I am on housing benefit and recieve ESA. I just got a letter from council saying I owe rent — Scope | Disability forum
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I am on housing benefit and recieve ESA. I just got a letter from council saying I owe rent

Hobbit25
Hobbit25 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
I am worried sick. Why do letters like this always arrive on Saturdays when you can't do anything about it until Monday?!

I am on ESA and PIP (high rate for both PIP parts) due to MH conditions and arthritis. I get full HB and last month I got the usual benefit calculation letter from the council I get every few months/few times a year and it said I was still entitled to full HB and council tax reduction due to my ESA and the benefit would start on 4th April 2022 and I still have to pay nothing weekly, same as the last ten years or so I have been on these benefits. Today I got a letter from them dated 7th April saying I owe £200 odd in rent which was a shock. I've never had a letter like this.

My ESA hasn't stopped. I was just paid in the last few days and the only other benefit change was that I passed my PIP review last month and my award is staying the same for the next few years. The council already know about my current PIP award.

Could this letter just be a muck up? I am worried sick. Any other bill I would be less worried about waiting until Monday to fix but rent is the main one. Do I pay the money just to be safe? Or just wait until Monday? I am a nervous wreck about it

Has anyone else ever had a letter like this while on HB?


Comments

  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello @Hobbit25 thanks for reaching out today, I can definitely appreciate it's worrying not being able to find out more until Monday as you say, but I hope we can help support you here in the meantime.
    Today I got a letter from them dated 7th April saying I owe £200 odd in rent which was a shock. I've never had a letter like this.
    Would you mind explaining who 'them' is for me, just so I understand fully. Is it your local council? And are there any dates or deadlines mentioned at all?

    If there are any contact details on the letter then keep them safe ready for Monday, and see if you can get in touch, and ask them to explain exactly why you've received the letter.

    It know that the cost of living has increased for a lot of people this month, so it would be good for someone to explain what's what for you.

    It might also be worth contacting AdviceLocal if you want to get any professional advice. 

    If we can support you any further please do let us know, and if you're still unsure about anything, just shout.

    Alex
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • Hobbit25
    Hobbit25 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi sorry, yeah the letter was from the local council and the payment deadline they have given is 20th April
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,011 Disability Gamechanger
    There is no way of knowing why you have got the letter. The only way you will find out is by speaking to them on Monday.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello @Hobbit25 thank you for explaining for me, that's really helpful :)

    Okay, I would say given the deadline and the fact it is Saturday today, that it'll be okay to ring the council on Monday and ask for some clarification around the payment. 

    For now, you can search AdviceLocal and perhaps make some enquiries about getting advice if you feel you need to. If you feel comfortable, you could ask a friend or loved one to go through the letter with you and see if they can help make sense of it too?

    I know it's quite worrying, but it is sometimes helpful to focus on things which help you feel less stressed, even if it's only for a short while. 

    Do keep us updated with how things go next week, and I'm sorry I can't be of more help at the moment.
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 49,556 Disability Gamechanger
    We can only guess what the reason is. The only way you'll know what's going on is to ring them on Monday when they open.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,461 Disability Gamechanger
    Do you feel able to ring them today @Hobbit25?
    National Campaigns Officer, she/her

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