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Thread: Totally lost in the quagmire of benefits :(

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Totally lost in the quagmire of benefits :(

    Hi there - i don't know how to really start this off, i'm in a bit of a state and i hope someone can help.

    My partner and i finally moved in together, in october. We've been trying to sort out the various benefits, including housing. Our application for housing benefit has been rejected in a very snotty letter. Despite only being asked for the tenancy agreement, they're claiming they asked for numerous proofs of identity, which we were not aware of - incompetence on their part?

    Secondly, they say the DWP has not been informed of the change of address - well....yes, why would we change the address until BEFORE we were in secure accommodation?

    There's also reference to a joint claim for ESA - currently, she is getting DLA and ESA and i am getting Carers allowance. Her claim for ESA is for a single person - not for me as well. I don't want to be included on her ESA - i was under the impression that as i'm on Carers Allowance, i can't be on it anyway, and i'm supposed to be getting topped up by Income Support?

    I'm totally confused by what i'm supposed to do - we're both panicking that we're going to lose the flat we've just moved into, she's panicking she's going to lose all the ESA, and i'm panicking about being lumped into her benefits and cocking everything up

    We're going to try and make an appointment for the CAB on Monday, but neither of us have been to one before we don't know what we're doing, and finding someone that can explain all of this in plain english, simply, is nigh on impossible.

    Can anyone shed any light on what we can do?

    Thanks in Advance for any help

  2. #2
    Senior Member sea queen's Avatar
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    Hello there, I'm sure someone will come along soon who can advise you obviously all busy with other stuff.
    Keep coming on and try not to despair.
    Sea Queen

  3. #3
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    Take all your paperwork, letters etc, with you when you visit CAB, you cannot beat face to face advice with a professional adviser.

  4. #4
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    Hi KTR 239 - as suggested you will need to get expert welfare advice. As far as I understand, as you have now moved in together you will be classed as a couple, therefore you will be unable to claim income support as an individual and will have to go on to your partners ESA claim.

  5. #5
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    Have spoken to the CAB on the phone today, they've got us down for a proper appointment on wednesday, we're going armed with all the paperwork we can find.

  6. #6
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    That is defo correct anniea.
    If they are now living together the DWP will class them as a 'couple' and the partners' ESA will be treated as a claim for a 'couple'. It will also become an Income Related ESA claim and topped up accordingly to the couple rate. Ktr239 will lose his Income Support and, as i understand it, his payment of Carers Allowance too (although he retains his underlying entitlement to it!). A Carer premium will be added to his partners IR ESA instead, and possibly a Disability premium too, depending on the rate of DLA in payment.

  7. #7
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    Right - have spoken to the CAB this morning, and been to the Job Centre - sorted out a lot of stuff.

    From what they explained, i won't lose my carers allowance, what they do though, is they deduct what i get as carers allowance from the ESA claim. I won't get income support and ESA at the same time - but i am annoyed that i'm forced into ESA when i don't want anything to do with it. Not that we're complaining about any potential extras (although we both feel worthless and guilty for accepting it), but we were fine before on our respective moneys

    Her DLA is Higher Rate Mobility and Medium Rate Care
    Her ESA is currently:

    Base (single) 71.70
    Enhanced Disability Premium (single) 15.15
    Support Component 34.80

    Total of £121.65 p/w at the moment. That will apparrently change to:

    Base (couples) 112.55
    Enhanced Disability Premium (couples) 21.75
    Support Component 34.80
    Carer Premium 33.30

    For a total of £202.40 - but then they deduct my CA of 59.75 a week, to get 142.65 - basically an increase of £20 a week. Not complaining, but seems like an awful lot of hassle and hoops to jump through.

    As for housing benefit - now we've dealt with ESA and DLA, we should be able to appeal. As long as that get's processed properly and we don't end up destitute in a cardboard box at christmas time, we'll both be happy - too many sleepless nights lately.

    Thank you to everyone who's given advice & support so far, just having someone else help means a huge deal.
    One thing that wasn't explained (due to a lack of time), is will i be expected to still look for work? My carer duties are round the clock, i easily put in 40 hours a week. This is one of the things that worries me most.

  8. #8
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    Right - ESA3 form arrived today - only...it's very long and kind of confusing. Under Part 5 - am i, as my partners carer supposed to say i AM working or that i'm NOT working? As mentioned i recieve Carers Allowance and do at least 35 hours a week - am i exempt from work interviews?

    Argh. They really don't make this easy

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