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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Housing costs  →  Thread

“Linked person” and wife/husband succeeding to tenancy

Ruth Knox
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RAISE Benefits Advice Team, Liverpool

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In a case where one partner - in this case the husband - dies and his wife succeeds to the tenancy seamlessly, does 13ZA apply?  She is the claimant.  She occupies the dwelling that she occupied before the death of her husband.  Her husband is a linked person.  Because of his disabilities she needed a separate bedroom. Can anyone see any difficulties?  Thanks Ruth

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

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Definition of “linked person” includes any member of the claimant’s family - that covers partners

Ruth Knox
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RAISE Benefits Advice Team, Liverpool

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Oh, I should have explained clearly. The husband was the claimant. His wife succeeded to the tenancy so it was a new HB claim. (Made before changes forcing people onto UC).  I wasn’t uncertain about her husband being a linked person, but was a bit uneasy about her being a new claimant and the linked person the former claimant. However,  reading the legislation, so long as she was previously an occupant which she obviously was, it should have been fine.

HB Anorak
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I think so.  Some Councils say that the claimant must be the same person before and after the death, or, in a case where there was no award before the death, the surviving person making the new claim must have been the tenant before the death.  I think this is too narrow.  It seems to me, for example, that a non-dep succeeding to a tenancy following the death of a parent would be the text book case for which the rule is intended.

Ruth Knox
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RAISE Benefits Advice Team, Liverpool

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Yes, I agree. The definition consciously says that the claimant (post death) has to have occupied the house previously.  Of course it would also apply where say, the claimant’s non-dep died, but I think if it had been meant to apply only to claimants who had claimed HB before and after the bereavement they would have explicitly said either “claiamant” or “tenant” but not “occupied”