I'm going to start living with my mother. What will we both lose benefits wise? — Scope | Disability forum
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I'm going to start living with my mother. What will we both lose benefits wise?

anonhelp
anonhelp Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi there 

Essentially I am a single mother of two children, but work approx 20 hours per week (reduced as I am also an unpaid carer). I live in a council property and I am in receipt of universal credit alongside my salary. 

My mother is disabled, she has learning difficulties and now physical impairments. I have been her career, since as far back as I remember. She is currently in a housing association property. 

I care for her alone and we approached the council and her occupation therapist regarding her current care needs. They have agreed we can live together in a council property. The tenancy will be in my name. We are not yet sure if this will be a disabled adapted property or just one that will still meet her needs. 

Essentially my question is this: what can I anticipate we will both lose benefit wise?

Although I am her daughter she is my dependent- she depends on me for her care. 

She is in receipt of ESA - encompassing the severe disability premium (SDP) and high rate PIP for care and mobility. HB and CT support. 

I currently pay council tax, she does not. 

There are no policies that cater to this scenario as such. It is more if someone moves in with a partner or if older children are living at home. However, she will be living with me under my tenancy. 

I am thinking it might look something like this: 

I will continue to work around caring for her; therefore I’ll still get my salary. 
I will also get my universal credit for having my children and my single person element (I will still be single, my mum is not a couple).

I may then receive the UC carer element too. 
I will claim the housing element of UC as tenancy in my name. 

She will still get her ESA as she is still single but will lose her SDP element as she is living with me. Her PIP will be unaffected (not means tested). 
She won’t claim any housing benefit or council tax support - tenancy in my name. 

I am also reading there is a non-dependent element flat rate of UC I may lose a month approx £75 a month if a non-dependent lives with you. However I am thinking she might be classed as a dependent (again not particularly clear in policies). However, this doesn’t apply to those on pension credit, so although she is currently on ESA she will move over to state pension next year. She has never worked due to her disabilities but gets full state pension as has had NI contributions. So I guess if she is on her pension she won’t lose that, so even if she lost ESA for now we would manage somehow in the interim. 

Essentially her money is her own, I have never claimed carers allowance and would not intend to if it reduced her finances. I would only do this if she loses her SDP as it then makes sense to. 

I also need to retain my own independent finances for the sake of my children and our lives. 

If you have got this far, I already appreciate the time it has taken you, any advice would be appreciated. 

All the best 

AH. 

PS - not looking for advice on caring responsibilities. I cared for my dad until he passed away, he also had poor mental health and physical impairments. It is the Norm for me to juggle caring, kids and work. However it did not affect my finances back then, I was not in receipt of benefits, so a slightly new situation. 
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Comments

  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 2,970 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 13
    You are broadly correct. You and mum continue to be separate benefit units.

    Her PIP is unaffected. Her ESA will continue but she will lose the SDP.

    You will get help with the rent through your UC. The bit you’ve got wrong is the housing cost contribution. Your mum will be a non dependant but because she gets PIP (assuming it includes the Daily Living component) she will not be expected to make a housing cost contribution.

    Given that your mum will have lost the SDP anyway you can ask UC to treat you as her carer and you will then get the carer element added to your UC (assuming you are not getting the LCWRA element yourself). You don’t need to claim Carer’s Allowance. Note that whereas CA has an earnings limit of £128/week there is no earnings limit for the carer element of UC.

    When she becomes a pensioner her benefits will change to State Pension (no Pension Credit if she gets the full State Pension). Your benefits will not be affected.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • anonhelp
    anonhelp Member Posts: 4 Listener
    This is fantastic. Thank you so much. I now understand why she will be a non-dependent as she has her own income. If she loses her SDP I think this is approx £67 per week? Then I will then claim the UC carer element approx £164 (Month) meaning overall we wouldn’t be too much down per month. 

    As she is a non-dependent, do you envisage I would also lose the UC non-dependent element of £75.53 a month?

    I am thinking if this is the case we would be down approx £179 monthly overall using the above figures. 

    Do you know if there is any legislation to support this scenario, IE- where you’ve got this info in your answer. I feel like I’ve had many battles with DWP over my Mothers financial entitlement over the years, so would like to be prepared for another inevitable battle with them when we move and they begin their deductions. I find UC nuanced compared to legacy benefits. They seem to make their own rules up sometimes, when I was a student and in the exact same circumstance as a peer, (income, children, housing costs etc) one was deemed more entitled than the other, it was very strange. 

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 2,970 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 13
    anonhelp said: If she loses her SDP I think this is approx £67 per week? Then I will then claim the UC carer element approx £164 (Month) meaning overall we wouldn’t be too much down per month. 
    Correct.
    anonhelp said: As she is a non-dependent, do you envisage I would also lose the UC non-dependent element of £75.53 a month?
    No. You are referring to the housing cost contribution that non dependants are normally expected to make. However, as explained in the third paragraph of my previously reply, a non-dependant who receives the Daily Living component of PIP is not expected to make this contribution so no deduction will be made from your UC.
    Do you know if there is any legislation to support this scenario, IE- where you’ve got this info in your answer. 
    I can’t point to any guidance on this specific situation. There is some information on non-dependants here which may be helpful
    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/non-dependants

    You may have to remind UC not to take the housing cost contribution. Their own guidance on that point is here
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1024181/admf3.pdf#page6
    Paragraph F3151, item 5.

    anonhelp said:
    I am thinking if this is the case we would be down approx £179 monthly overall using the above figures. 
    Mum loses SDP of £67.30/week (= £291.63/month), you get carer element £163.73. A net loss of £127.90/month. Against this you will only be paying fuel costs on one house not two.

    Whether or not you will have entitlement to Council Tax Reduction to help with your Council Tax will depend on the rules of your local authority scheme.

    Note also that when you report any changes to UC the circumstances on the last day of the assessment period will be applied to the whole of that period. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • anonhelp
    anonhelp Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Gosh, such amazing and thorough advice! Thank you! 
    I now understand the point about the housing element and can see why this wouldn’t apply. So actually all in all, appears it can work well. A loss of £128 offset against the bill reduction (heating, TV licensing and entertainment packages etc) balances out as you have rightly mentioned. 
    Council tax isn’t too much of a worry. I do get a 25% reduction currently, but pay the rest without CT support, so an extra 25% wouldn’t be a financial burden.

    In terms of reporting changes, would it be best to do this the day after my assessment period if that’s fits, for instance if mine is 1st- 30th (paid on 7th), then report changes on the 1st so it is into the new period?


    I really appreciate the time you have taken. Many thanks. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,417 Disability Gamechanger
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 2,970 Disability Gamechanger
    anonhelp said: In terms of reporting changes, would it be best to do this the day after my assessment period if that’s fits, for instance if mine is 1st- 30th (paid on 7th), then report changes on the 1st so it is into the new period?
    You cannot choose when changes apply from. The changes will be applied to the whole assessment period in which they take place. Therefore you need to report them as soon as they occur.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • anonhelp
    anonhelp Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you for the clarification and all of your help/advice. I can proceed forward with some insight now. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 2,970 Disability Gamechanger
    If your new rent will be higher than your old rent (on the assumption you will be in a bigger property) then if you move house towards the end of your AP you can gain because you will get the higher housing element applied for the whole of the AP even though you will have been paying the lower rent for most of the period. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.

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