Sheffield Forum

Housing Benefit rant / advice needed if possible.

Home > Sheffield > Sheffield News & Discussions

Reply To Topic
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
06-06-2012, 18:08   #1
Dan of S5
Registered User
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Total Posts: 26
Hi everyone


I put in a new claim for housing benefit on the 5th Feb 2012. I am a single person renting a 2 bedroom flat from a private landlord. I've been on JSA looking for work since 5th Feb 2012 (Only the second time I've been out of work since I was 16, I'm 29 now)

Basically, I received a letter on 21st March 2012 telling me to send in a copy of my tenancy agreement by 21st April, this was sorted and handed in on the 19th April, due to my landlord being hard to get hold of. But it was still on time.

I have had no contact from them ever since, although after waiting 3 weeks, I called them to ask how my claim was going to be told it's still processing and to call back next week.

I called back the following week to be told, that actually, my claim hasn't been delt with at all. It's in fact been sat there and not been dealt with, and she was going to put it through.

It's now the 6th June 2012, 4 months after I claimed, and 2 months after I handed all my documents in, I have rent arrears of £1600 and will be evicted at the end of this month If I don't pay up, leaving me homeless.

Understandably I've been getting very stressed these last few days, and felt I have been treated unfairly. None of it made sense to me so I started to look online for answers.

I have recently read about interim payments, aka payment on accounts on another forum,

consumeractiongroup(dot)co(dot)uk/forum/showthread.php?192850-interim-payment-from-housing-benefit


and on

england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/debt_and_arrears/rent_arrears/arrears_due_to_housing_benefit


Which led me to read the Housing benefit guidence manual @

dwp.gov.uk/local-authority-staff/housing-benefit/claims-processing/operational-manuals/housing-benefit-guidance/

Section A6 talks about interim payment for people in my situatio, and I quote:

Decisions
Time limits
6.20 When a Local Authority (LA) decides a claim they must
• decide the claim and notify the claimant of that decision within 14 days of receiving all the
necessary information, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter
HB Reg 89 & (SPC) 70; CTB Reg 75, 76 & (SPC) 61, 60
• give priority to claims from certain people starting work, see C5, Extended payments later
in this manual
HB Reg 89 & (SPC) 70
• notify third parties about decisions affecting them
• include in each notification specific information about the decision
HB Reg 89; CTB Reg 75
6.21 Authorities
• are not bound by the time limits if there are reasonable grounds for delay
• may stop action on a claim without making a decision if
CTB Reg 75 & (SPC) 60
- the claim is made in an unacceptable form and the claimant fails to resubmit their
application within four weeks of being asked to do so
HB Reg 89
- the claimant does not provide supporting information within four weeks of being asked
to do so
HB Reg 76 & (SPC) 70
- the claim is withdrawn, or
HB Reg 76
- the claim is made more than 13 weeks before the end of the current benefit award
CTB Reg 66



and:




First payment of HB
6.157 You must make the first payment of HB within 14 days of receiving the claim unless it is not
reasonably practicable, when payment should be made as soon as possible. If the claim has not
been decided within 14 days of receiving the claim, you must consider a payment on account,
see Payment on account below.
Reg 88
Payment on account
6.158 If you cannot decide a claim within 14 days of receiving the claim, you must consider making
a payment on account. It is not the claimant’s responsibility to ask for a payment on account
and you must not wait for them to ask.
6.159 A payment on account
• must be made if the claim cannot be decided and this is not because the claimant has failed
to provide, without good cause, evidence reasonably needed and requested
• must not be made if
- you do not consider that a payment on account is appropriate because the claim will
probably be decided and paid within the 14 days. If the claim is not decided within 14
days you must reconsider your decision immediately, or
- it is clear from the information already available there will be no entitlement to benefit,
or
- you cannot decided the claim within 14 days because the claimant has failed, without
good cause, to provide evidence or information which you reasonably need and have
requested







Ok so I called the Sheffield Benefit s Service today and spoke to the advisor.

