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Thread: Housing Benefit Universal Credit help please

  1. #1
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    Housing Benefit Universal Credit help please

    Hello,

    I am asking on behalf of my disabled brother who really seems to be getting the run around. Does anyone here know about Universal Credits?

    My brother has just been rehoused into a ground floor flat because if his disabilities, so he can get in/out easier. Where he was living before he had a claim for housing benefit and council tax support which paid part of his rent and part of his council tax However he has now been moved into an area where Universal Credits have started with the allegedly ‘full digital service’.

    Anyway, my brother went to the council offices to put in a claim for housing benefit and council tax support but with regards to housing benefit he was told he had to now claim Universal Credits as he lives in a quote ‘full digital area’. He was given a phone number to ring at the DWP and was told he would have to make an online claim.

    Anyway, he has spoken with the DWP who said he will have to claim Housing Benefit from the council as he doesn’t claim any DWP Benefits or Tax Credits.

    So back he went to the council who again referred him back to the DWP and so the merry go round (well not so merry for him) started again. He did try to make an online claim for Universal Credits but it wouldn't accept him.

    He has spoken with a Housing Benefit manager at the council who said it was definitely Universal Credit he has to claim, so he again tried to make an online claim but it wouldn’t let him proceed.

    He is aged 54 and been divorced for quite a number of years so is in effect ‘single’ and lives by himself if that makes any difference. I cannot get down to see him as I live over 250 miles away. Neither the council nor the Universal Credit DWP will speak to me on the phone about the situation due to data protection.

    Does anyone know which he should claim as he is worried about paying his rent to the housing association who have rehoused him.

    Thanks
    Allison

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Give your brother the Universal Credit help line number.

    Here:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/be...t-eligibility/

    Then whatever they say he can quote and ask the DWP/council to ring the helpline themselves if they argue about it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    If he is now in a Digital Service area then yes he has to claim UC Housing Costs Element and not HB.
    This is claimed from the DWP and not the Council.
    (Council Tax Relief is still claimed from the council though).

    I can only assume that either-
    The UC people have got it wrong. (and he is also not filling in the online form correctly?)
    or
    He does not qualify for UC. (Because of income/earnings or capital?).

    You don't give us any details of anything else your brother is claiming or earning.
    If he is claiming ESA then that will have to change to UC as well.
    (PIP will not, it stays outside UC).

    You may like to try putting his (new) circumstances into the benefit calculator here:
    http://www.entitledto.co.uk/benefits...c.aspx?e2dwp=y
    That will recognise that he is in a Digital Service area and do the calculation accordingly.

    General information on UC Housing Element:
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...#guide-content
    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.

  4. #4
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    Hello,

    Thanks for the link (s). Sorry for the late replay, I was waiting until I had spoken with my brother again.

    Anyway, both my brother and I have spoken with the universal credit helpline earlier today and to quote them ‘it is complex’ and they cannot currently work it out. The DWP are now having to ‘escalate it’ somewhere, but it doesn’t help my brother in the meantime. He is thinking of getting his MP involved now.

    Basically the computer says ‘no’ as it cannot cope with him having no apparent income countable under universal credit. From what I can gather under the housing benefit system where he formerly lived it was all worked out manually with all of his income disregarded.

    Although universal credit disregards his basic war pension and some supplements for unemployability , mobility, and some other things, it then counts something else which it shouldn't, then his service attributable pension causes the system to blow a fuse, as it is not counted for one thing but is for something else (sorry I cannot remember which way round it is or what it counts/doesn't count for).

    It seems that to just claim housing benefit as part of universal credit without claiming such as DWP's own benefits or tax credits etc hasn’t been thought through properly for veterans benefits.

    Thanks anyway
    Allison

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Hi Allison,

    With my British Legion Welfare hat on, your brother isn't the only one to find there is a problem in the new Universal Credit 'digital' areas with injured and disabled veterans in receipt of War Pension Supplements, AFPS75 SIP/SAP and the newer Armed Forces Compensation Scheme GIP's. It is further complicated with the AFPS05 Pension Scheme as well! A case of 'Computer says No'.

    If your brother wants some help in sorting his way through this 'minefield' he can get in touch with either the Veterans Welfare Service (via the numbers listed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups...elfare-service ) or The British Legion Money Advice Service on 0808 802 8080 both of which are onboard with the current situation.

    PaulG

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