to move but we will be back in the same boat. 
My sis in law has a three bedroomed house that her and her OH rent and all their rent is paid! 
I don’t understand this. 
How can they only pay a small amount and expect us to find the rest? And where am I going to find the rest from? 

Replies

  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,259 Disability Gamechanger
    Does your husband not receive PIP in a wheelchair?  

    The LHA cap restricts the amount of housing benefit (or housing component within UC) that can be paid to the claimant unfortunately.  I'm in the same position, albeit for a different reason.  

    I would assume your sis-in-law has children that need the extra bedrooms?  LHA is calculated on the average price of the property in your area, and the amount of bedrooms that you need.
  • EllEll Member Posts: 10 Connected
    Yes he gets PIP and I get carers allowance. My sister in law doesn’t have any children living at home. Both of them are disabled and admittedly their rent is lower than ours but not by much. They also live in a different area to us. 
    I think we are going to have to decide on rent or heating this winter. 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,259 Disability Gamechanger
    Ah OK, I was going to suggest applying for PIP otherwise.  

    I'm surprised they're allowed the 3 bedroom rate for two disabled occupants, unless they also need a carer who has to stay overnight?  I wonder if they previously had children there but never told the council about the change in circumstances when they left as it does seem very odd.  

    You can easily check the LHA amounts online for both yourself and your sister in law.  Though bear in mind it's only done on bedrooms, so obviously a 2 bedroom flat would cost a lot less than a 2 bedroom bungalow.  Disabilities and adaptions aren't taken into account for this.

    You may be able to apply for a discretionary housing payment from your local council though they are only designed to be short term while you look for a more affordable place.  

    With regards to heating, I think there's still time to apply for the Warm Home Discount if you weren't already aware of that...it's not much compared to your rent discrepancy but it's better than nothing!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    As you're renting privately then you'll receive the local housing allowance for your area. As there's just your husband and yourself then you'll be entitled to the 1 bedroom rate of local housing allowance. You can check exactly what that is here.

    Receiving the 2 bedroom rate will depend whether your husband has overnight care or whether he needs a bedroom of his own because of his condition. If none of these apply then you can ask for a discretionary housing payment (DHP) to cover the shortfall in your rent but this will depend on your local council and it those you need to ask to send you the form. It's only temporary and usually given for a short period of time only, then you need to re-apply.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments

    Does you sister in law rent privately or from social housing?



    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.
  • EllEll Member Posts: 10 Connected
    Thank you both for your replies. Our second bedroom was assessed and we were told it was ok. 
    I will apply for the DHP, our council says it is only short term but I guess it will help for a while. 
    I’ve been looking for a two bedroomed (we would take a 1 bedroomed at a pinch) flat or bungalow in our area but everything is either the same price for rent or they don’t take benefits or dogs! When we took the bungalow we are in now, it was perfect. Disabled and dog friendly. Our landlady is lovely and very friendly. It’s also just round the corner from mum in law which is handy. 
    We could rent a house for less money but husband can not cope with stairs, so it would be pointless. 
    I feel we are being discriminated against because husband has become disabled over the last few years. 
    I’ve already applied for the warm house money but this is a cold house. Sometimes it’s warmer outside than in. 
    Sis in law privately rents. They’ve not had kids living there for a few years. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Ell said:
    Thank you both for your replies. Our second bedroom was assessed and we were told it was ok. 
    May i ask what you mean by this? Are you receiving housing benefit for a 1 bedroom or a 2 bedroom rate?
    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.
  • EllEll Member Posts: 10 Connected
    We get the 2 bedroom rate. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Put your postcode into the link i posted about and check that you're claiming the correct amount of housing element for your area. £400 per month is a huge shortfall.
    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.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,953

    Scope community team

    Hi @Ell. Did you manage to check what the LHA is for a 2 bed in your area? It may be that Universal Credit aren't giving you your full entitlement so it's definitely worth checking.
    Let me know if you need any help with this. :)
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • EllEll Member Posts: 10 Connected
    Sorry, things have been hectic here. Yes, I checked it out and unfortunately it’s correct. 
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