I asked how my claim was going and she said it's still processing. I explained my circumstances and asked for an interim payment (even though I shouldn't have to ask)

She said they don't do it anymore and I will just have to wait.

I told her I have the printout of the Housing benefit guidance manual in front of me and quoted the relevant sections, she said it doesn't make a difference any more because they don't do interim payments, and haven't done for 3 years.


So I then asked to speak to her manager, and she said the manager was not available. So I asked when and she wouldn't say.

I then asked for her name as I would be coming down to make an appointment with her manager, and she hung up the phone on me.


I have been very reasonable and kept calm and polite throughout.



I just want this sorting ASAP, I am literally losing sleep over this.


Can anyone offer any advice on whether they are breaking the law?

And is anyone else in a similar situation?



Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading.
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:15   #2
Ghozer
Are you a God!?
Ghozer's Avatar
 
Forum Helper
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: I live, Alone... Age: Too Old!
Total Posts: 14,087
Status: Online
Send a message via ICQ to Ghozer Send a message via AIM to Ghozer Send a message via MSN to Ghozer Send a message via Yahoo to Ghozer Send a message via Skype™ to Ghozer
Housing benefit usually state that claims will be dealt with within 10 weeks...

My last claim took 13 weeks, but was dealt with and all arrears paid...

Go to howden house, ask to speak to someone on Housing benefit, explain the situation and that you will be facing eviction (which also won't happen, as there is a legal clause to protect you should you be on HB and awaiting a claim to be processed)

The best advise when dealing with them is to remain calm and don't shout or get angry!

They will contact your landlord on your behalf, explain the situation, and resolve it as quickly as they can.. they can also deal with your landlord directly if given your permission.. (likewise, if you give your landlord written and signed permission they can then deal with HB on your behalf)
_______
Life is a tool, use it wisely and properly. Don't break it, because you can't exchange it if you do.
Life is an instrument, it needs regular cleaning, maintenance and tuning to keep it at its best.

Fear, is not knowing. Terror, is finding out.
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:19   #3
chem1st
Registered User
chem1st's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: in't lab
Total Posts: 16,802
You are now more qualified than their staff but you don't have a certificate to prove so.

Read up on squatting law, it may come in handy!

http://libcom.org/organise/squatting-guide

Hopefully you will never need to use the above guide, but just in case you do, read it to be on the safe side.

Hopefully your claim is sorted sharpish, and that you can find well paying work in due course in order to live a decent life.

It would appear to me you if evicted due to non payment of housing benefit, you are being made homeless through no fault of your own. And SCC would have a duty of care to house you, as your eviction is no fault of your own, but one of theirs!
On that basis, I reckon you could even be entitled to some priority banding for council /ha housing.
_______
Sheffield - a city on the move, due to a lack of secure affordable housing.

54% of Sheffield's affordable housing has been lost since 1980! (As of 2010 - and even more has be lost since then!)
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:20   #4
chem1st
Registered User
chem1st's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: in't lab
Total Posts: 16,802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghozer View Post

Go to howden house, ask to speak to someone on Housing benefit, explain the situation and that you will be facing eviction (which also won't happen, as there is a legal clause to protect you should you be on HB and awaiting a claim to be processed)

The best advise when dealing with them is to remain calm and don't shout or get angry!
This is good advice...
_______
Sheffield - a city on the move, due to a lack of secure affordable housing.

54% of Sheffield's affordable housing has been lost since 1980! (As of 2010 - and even more has be lost since then!)
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:23   #5
Dan of S5
Registered User
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Total Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghozer View Post
Housing benefit usually state that claims will be dealt with within 10 weeks...

My last claim took 13 weeks, but was dealt with and all arrears paid...

