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Thread: When to notify Housing Benefit/Council Tax?

  1. #1
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    When to notify Housing Benefit/Council Tax?

    Hi to All and hope enjoyed BH weekend. The time has come for me to again ask for your help and advice for those who have been through such experience or can assist.

    Just over a year ago my Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers. At that time, Attendance Allowance was applied for and awarded. As my Mother was single & nobody claimed Carers Allowance, my Mothers pension credit was increased via Severe Disability Premium. In total, benefits awarded-state pension, pension credit including SDP and attendance allowance. Housing Benefit & Council Tax also being paid. Due to diagnosis, my Mother was moved into an extra care facility (not classed as rest/care home). HB and CT continue in payment.

    The situation changed recently she was rushed into hospital. Mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Regardless of diagnosis my Mother returned home. However, since returning home, due to deterioration in health my Mother has been in hospital since last Sunday, so to date, just over a week.

    I am aware DWP Attendance Allowance and Pension Credit (for Severe Disability Premium part of PC payment) offices need to be informed if/when 4 week in hospital is reached.

    However, have been advised that it is unlikely, but not definitely, Mum will be returning to her home and has been referred to local MacMillan Hospice. In the meantime, whilst waiting for a bed to become available, Mum could remain at Hospital or if need arises moved to care/rest home, whilst awaiting move hospice for respite and/or end of life care.

    My query relates to notifying Housing Benefit/Council Tax offices and when I am required to let them know this, and who will it be that tells me, Mum will not be returning home!

    Any help or advice from those reading is most welcome as can really do without added stresses of potential problems with DWP offices and/or local authority.

  2. #2
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    Gosh I've no idea. This is close to my heart. Got similar problems 'this end'.

    Mother was under the care of Marie Curie (the hospice) and was being treated at home. Marie Curie contacted an Oncologist (as my mother's GP refused), four and half years later my mother finally saw one. There was surgery available to cut out the cancer.

    My mother went ahead with the surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery left her slightly brain damaged (was under anaesthetic for over 12 hours). There's memory loss - which is progressively getting worse.

    She receives Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit and of course her pension.

    With her condition getting worse by the day, it wont be long and she'll have to go into care. No idea what happens with her finances then, or when do we need to contact the 'right' department/people. Will be watching this thread - hoping to gain some knowledge.

  3. #3
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    Hi AmyS, This is the problem. There is advice out there regarding benefits and 4 week rule, but nothing in 'stone' as to when Housing Benefit/Council Tax offices and indeed, the social landlord, should be told!

    Had thought maybe some members (or friends/relations) may have been through/known people who have been through this awful situation and shed some light. Hopefully, someone will come along later!

    Thanks for your reply and can appreciate what you're going through.

  4. #4
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    I don't know the full position on this, but from my experience with my mother in law a few years ago, the housing and council tax benefit were still payable as long as she was still the legal tenant. She was in hospital for some time after a stroke and with rapidly developing Alzheimer's disease, and there were ongoing discussions with social services about whether to provide more assistance for her at home or to move her to residential care. We were told that council tax/housing benefit only needed informing if she gave up the tenancy (i.e. at the point she was moved to residential care). In the end though the decision didn't have to be made as she passed away.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The reason you can find no 'set in stone' guidance is because the housing benefit and council tax relief schemes are not run by central government.
    They are run by the local authorities and each have their own qualifying rules, scales of payments, etc.

    As your mother has been refered to McMillan why not get in touch with them, they are sure to come across this situation many times and will be able to advise how it works with your LA.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencer69 View Post
    Hi to All and hope enjoyed BH weekend. The time has come for me to again ask for your help and advice for those who have been through such experience or can assist.

    Just over a year ago my Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers. At that time, Attendance Allowance was applied for and awarded. As my Mother was single & nobody claimed Carers Allowance, my Mothers pension credit was increased via Severe Disability Premium. In total, benefits awarded-state pension, pension credit including SDP and attendance allowance. Housing Benefit & Council Tax also being paid. Due to diagnosis, my Mother was moved into an extra care facility (not classed as rest/care home). HB and CT continue in payment.

    The situation changed recently she was rushed into hospital. Mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Regardless of diagnosis my Mother returned home. However, since returning home, due to deterioration in health my Mother has been in hospital since last Sunday, so to date, just over a week.

    I am aware DWP Attendance Allowance and Pension Credit (for Severe Disability Premium part of PC payment) offices need to be informed if/when 4 week in hospital is reached.


    However, have been advised that it is unlikely, but not definitely, Mum will be returning to her home and has been referred to local MacMillan Hospice. In the meantime, whilst waiting for a bed to become available, Mum could remain at Hospital or if need arises moved to care/rest home, whilst awaiting move hospice for respite and/or end of life care.

    My query relates to notifying Housing Benefit/Council Tax offices and when I am required to let them know this, and who will it be that tells me, Mum will not be returning home!

    Any help or advice from those reading is most welcome as can really do without added stresses of potential problems with DWP offices and/or local authority.
    Since your mum' pension credit will continue to be paid then she will still be entitled to HB and CT support. The HB will continue for as long as she has the tenancy. You will need to contact her local council as regards her council tax.

    http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/benefits-hospital

    Since she will be absent from her home it would be sensible for someone to check it on a regular basis, particularly as regards house insurance purposes. Mc Millan nurses should be able to answer any queries that you have.

  7. #7
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    Hi and thanks for replies. I am now able to answer my own question and hopefully, if anybody else is going through similar situation, or expected to, then hope this also assists.

    Whilst worrying about the above situation, my Mother has been transferred from hospital to the hospice. I approached 2 separate parties to obtain answer to predicament.

    The short answer as to when HB and CT offices should be notified, as well as landlord, is when Social Services and/or Hospital Authorities give you such information. Bearing in mind that each hospital and hospice tend to have their own social service officer, I would ask them, personally. I know webpages give advise saying that HB/CT payable for upto 5 weeks if anybody in hospital, but again, very little out there on specific circumstance.

    A most respected and helpful member of AgeUK and welfare rights advisor, who I have been able to turn to in times of need, explains the following (edited):

    Only when a decision has been made by social services or the hospital authorities will you be able to make plans for termination of a tenancy...
    If your mother goes into a care home the stay is temporary for the first six weeks and then a further "permanency" assessment takes place. Even before permanency is decided you will have already become aware of whether a return home is likely. At this point you give notice. The tenancy agreement will indicate how long this will be. Then inform HB that notice has been given.

    Once above information received, we also had opportunity of introducing ourselves to social services advisor at Mums hospice, so they had a contact when such decision and information needs to be made regarding Mums tenancy etc. This lady also clarified the above content.

    The above scenario now gives us and rest of family a little more time to deal with this aspect of our Mothers life, as well as having to deal with immediate stresses of the situation.

    I have to point out, much of the information obviously comes from different members of the family, depending upon who is at hospital or whichever medical facility, visiting relative in hospital and when consultants, specialist nurses, and advisors from many organisations, and the information passed can become confused, depending on the situation and can be akin to chinese whispers!

    Hope the above is of some use!

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