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Help with LHA/Housing Benefit

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Dasstock_Mo
Dasstock_Mo Community member Posts: 6 Listener
Hi, I am posting for my mum. She is 79 and is on Pension Credit and Disability Living Allowance. She suffers with crippling arthritis and only has one functioning lung.

She recently moved from sheltered accommodation in Hemel Hempstead where almost all of her rent was covered by her Housing Benefit, to sheltered accommodation in York to be near family. She has just received her HB award and it leaves her £300pm short on her rent.

Apparnetly this is because the new sheltered accom she moved to is considered to be private rented and she has moved from the old HB system that she was on in her old place to now being on LHA, which is woefully inadequate for the market rents in North Yorks. She wasn't aware of the fact that she would be moving to LHA and neither was I I.

She is now suffering extreme stress believeing that she will soon be homeless. So my question is, does anyone know if there is extra support available for someone in her situation. She will be applying for a dscretionary award but fears that even if she gets it this will only be temporary and I am concerned about her health with the stress of having to move again so soon after such a big upheaval. Any guidance anyone can give would be most appreciated.

Comments

  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Was the accommodation in Hemel Hempstead run by the local authority or a Housing Association. If so it would be treated as social housing and the LHA does not apply. If the new home is privately run then it will be subject to the LHA. The only thing you can do is try for a DHP but you are right to be concerned that, even if awarded, it is likely to be short term. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Dasstock_Mo
    Dasstock_Mo Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    Hi Calcotti. Thank you for taking the time to reply, it is very much appreciated.

    The place in Hemel Was run by a Jewish Charity. It did take vulnerable people over 55 from the council housing lists so maybe it was classed as Social Housing, we don't really know, it was never made clear.

    While I appreciate that ultimately the responsibility probably lies at our door, I am so upset that we didn't know to check any of this before she moved and were not advised by the people who run the new place, when we told them that mum was a HB claimant, that the LHA would not come near to covering the rent they charge, it is just so stressful 😕 


  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Dasstock_Mo

    I'm so sorry that you and your mother are going through such a stressful time.

    I'm unsure what other benefits related extra support there is, I can see Calcotti has given you an answer. But I'm wondering, and I'm sorry if you did already think of this, if your mother was in accommodation run by a Jewish Charity in Hemel Hempstead, do they have a network which reaches York where something similar or extra support could be accessed?
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Dasstock_Mo
    Dasstock_Mo Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    Hello Hannah. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

    Unfortunately the charity that ran the property in Hemel do not have anything in the York area. We have been in touch with the local housing benefits people and they are sending out affordability forms bit apart from that and applying for the discretionary award it seems there isn't much else we can do. She cannot apply for social housing until she has been living in the area for at least 6 months, so we are going.to have to try and find the money to keep her where she is for now and see how things progress .
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Dasstock_Mo

    I'm so sorry it's been so frustrating for you all. As time goes on, maybe seeing if her MP has a surgery day? They may be able to provide some different information, a contact or expert to help advise after those 6 months. If I do come across anything else in the meantime, I'll be sure to post it here for you.

    I hope despite all this you and your mother are keeping well? 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Dasstock_Mo
    Dasstock_Mo Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    Thanks Hannah. I did say to mum that she should trust to get to see her local MP, so that is an area we will be following up on. Once again thanks for you help and your kind words.
  • ShirleyW
    ShirleyW Community member Posts: 355 Pioneering
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    @Dasstock_Mo Does your Mother receive the Guarantee Part of Pension Credit?

    I thought that this entitled people to full housing benefit but maybe there are cases where it does not?

  • Dasstock_Mo
    Dasstock_Mo Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    Hi Shirley. I am not sure, I will ask. How would she know, is this shown somewhere on her claim/payment?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,114 Disability Gamechanger
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    If she’s privately renting then the LHA will apply as advised by Calcotti. Living alone she will be entitled to the 1 bedroom rate of LHA. 
    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    ShirleyW said:
    @Dasstock_Mo Does your Mother receive the Guarantee Part of Pension Credit?

    I thought that this entitled people to full housing benefit but maybe there are cases where it does not?
    Guarantee Pension Credit entitles someone to the maximum amount of HB to which they qualify - it doesn't mean that other restrictions in the rules are removed.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ShirleyW
    ShirleyW Community member Posts: 355 Pioneering
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    Hi Shirley. I am not sure, I will ask. How would she know, is this shown somewhere on her claim/payment?
    Your Mother's Pension Credit award letter will say whether she receives Guarantee Pension Credit or Savings Pension Credit or a mixture of both.

    I would definitely advise you to take Calcotti and Poppy123456's advice regarding this matter.  I've not had to rent for nearly 40 years so my knowledge of Housing Benefit is very small.
  • Dasstock_Mo
    Dasstock_Mo Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    Thanks Shirley and Calcotti. She does receive Guarantee PC and is receiving the full amount to which she is entitled (the LHA) it is just that this is woefully short of the rent she has to pay.

    I have been in touch with Age UK who have put me in touch with an officer from their York office who is going to look into mum's case to see what, if anything, can be done to help.

    I really appreciate you all taking  the time to respond to my post. Thank you so much. It's good to know we're not alone.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
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    You are welcome @Dasstock_Mo. It is the very least you deserve. I can hear that it is woefully short of the rent she has to pay which is understandably really difficult. 

    It sounds positive that you have been in touch with Age UK and they are going to look into your mum's case to see what, if anything, can be done to help.

    Please feel free to let us know how this goes and if you need any support in the meantime. We are all here for you and listening to you.

    You don't have to face this, or anything else, alone if you don't want to. Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
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