Shared housing rate exempt under 35 due to PIP? — Scope | Disability forum
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Shared housing rate exempt under 35 due to PIP?

sky982
sky982 Member Posts: 25 Listener
Hi all,

I have just received my universal credit assessment back and it says that I am only getting the shared room rate despite being on PIP daily living. When on housing benefit this meant I was given the one bedroom rate, it seems to be the same when I've looked on the gov website/shelter for universal credit. I messaged them and I got a message back saying I'm receiving a reduced rate due to shared accommodation, but I live alone, its just me on the tenancy, does anyone know if this is correct or not?

thanks :)

Comments

  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 6,290 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2021
    Refer them to their own guidance
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/890313/admf3.pdf
    Entitlement to shared accommodation only
    F3212  Any renter who is a specified renter within F3213 is only entitled to the rate relating to shared accommodation.

    Specified renter
    F3213  A specified renter is a renter who
    1. is a single person (or member of a couple claiming as a single person)
    1.1  under 35 years old and
    1.2  not an excepted person under F3231 and
    2. is not responsible for any child or qualifying young person3 and
    3. does not have any non-dependants.

    Exception to the shared accommodation rule

    F3213 An excepted person is any renter who satisfies any of the conditions set out in F3232 et seq.

    F3235 For the purpose of F3231 a condition is that, the renter is under 35 and in receipt of

    1. the care component of DLA at the middle or highest rate

    2. “AA” or

    3. the daily living component of PIP.

    As you get daily Living PIP you fall to be exempted from the shared room rate restriction and are entitled to the one bedroom rate.

    (Difficult to see how someone under 35 could be in receipt of AA!)


    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,576 Scope online community team
    Hello @sky982
    It's not correct, as you're receiving PIP you should be receiving the 1 bedroom allowance. Have you made them aware you're receiving PIP? They don't seem to pull the information through in the same way housing benefit do. 
    As Calcotti mentioned, it's worth pointing them in the direction of their own guidance on it and reminding them you receive PIP. Good luck.
    Community Manager
    Scope

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  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 6,290 Disability Gamechanger
    For the avoidance of doubt I should also have said that even if you live in shared accommodation the relevant LHA rate is, for UC, still the one bedroom rate so the housing element should be that rate or the actual rent, whichever is lower.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • sky982
    sky982 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    Thank you both.

    I have shared the link on my universal credit journal, It has been completely ignored and instead they are questioning the fact the flat I'm renting has a (very small) second room. I rent from a private landlord, I checked before renting and from what I read I am exempt from the bedroom tax. I have now been sent something on my to-do list to explain why I need a 2nd room. The one bedroom rate thing has just been ignored. What should I do?


  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 6,290 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2021
    The bedroom tax is irrelevant - it applies to social housing not private rentals. For private rentals your help with rent is capped at the one bedroom LHA amount, whether you choose to rent a room in a shared house or a 4 bedroom property makes no difference to the maximum allowed.

    I suggest you simply state that as you are renting from a private landlord you understand that the number of rooms in your property is irrelevant and that your maximum housing element is restricted to the one bedroom rate regardless of the number of rooms.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,576 Scope online community team
    It sounds like they have misunderstood what you've asked @sky982 and are instead assessing whether you should be awarded the two bedroom rate due to your disability (which can be awarded even if you live alone, should you have need of overnight care).
    If this hasn't already been resolved, I think you need to go back to basics with them and explain that on your recent statement you've only been awarded the shared room rate due to being under 35. However, as you are in receipt of PIP it exempts you from this rule and you should be awarded the one bedroom LHA. 

    Best of luck!
    Community Manager
    Scope

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  • sky982
    sky982 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    Just giving an update - they are now paying me the two bedroom rate. I just messaged them to say I am only entitled to one bedroom rate (I know If they are overpaying me I will end up having to pay it back) They have told me it is correct. I don't know if I'm doing my maths wrong;

    2 Bedroom - £130.03 per week & the housing element on my payment says £565.01 which is roughly what that would be per month.


  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 6,290 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2021
    That does look suspiciously like they have applied the two bedroom rate. What is the one bedroom rate and how much is your actual rent?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • sky982
    sky982 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    The one bedroom rate is 103.56, I'm likely going to be moving again, to a 1 bedroom and don't know what the rent will be yet but am I right in thinking that the number of bedrooms and amount of rent doesn't come in to it when they work out what I should get because its private renting? 

    the payment this month is the shared room rate again, I told them that they made at the mistake again and I got a message saying that the shared room is all I can get etc, so I asked if they had seen the previous messages on the journal about all of it! not heard back. Is there a number I can call instead of the journal to sort it out properly?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 6,290 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2021
    sky982 said:
    ..am I right in thinking that the number of bedrooms and amount of rent doesn't come in to it when they work out what I should get because its private renting? 
    The number of bedrooms in the property you rent doesn't matter but the rent does. Your housing element is capped at the lower of the applicable Local Housing Allowance or the actual rent. In most cases the actual rent will be higher than the LHA so doesn't matter but if the actual rent is lower than the applicable LHS then the actual rent will be what determines the amount of help available.

    The UC helpline number is 0800 328 5644
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • sky982
    sky982 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    Ah so if the rent was 100pw and the LHA is 103pw for example you'd get 100? Anyway yes my rent is higher than LHA, its just the issue of them not paying me the correct rate.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 6,290 Disability Gamechanger
    sky982 said:
    Ah so if the rent was 100pw and the LHA is 103pw for example you'd get 100? 
    Yes. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.

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