Go to howden house, ask to speak to someone on Housing benefit, explain the situation and that you will be facing eviction (which also won't happen, as there is a legal clause to protect you should you be on HB and awaiting a claim to be processed)

The best advise when dealing with them is to remain calm and don't shout or get angry!

They will contact your landlord on your behalf, explain the situation, and resolve it as quickly as they can.. they can also deal with your landlord directly if given your permission.. (likewise, if you give your landlord written and signed permission they can then deal with HB on your behalf)
Thank you for your reply, very helpful.

I am definitely going down there as I am getting nowhere on the phone with them. Hopefully I will get this sorted soon. I don't think I have been as stressed in my life as I am at the moment. Not to mention the difficulties finding a job!
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:29   #6
Dan of S5
Registered User
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Total Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by chem1st View Post
You are now more qualified than their staff but you don't have a certificate to prove so.

Read up on squatting law, it may come in handy!

http://libcom.org/organise/squatting-guide

Hopefully you will never need to use the above guide, but just in case you do, read it to be on the safe side.

Hopefully your claim is sorted sharpish, and that you can find well paying work in due course in order to live a decent life.

It would appear to me you if evicted due to non payment of housing benefit, you are being made homeless through no fault of your own. And SCC would have a duty of care to house you, as your eviction is no fault of your own, but one of theirs!
On that basis, I reckon you could even be entitled to some priority banding for council /ha housing.
Thank you very much, hopefully I won't end up in the situation of being a squatter as well as jobless!

I have been on the housing waiting list for 10 years, and had to go private in the end as I had no offers accepted through my applications to the Sheffield Property shop.

It seems if you are younger than 40 and single you don't have as many rights to accommodation as other people...
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:32   #7
LeMaquis
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2011
Total Posts: 8,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan of S5 View Post
Thank you for your reply, very helpful.

I am definitely going down there as I am getting nowhere on the phone with them. Hopefully I will get this sorted soon. I don't think I have been as stressed in my life as I am at the moment. Not to mention the difficulties finding a job!
Your landlord can't evict you (legally) without taking you to court and if you are taken to court just tell them that it's a delay in your HB that is the council's responsibility. See http://www.advicesheffield.org.uk/ for any further help.
_______
Vive La Résistance
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:36   #8
Dan of S5
Registered User
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Total Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMaquis View Post
Your landlord can't evict you (legally) without taking you to court and if you are taken to court just tell them that it's a delay in your HB that is the council's responsibility. See http://www.advicesheffield.org.uk/ for any further help.
Thanks, good info.

Hopefully this thread will be of some help to others as well by using the site seach, or google search.

I don't wan't others to deal with this situation blindly and end up as stressed as I have been.
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:40   #9
Convict Edd
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2012
Total Posts: 763
Rather than stress about all this and spend hours researching stuff online you should just put your energies into finding a job.
Youll be much happier not having to reply on idiots to pay your rent for you.
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:41   #10
LeMaquis
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2011
Total Posts: 8,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Convict Edd View Post
Rather than stress about all this and spend hours researching stuff online you should just put your energies into finding a job.
Youll be much happier not having to reply on idiots to pay your rent for you.
There's always one.
_______
Vive La Résistance
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:41   #11
S6 D.I.Y
Registered User
S6 D.I.Y's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: handyman
Total Posts: 2,081
let us know how you get on
_______
garryhallows@hotmail.comtel07786268829
your frendly handyman.no job to small or big.
if a job worth doing worth doing it right
10% discount to all sheffield forum members
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:44   #12
Dan of S5
Registered User
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Total Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by S6 D.I.Y View Post
let us know how you get on
Will do, we will see what they say when I go down armed with all my info
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:45   #13
Dan of S5
Registered User
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Total Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Convict Edd View Post
Rather than stress about all this and spend hours researching stuff online you should just put your energies into finding a job.
Youll be much happier not having to reply on idiots to pay your rent for you.
I'm looking mate!

