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Any suggestions please? - Carers UK Forum

Any suggestions please?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Nephew having some problems with council.

He stayed with his mum who never told the council he was there. He never claimed benefits and had no child maintenance to pay because he had his two sons for more hours than their mum did and he has a letter from Revenue & Customs to confirm he would receive a credit for his NI contributions because of this.

When his mum was to be discharged from hospital to die at home the Mcmillan CAB arranged to put things right with the council and helped with his claim for CA. His mum lived long enough for him to inherit the right to continue to rent the house when she died, but his only income was CA which in total was about a fiver a week less than the rent would be. The council assured him this would be sorted out when he came off CA and onto JSA when his rent could be paid.

They are telling him that he can not get housing benefit for the 8 weeks the CA was all he was entitled to. No income support because he had no work record and can`t apply for JSA whilst on CA. This seems odd to me as I know folks who work part time and go each week to the Council with their payslip to show they only earned about 50quid and they get full housing benefit.

Is this just another way to punishing carers?

Bottom line is he has now received a letter stating he could be evicted if he doesn`t pay all that is due immediately.

Poor chap is at his witz end with PTSD which has resurfaced following his mum`s passing. He has a meeting on Tuesday so hope I can have some advice by then.

Take care
This is absolute nonsense, claimants do not have to be in receipt of a means-tested benefit to be entitled to HB and CTB which are also means-tested and paid according to how much income and capital a claimant has.

To the best of my knowledge, as a single person, if he is 25 or over, his personal allowance is £67.50 a week after housing costs whether or not he claims IS or JSA so if he is only on CA he is entitled to full HTB and CTB; if he is under 25 he is still entitled to a lower rate of HB and CTB to allow him £53.45 after housing costs. Likewise, if he is 25 or over he should be in receipt of an IS top-up to bring his income up to the £67.50 single person allowance, IS is not a contributions-based benefit. I am not sure about the carer premium paid with IS, HB and CTB during the eight-week period when caring has ceased but he may be entitled to that too in which case it will raise his income and the amount which he is allowed before being liable to pay rent and council tax.

He really needs to contact a welfare rights organisation such as the CAB and Shelter as his tenancy is at risk. He might also want to consider claiming IBESA if he is ill, this would give him a breathing space and avoid the need to comply with a JSA Jobseeker's Agreement when he is struggling to cope.
Thank you so much Parsifal.

This was my understanding of the rules too, but housing office and mcmillan CAB are both adamant HB is not paid on CA alone and he didn`t qualify for the top-up as his mum passed away within days of CA being agreed, therefore he only had one week as a carer on CA, plus the 8 weeks which is paid post care.

Do you know where I could find a printable version of this, or even a link to the rules and how they apply, as this would help us get out point across.

Even his (not our) MP says this is a common grey area with the council and benefits.

As far as I know he now puts in sick lines to Job Centre and it was his back to work advisor who suggested he see his GP as he felt he was too traumatised to be thinking about trying to get back into work just now. GP has agreed funding for private therapy for him as there is a seven month wait to see someone on the NHS.

It has been suggested by GP he apply for DLA, but not sure if he has done anything about that yet.

Take care
Decision-makers guidance for DWP administered benefits:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/spec ... kers-guide

HB/CTB guidance for local authorities]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/local-authority-s ... t-guidance[/url]

There is also information on LHA if the tenancy is a private tenancy. A warning: they are huge and if the DWP guidance manual is anything to go by it can take a while to find what you are looking for, good luck.
Thank you once again Parsifal.

I found Benefit answers.co.uk by chance and they confirm what we thought. Will have a look at your links when my head is less fuzzy and point nephew in the right direction to state his case. I just wish I could go with him and sort them out!!

Take care
Just a wee update.

Yesterday nephew went up and paid the rent for four weeks plus an extra week for the contribution the council want from his daughter who moved in to look after her dad when she became 18, her first due rent day was 3rd October but she didn`t get paid until yesterday. This is separate from her Dad`s problem, but it was important he show willing to sort things out.

The lady he had the interview with today was very nice and adjusted the payment for S_J to show as four weeks in advance and two weeks in arrears to be paid off over the next three months in the same way.

She agreed when nephew only had CA the council should have means tested him and he would have been granted housing benefit, but the assessor didn`t do that and when he was asked how he intended to pay the 8 weeks rent he had said he would just have to find a way and they suggested he pay 20 quid a fortnight from his JSA when it came through and with JSA his rent would be paid. Nephew only found out today he had signed an agreement to do this which council say is legally binding and they can not retrospectively reassess. I told him to get the GP to write explaining he was so traumatised at the time he didn`t remember signing anything and ask them to reconsider. Don`t know if it will help, but worth a try.

Lady also gave him some charity numbers who can put help his way and suggested he get onto a cheaper energy scheme. She was pleased he had made the effort with the payment yesterday and apologised for the tone of the letter, generated by computer, because the chap he had seen didn`t update the file with proposed payment plan. Pity he hadn`t lost the signature too..

Everyone much happier now, thanks to your help and support.

Take care
Meg, they are wrong about the "legally binding" agreement - if the assessment was wrong in the first place he can't be made to pay what he didn't know that he didn't owe. They have a legal duty to assess accurately and if they have made a mistake no amount of "legally binding" argument is worth a damn. They failed to assess accurately and that is an end to it.

I suggest that he tries his local councillor...
If your nephew made an application for HB/CTB and was erroneously turned down and has a decision letter he needs to appeal, he may be out of time for an appeal and I am not sure how out of time appeals are dealt with for HB/CTB because the rules are not always the same as for the DWP but if all else fails he has appears to have a strong case for maladministration. He does need to find a welfare rights advisor to assist him.

I too think that the payment of arrears of rent should be renegotiated, as it was another department of the council which made the error which led to the arrears the council housing department should be willing to hold off recovery or reduce the amount until his HB is sorted out, evictions are costly and under these circumstances a court is more likely to up set a repayment plan based on his income and outgoings than evict.
Part of this pickle came about because he asked the mcmillan CAB lady who had helped get him CA for looking after his mum to sort the rent situation out for him as he didn`t feel up to coping with all the paperwork when his mum had just died. She was the person who told him that as his mum had died before his IS was sorted out he wouldn`t get HB and that it was a "grey area"... as you all now know his Auntie Meg doesn`t do "grey areas" hence the reason I became involved when the eviction letter arrived.

When we were allocated our LA flat I had everything I needed to apply for HB with us on the day we went to sign the missive of let to ensure we were entitled from day one. Our LA all comes under the same Highland Council banner as the city my nephew resides in, but we get 28days to hand in paperwork whereas the city give no leaway at all.

Will suggest the councillor. I know the MP got involved when the council tried to claim full rent for my sister in law when she was on her death bed as she was unable to sign a form for housing benefit. I lost the plot over that at the time and eventually got it sorted out with a lot of input from MP. He would hate to think the poor chap is still suffering at the hands of these imbiciles.

The only decision letter he has received was the amount of rent contribution his daughter would have to make when she moved in with him on her 18th birthday.

Take care
The only decision letter he has received was the amount of rent contribution his daughter would have to make when she moved in with him on her 18th birthday.
Was it an actual decision letter showing how much he was entitled to after the non-dependent deduction? If so was he already in receipt of HB at the time? If it was a decision letter rather than just a reply to a request to information and showed his HB entitlement but he was not in receipt of HB it could be seen as an acknowledgement that the LA accepted that he should be in receipt of HB.