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Thread: Housing benefit and disability wtc's

  1. #1

    Housing benefit and disability wtc's

    Firstly, hello to you all. I have just registered after searching for advice. I hope you can help me. I am a forty one year old, single male with no kids. I am off work at the moment after my third back operation (L5/S1), my surgeon says I may well need a fourth soon. In addition I had a kidney removed (nephrectomy) in 2005, and have had a 'wobble' with the other in the past, but it is now okay. The main issue is my back. For many years family and friends told me I was mad to work 50+ hour weeks, and in the job I do - quite physical. This last op', took a lot out of me (literally!), and I finally conceded that things have to drastically change. I am off work at the moment on S.S.P, this will end in mid September, when I will go on E.S.A.. Apart from the operations and recovery time, i have always worked and am quite a proud person. What I would love is to do some re-training in perhaps accounts, and work part time. I understand if I work over 16 hours a week I could get disability working tax credits of £2935. I don't understand how all this adds up, though I have tried. So here are the basic sums, if you could help?. My rent is £3480 ( 1 bed council flat in Sheffield, I have just been awarded, for the first time). Council tax is £740 including single person discount. If I work 16 hours minimum wage (from October) this comes to £5408 p/a. Do you know what working tax credits I could add to this amount?. How would this affect my housing and council tax support? Finally is the disabled premium ( I meet the criteria) taken into account for housing benefit purposes or as a 'top up bonus'. I know there is a lot to digest here, but my head is swimming a bit, as this is all new to me. If anyone can help clarify what I would could get 'net', that would be fantastic. I just need to get a handle on future finances. I have been totally open to get an accurate appraisal. Oh! I have limited savings as I have always been low waged ( I just worked long hours to make the shortfall up). Thank you to all respondents in advance, and where possible I assure you i will help others in future with accurate advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Working out potential entitlements to means tested benefits such as Tax Credits and Housing Benefit is difficult in a forum environment, as it depends on a great deal of factors (including NI contribution history, your savings, and your entitlement to certain other benefits) and we don't have access to any of your paperwork. Council Tax Help complicates things further, as there is no national system and each council has different rules.

    It is very likely that you would be better off working 16+ hours per week on minimum wage plus Working Tax Credits than on ESA, and I would encourage you to work if at all possible. Even if you have to pay more towards your housing costs on Working Tax Credits, this is unlikely to swallow up all the extra money.

    Please try to get accurate advice about where the job opportunities are - training providers may overplay your chances of employment or suggest qualifications that employers don't necessarily care about because they're trying to sell you a product (the course) for money. Unfortunately employers are overwhelmed by applications, but you might be able to get some advice from employers about what they are looking for if you phone up to enquire about jobs that are advertised. If you say that you are looking to retrain into that sort of work to overcome your disability and would like to know what training and experience they are looking for, you might get some useful information. It seems worth a few phone calls - the worst that can happen is you get hung up on. The best that can happen is that an employer keeps your name and contact details, so they know the initiative you showed in the face of adversity, which could help if you later apply for a role there.

    It's worth considering voluntary work to maintain an employment history, though think carefully about the relevance of the role to the employment you are after. If you want to work in an office in a customer facing role, it's best to look for voluntary work that is office based and customer facing, rather than, say, working in a shop.

    A successful PIP application would improve your situation - you can receive PIP whilst working, though there's obviously no point applying for PIP if you don't meet the criteria. There's more about PIP in the sticky PIP thread.

    My recommendation in relation to your benefit entitlements and potential net income is to get help from a local advice provider such as a local authority welfare rights project (if there is one) or Citizen's Advice. They can carry out a full entitlement check.

  3. #3
    Dear Flymo. Thanks for the time taken to give me such sound advice. I will always try to work - for my own sanity first and foremost. I just can't do the job or hours anymore. That includes medical advice not to. To be honest I am scared to leave my employment and face uncertainty, but if you saw me, you would realise it has to be done. I will contact those organisations and take up your advice. All the best to you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    I think you're doing all the right things. Accepting that you cannot do something can be difficult and painful, but it is a necessary step in moving on. You are being brave in looking how to move forwards from a change you didn't want in your health and your life, though don't forget it's OK to grieve for what is lost amidst your determination to move on (real men cry sometimes). It's certainly OK to ask for help if you feel you need it, whether that help is practical or emotional. Being realistic about the way ahead can help with the adjustment process.

    So far as leaving your current employment goes, it's OK to wait to be terminated for incapacity to perform your duties - you don't have to "fall on your sword" and resign, though it's understandable if you wish to do that. If you are a trade union member, it's well worth contacting the union for their advice and support in relation to your current job. Don't forget to explore the situation in relation to any pension fully, especially if there is any chance of ill-health retirement (though that is normally only available if you are permanently unable to work).

    You have to prioritise your health, which includes giving yourself the space to recover from surgery if you need it. However, I endorse your idea of looking forwards, thinking where you want to get to and considering how to make the transition. There are others around who will hopefully notice this thread and be able to give better advice in relation to training and employment than I can.

    There has to be help, training and potential employers out there in Sheffield, much as I'm sure competition for jobs is high. You make yourself stand out by your attitude and your determination - I hope you can find the support you need to complete the package of skills and experience you offer, so that you can get a new job.

    I know Sheffield fairly well, by the way - one side of my family comes from Rotherham.

  5. #5
    Once again thanks for your kind words and sound advice. I also apologise in the delay responding. I have had severe back problems for over twenty years now, and always 'cracked on with it' even when it was ludicrous to do so. I guess for the first time I am going to put my health first. It sounds mad, as it should be everyone's priority, but many a time I have been too proud to do that and just did what I could short term - chiropractic treatment for instance. I know that life whilst wonderful isn't always a bed of roses. I am quite practical and a bit of a realist and planning for the future (including the loss of income, and all that that means), helps me in the present. Hopefully the WTC's and any other financial help I receive will be for the short term only. Once again, thanks for your help, not just to me, but all that have read this thread (good luck to you too). Take care.

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