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HB in temporary accommodation - affected by the benefit cap?

barbs1000
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Hertfordshire Money Advice Unit

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Hi all, help gratefully received. I cannot find anything that exempts those in TA and receiving HB (instead of UC housing costs at the LHA rate) from the benefit cap. If the HB counts towards the benefit cap, then surely very nearly everyone in TA will be affected by the benefit cap and that negates the advantage of receiving HB instead of HCs - or have I got this all wrong?
Many thanks in advance

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

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That is correct if the temp acc is not also specified acc.

If the claimant is not on UC, HB is capped.  If the claimant is on UC, there is no HB benefit cap but the HB award will be taken into account by DWP when deciding whether to cap the claimant’s UC.

Local authorities need to increase their use of T/A models that sit in the sweet spot where:

- it is specified so the benefit cap won’t apply
- it is excluded from the definition of temp acc for HB subsidy purposes

Suggested models include:

- HALS (using a housing association as an intermediate landlord) where the HA also provides support
- LA owned/long term leased hostels with support provided

As for whether the benefit cap negates the point of putting temp back with HB, the idea was not really about the amount but more about the how and the when: UC was making it impracticable for councils to collect any money at all for short term placements.

barbs1000
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Many thanks HB Anorak, I suppose I was just too hopeful that the change would help my clients, not just LAs!

tbidmead
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Does reg 80 (2A) of the UC regs not mean any HB in payment would effectively be disregarded when calculating the cap amount in UC?

HB Anorak
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Yes, you’re right.  I had briefly clocked that amendment when it came in and thought “specified accommodation - technical amendment” … but with HB now available for temp acc as well, a loophole has appeared hasn’t it?

Ssshhhhhh!

barbs1000
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Can someone signpost this amendment to me please? Many thanks

Stuart
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barbs1000 - 25 June 2018 04:38 PM

Can someone signpost this amendment to me please? Many thanks

Hi - UC Regulation 80(2A) was inserted by regulation 3(3) of the Benefit Cap (Housing Benefit and Universal Credit) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 from 7 November 2016.