Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

Newsletters: June 2017

June 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to this month's newsletter - bringing you right up to date with useful benefit information.

In this issue find out more about:

  • Different rules under UC- for parents & carers of young people leaving school/college and going on to university or higher education.
  • Open Training Courses- get booked on!
  • Deadline Approaching: Backdating ESA- last chance to use this tactic to get the Work Related Activity Component / LCW Element paid!
  • Seen our recent Briefings?- UC, Contributory Benefits & finishing work; and PIP & the recent Upper Tribunal decisions.
  • Benefit Cap Update- recent High Court Decision.
  • April 2017 Changes- myth busting:18-21 year olds and help with rent!
  • New leaflets- Two Child Limit leaflet and Lodger leaflet.
  • As well as:
  • Your chance to WIN £50 for your local FOOD BANK and chocolates for you!
  • This month's really useful standard letter.

UC: Different Rules
for College Leavers

This is the time of year when many sixth form college students are finishing A level or equivalent exams. Many will be planning to go on to study at university or other higher education colleges in September.

Usually the parent/carer continues to receive both Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit (if entitled) right up to the end of August ie through the summer months.

However, the rules under Universal Credit are different and mean that many families getting Universal Credit will be worse off than their 'legacy benefit' claiming counterparts.

Parent/carer receives Universal Credit

Where a parent/carer receives Universal Credit, then a Child Element is included when their UC award is assessed for each dependent child/young person living with them (subject to a two child limit for some - more info here).

There is no provision to continue to include the Child Element or (if applicable) the Disabled Child Element in the UC assessment over the summer from when a young person finishes college/school and is going on into advanced education.

Entitlement to these elements ends from the start of the parent's/carer's Monthly Assessment Period which includes the last day of the young person's course or their last exam. So, for example, if a young person's last exam was on 20th June, their parent's/carer's Universal Credit award could be less than they expect on the next UC payday after this!

Compare this to the 'legacy benefit' system where Child Tax Credit continues until the end of August - a family in a similar situation but on legacy benefits could receive approximately £800 Child Tax Credit over this period (or more if they are entitled to a Disabled Child Element for the young person).

NOTE: Child Benefit will continue to be paid until 3rd September, as long as the young person does not start work of 24 hours per week or more, or claim benefit in their own right.

So what can the family do?

We assume the UC rules are assuming that the young person will support themselves by working during the summer months;and if not working but looking for work, the young person would make a claim for Universal Credit in their own right.

If the young person does make a claim for UC be aware that:

  • The parent's/carer's Child Benefit would then stop.
  • The young person's UC would be subject to the 7 waiting days.
  • Most young people will to be entitled to £265.31 a month.
  • They would have to sign a claimant commitment that is likely to require them to spend 35 hours a week, every week, looking for work - otherwise they would be sanctioned and would lose their whole UC award for a period of time.
  • Their UC award would come to an end from the beginning of the Monthly Assessment Period (MAP) in which they start full time advanced education (unless they are one of the few students who can claim UC -click here).

Assuming the young person is not sanctioned, most young people would receive £503.54 UC in total over the summer months (but their parent/carer would lose approximately £200 in Child Benefit).

What if the young person wanted to claim UC but lives in a 'Live'/Gateway area and fails the 'gateway conditions'?

Then, as they are classed as still in education ie a student, they are unable to claim Income-Based JSA,would only be able to claim Income-Related ESA if they were getting Personal Independence Payment, and would only be able to claim Income Support if they were a lone parent. So it would appear that there is no support available to the parent/carer via UC but the young person is unable to claim anything in their own right either.

Open Training Course - get booked on!

Digital Universal Credit - the Essentials
Wednesday 18th October 2017
Plymouth Community Homes
9.30am - 4.30pm

Click here for more details

Book a place for £95+vat per delegate
email info@housingsystems.co.uk


Deadline approaching!

Anyone making a new claim for Employment and Support Allowance
before 3rd July 2017 should try for a 3 month backdate.

If they can get a backdate to 2nd April 2017 or before, their claim will be treated as having been made before the new rules were introduced from 3rd April 2017.
This means, if they are found to have a Limited Capability for Work, they will be paid the Work Related Activity Component.

And if they are also claiming Universal Credit - as a top-up to their Contributory ('New-style') ESA - the LCW element will be included in the UC assessment.

Click here for more information.

April 2017 Changes

There have been a lot of welfare reform changes to digest since April, and many of the new policies are considerably more complex than they first appear!

We are aware there is some confusion around of the changes:we have tried to clarify one of these 'Myths' below.

Myth - "Anyone who is aged 18 to 21 and getting Universal Credit will not be able to get any help with their rent if they sign up for a new tenancy on or after 1st April 2017."

Facts - The new rules introduced in April 2017 only affect a small number of single young people who are claiming help with their rent through the 'Full'/Digital UC service. They do not apply to HB or to those UC claimants on the 'Live'/Gateway service - and there are numerous protections and exclusions.

If a young person is aged 18-21 and does have a UC claim on the Full/Digital Service, then there are lots of things to check... they could still be entitled to help with their rent.

Click here for more details, our flowchart and a table.

In brief the protections / exclusions are:

If the young person is moving from another rented property and has been getting help towards their rent via their UC claim, or from Housing Benefit,they can continue to get help towards their rent as long as there is no gap between HB and UC awards, nor is there a UC monthly assessment period without a Housing Cost Element included.

The restrictions do not apply whilst the young person has a partner or a dependent child living with them.

And single, Digital Service UC claimants can also get help towards their rent while their circumstances mean they are not expected to be looking for work for 35 hours per week, or whilst they are receiving the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or the middle or high care component of DLA.

If they are a full time apprentice, or they are working and earning the monthly equivalent of 16 hours per week at the appropriate minimum wage, they can have a housing cost element included when their UC entitlement is calculated.If they have been working and earning this amount over the previous 6 months, then they are protected for 6 months.

If they have no parent, neither parent lives in GB, or the DWP accept that it would be inappropriate for the young person to live with their parents, then they could have a Housing Cost Element included when their UC entitlement is calculated.

The restrictions do not apply to anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or a care leaver* (*specific definition applies).

Have you seen...
our recent 

Briefing 03/2017
Universal Credit, Finishing Work
and Contributory Benefits

Briefing 04/2017
PIP & Recent Upper Tribunal Decisions

Benefit Cap Update

Recent High Court decision

The High Court has ruled that the Benefit Cap with regards to lone parents with children under two is unlawful. This is because of its discriminatory impact upon those children.

However, the DWP have been given leave to appeal the High Court decision and have stated that the Benefits Cap will remain in place for the claimants affected by this decision while the appeal process continued.

More on this decision here.

This month's useful
standard letter

With hundreds of useful standard letters on the website it would be surprising if you were aware of all of them. So each month we highlight one for you.

This month we would like to remind you about Standard Letter CP20.

This letter is for Housing Benefit claimants to request that their new claim is dated from the date they first notified the HB office of their intention to make a claim.

This can be useful where the tenant informed the HB Office or DWP that they would like to claim HB but where they were never given the opportunity to complete the claim.

Click here for more information.

Similar rules apply under the 'Full'/Digital Universal Credit service - click here.

Your chance to
win £50 for your local food bank

Every month we give you the chance to win £50 for your local food bank.
Well done to last month's winner- Kathryn from Bernicia- a £50 cheque is making its way to the Wansbeck Valley 
Food Bank in Northumberland.

The winner will be selected at random and can nominate a food bank of their choice to receive a £50 cheque from us, and will receive a box of chocolates for themselves.

Just email the answer to the question below to us by Friday 21st July for your chance to win.

This month’s question is:

What happens to someone's Tax Credits or Universal Credit if they join the new Tax-free Childcare Scheme?

Find your answer here.

email your answer to: info@housingsystems.co.uk
Two Child Limit: leaflet
We have a series of leaflets that aim to help you provide accurate and useful information to your tenants.

Our latest is one all about the Two Child Limit.

See all our leaflets here.

Universal Credit Booklet
" “UC Get the Facts” I love it! Really good."
Northwards Housing

Our new handyA6, 24 page, simple guide to
Universal Credit.
Packedfull of useful information
and helpful tips.

Find out more and see the booklet in full here.

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