I didn't understand the second sentence sorry.
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:51   #14
Convict Edd
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2012
Total Posts: 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan of S5 View Post
I'm looking mate!

I didn't understand the second sentence sorry.
The benefits service.
They screw up everything. I was off work for a few months and they never paid the rent. Luckily i had a good landlord and he understood what ***** they are so he waited till i found work. I count myself lucky that he was so good about it as otherwise im certain id have been made homeless.
Good luck finding something soon mate.
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 18:51   #15
chem1st
Registered User
chem1st's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: in't lab
Total Posts: 16,802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Convict Edd View Post
Rather than stress about all this and spend hours researching stuff online you should just put your energies into finding a job.
Youll be much happier not having to reply on idiots to pay your rent for you.
http://www.geokey.de/literatur/doc/neo.pdf

Read that.

Then if you want to achieve full employment and increased productivity you'll know of the land and monetary reforms which would need to take place.

And understand why your comment above is naive.
_______
Sheffield - a city on the move, due to a lack of secure affordable housing.

54% of Sheffield's affordable housing has been lost since 1980! (As of 2010 - and even more has be lost since then!)
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 19:02   #16
Convict Edd
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2012
Total Posts: 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by chem1st View Post
http://www.geokey.de/literatur/doc/neo.pdf

Read that.

Then if you want to achieve full employment and increased productivity you'll know of the land and monetary reforms which would need to take place.

And understand why your comment above is naive.
Whats naive about encouraging someone to get a job and not rely on handouts?
If you rely on handouts you have little or no control over when and if your rent gets paid.
I take it you're jobless?
Long term maybe?
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 19:08   #17
chem1st
Registered User
chem1st's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: in't lab
Total Posts: 16,802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Convict Edd View Post
Whats naive about encouraging someone to get a job and not rely on handouts?
If you rely on handouts you have little or no control over when and if your rent gets paid.
I take it you're jobless?
Long term maybe?
Land monopoly and class society dictates the need for handouts, in order to allow the class society to exist.

Abolish the dole. Don't lament the people denied from realising the fruits of THEIR labour from playing the system.

The funny thing is, those people have the most to gain from abolishing the dole. Tis the current workers and landowners who have the most to lose, and those incapable of work (the disabled and elderly).

But dare you risk a revolution?

Makes far more sense to reduce effective taxation of the slave classes, increase equality and improve society for all.
_______
Sheffield - a city on the move, due to a lack of secure affordable housing.

54% of Sheffield's affordable housing has been lost since 1980! (As of 2010 - and even more has be lost since then!)
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 19:17   #18
Convict Edd
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2012
Total Posts: 763
I bet you're a blast at parties.
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 19:19   #19
Dan of S5
Registered User
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Total Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Convict Edd View Post
The benefits service.
They screw up everything. I was off work for a few months and they never paid the rent. Luckily i had a good landlord and he understood what ***** they are so he waited till i found work. I count myself lucky that he was so good about it as otherwise im certain id have been made homeless.
Good luck finding something soon mate.
Cheers

And believe me, I'm a worker, it's in my blood. Finding work is proving difficult atm though, hopefully I'm just going through a slight blip in life.
  Reply With Quote
06-06-2012, 19:25   #20
Bludragonfly
Registered User
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Total Posts: 2,114
I am sorry you are in this situation and the worry it is causing you. I suggest you follow the advice above and go to Howden House to get this sorted. You could also write to the Chief Executive (John Mothersole), your local Councillors and your MP to see if any of these can get action on your behalf.

Whilst I do feel sorry for you in this situation I also wonder why my taxes are (or will be soon) paying for a single person to live in a two bedroom property instead of a one bedroom
  Reply With Quote
Reply To Topic

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 19:58.
POSTS ON THIS FORUM ARE NOT ACTIVELY MONITORED
Click "Report Post" under any post which may breach our terms of use.
©2002-2014 Sheffield Forum | Powered by vBulletin ©2017