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UC and housing costs

Nicola Hersh
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Freelance benefits consultant, London

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My client, single & aged 55, has a low income but works full time and does not receive any benefits. ‘Entitledto’ shows UC entitlement of qpprox £40 per week including housing costs.

However, if I change the housing to supported, then there is no UC but £15 pw HB.

I seem to remember that if someone is entitled to any amount of UC but could claim HB as in supported/exempt, they would receive full housing benefit.

Its likely that if he claims UC, they will contact HB, who will confirm it is supported/exempt.

My question is - would he be better off claiming UC or will he only get the £15pw HB?

Thanks

 

 

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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A claim for UC wouldn’t help for HB unless they were going to get at least £0.01 of UC.

Nicola Hersh
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Freelance benefits consultant, London

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Charles - 22 October 2021 02:18 PM

A claim for UC wouldn’t help for HB unless they were going to get at least £0.01 of UC.

Thank you for your reply.

So if UC said they could not pay housing costs as supported, would the UC claim stop?

Seems very unfortunate to go from £40pw UC - to only £15 HB.

Thanks

Elliot Kent
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The accommodation is either supported or it isn’t.

If it is supported, then it is covered by HB. He gets no UC HCE. He gets passported to full HB if, after accounting for income, he is left with a non-zero amount of UC. Otherwise he gets assessed for HB as normal.

If it isn’t supported then it is covered by UC. He gets a HCE. This increases his maximum entitlement which explains why you get a higher amount of UC entitlement when you run the calculation in this way.

You say: “Seems very unfortunate to go from £40pw UC - to only £15 HB.” but this is completely illusory. You don’t get to choose which set of rules you fall under.

Supported accommodation is somewhat notoriously unaffordable for anyone in substantial work. Your client could, in principle, reduce his work to the point to get some level of UC entitlement and therefore get passported for HB - but doing so may risk sanctions.

Nicola Hersh
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Freelance benefits consultant, London

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Elliot Kent - 22 October 2021 02:59 PM

The accommodation is either supported or it isn’t.

If it is supported, then it is covered by HB. He gets no UC HCE. He gets passported to full HB if, after accounting for income, he is left with a non-zero amount of UC. Otherwise he gets assessed for HB as normal.

If it isn’t supported then it is covered by UC. He gets a HCE. This increases his maximum entitlement which explains why you get a higher amount of UC entitlement when you run the calculation in this way.

You say: “Seems very unfortunate to go from £40pw UC - to only £15 HB.” but this is completely illusory. You don’t get to choose which set of rules you fall under.

Supported accommodation is somewhat notoriously unaffordable for anyone in substantial work. Your client could, in principle, reduce his work to the point to get some level of UC entitlement and therefore get passported for HB - but doing so may risk sanctions.

Thanks