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Temporary accommodation and the benefit cap

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Housing Benefit & Hostel Income Advisor - The Salvation Army, London

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Joined: 15 August 2017

I have been pondering the effect of the benefit cap on people living in temporary accommodation, as it appears beneficial to become a universal credit claimant to reduce or eliminate the cap altogether. 

In my basic example we have a family with non-HB legacy benefits of £500pw, plus housing benefit for temporary accommodation of £400pw.  Total benefits are £900pw, which exceeds the cap by £515pw as they live outside London.  Only HB will be touched by the cap, leaving £500pw legacy benefits and a DHP application to cover rent costs.

Lets pretend they get the same amount under UC as legacy benefits.  In this scenario the total benefits for the purposes of the cap are only £500pw, as HB is now excluded from the cap calculation.  This is reduced to the cap level of £385pw, but they still have the full amount of HB as the cap is no longer applied to this for a UC claimant.  This leaves a total of £785pw.  A DHP application can no longer be made though.

I couldn’t see this scenario on another thread and was hoping someone could confirm my thinking (or otherwise).

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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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Joined: 27 February 2019

Yes, I think you are correct. See also previous thread here: