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Question about Council Tax Support

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Just a question regarding Council Tax Support in Sheffield, if anyone can provide some advice. It's not a criticism of the council, just guidance needed. I couldn't find a similar old thread.


A family member (with her children) receives Child Benefit/Tax Credits/Child Maintenance, and therefore receives Council Tax Support. Her ex-husband left years ago, and provides a pittance via CSA. She's not working, but not claiming JSA (because of lack of opportunities to fit in with caring for the kids) or ESA, but is looking for work.


In a recent letter from the Sheffield Benefits Service, they think the income she's receiving is below the amount the Government states you need to live on, so they want lots of information before deciding if she should continue to receive this reduction.


Among the requested information, they ask:'if anyone has given you money or food, we will need a signed statement from them confirming full name, address and breakdown of all payments and food they have given you over the last 6 month, along with confirmation as to the total money they are planning to give you and for how long'.


This is where my question is (as there's no clarifications at all in the minimal documentation provided, and I couldn't find anything about it on the Council or government websites): Are you not allowed to support family members (who you don't live with) by either helping pay their bills as needed, or helping with shopping, as otherwise they would not be able to pay their bills or have enough money for food etc?


In other words, what is acceptable without affecting any council tax support or other benefits negatively - can someone else pay their phone bills, give them food, or not? It's something we really weren't aware of, and the tone in the letter doesn't help. It comes across as "we don't think you have enough income, so we're going to make you pay full council tax too!"


Any constructive advice appreciated - it's not an attempt to knock the council as i'm sure they have plenty of people fiddling the system - we just want to know what we are allowed to do to support our family members. I've put this in Sheffield section as it is related to the council.

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if they have said they "think the income she's receiving is below the amount the Government states you need to live on" - it means they want to give her more money, and just want to establish if she's been managing without others helping..


if others have been helping, then she's obviously NOT on enough....

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I’m not 100% sure what Sheffield benefit service is i.e the local dwp office or maybe you mean the department of the council that deals with HB/C/tax benefits?


I would suggest phoning the HB dept of the council for clarification of the contents of the letter (if it’s from them) as a starting point. I feel sure they would help, and it’s a lot quicker than writing back and forth. Also, there would presumably be opportunities to ask all that you need to.


The only hurdle is they will only speak with the claimant. It would probably be best to phone up while the claimant is with you so that the claimant can give consent for you to speak on their behalf.


There is also C/advice where you can visit, and I understand it is by appointment.

Edited by Janus
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Shef71 may I first congratulate your family member on the way she has obviously conducted herself. That is not claiming a benefit ( JSA etc ) that she could have got easily. She did not claim it, if I understand properly, because she was not in a position to seek employment. She obviously has morals and standards which too many lack.

Can I also congratulate yourself and other family members who have assisted her with money and food etc. THAT is the true meaning of family, helping other members to rub along as best they can with assistance from family. If she is entitled to further money, and believe me I rarely say this to benefit claimants, then I hope she gets it because this is the true meaning of benefits to help people along when they need it and not to provide an easy lifestyle. My best wishes to her.

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