Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

Newsletters: August 2020


August 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to our latest newsletter - bringing you right up to date with useful welfare benefit information. 

In this issue find out more about:

  • ESA and income whilst challenging found fit decision - new important case law decision.
  • Disabled students and UC - new regulations confirm policy intention and close loophole.
  • SEISS payment - claims for second payment open from 17th August 2020.
  • 12 month 'grace period' for new UC claims from self employed - more generous rules from 23rd September 2020.
  • £150 reduction in Council Tax  -  for those getting Council Tax Benefit
  • Coronavirus and Benefits Update - our latest Briefing.
  • Latest DHP statistics - many LA's are topping up their funding
  • Your chance to WIN £50 for your local FOOD BANK and chocolates for you!
Important ruling
for ESA claimants who are 
found fit for work
A recent ruling by the High Court will make a big difference to many ESA claimants who are found fit for work.

The ruling means that claimants who are eligible to receive payments of ‘ESA pending appeal’ can get these sooner, without having to wait several weeks or having to claim Universal Credit instead.

They can now lodge their appeal and request payments of 'ESA pending appeal' straight away, rather than having to request a Mandatory Reconsideration.
More information - here
Universal Credit
New Regs close loophole for some Disabled Students
The Universal Credit Regulations have been amended to clarify the government's policy on which disabled students are able to make a new claim for UC.

The government's intention is that disabled people who have already been assessed as having a Limited Capability for Work (and who also get PIP, DLA or AA) can enter or remain in education and better their prospects of obtaining work. They are eligible to claim or retain their UC.

But the government's policy is not to enable a student to be referred for a Work Capability Assessment in order to determine whether they have a Limited Capability for Work, so that they can then receive Universal Credit.

Before the new Regulations came into force (from 5.8.20) some students had managed to get a new UC claim accepted (but not paid) in order that a Work Capability Assessment could be started. Once they had been assessed as having a LCW, their UC could then be paid. 
However, these amendment regulations close that loophole for claims made on or after 5th August 2020.

A student who gets PIP (or DLA or AA) and who wants to claim UC could:
  • check if they fit into any other group of students who can claim UC - eg lone parents
  • check if they would/should actually be classed as 'receiving education' - if not, they don't count as a student for UC purposes
  • make a 'credits only' claim for New Style ESA - and once they have been found to have a LCW through that route, then claim UC.
More info on UC for disabled students here
Test your knowledge and learn more about Universal Credit

Why not join our

Friday Quiz

We will be hosting a free Universal Credit Quiz on Friday 21st August 2020.
We have 50 places available.

Book yourself a place here: BOOKING FORM
The first 50 people to register will be invited to join.

You will need access to a device to join the Quiz 'meeting' plus a separate device such as a mobile phone or tablet to join in the Quiz.

The Quiz should last approx 30-45 mins

This month's quiz is all about: How UC is Calculated - aimed at helping you ensure your customers are receiving the correct amount of UC


Next SEISS payment due

The second Self Employed Income Support Scheme opens on 17 August.
Self employed people who received the first SEISS grant and who fit the eligibility criteria can apply for a second grant to cover the period from June to August 2020. 
The payments will be slightly lower than the first grant - as they are based on 70% of average monthly profits (not 80% as was the case for the first grant).

UC claimants could be affected by the Surplus Earnings rules as a result. 


Have you see our
Surplus Earnings

Click here to watch it.
More information on SEISS here
More info on UC Surplus Earnings Rules here
Want to know more about:

Surplus Earnings Rules?

Get booked on to our popular Workshop:
Added date: Thurs 20th August 10am - 12noon
Just £49+vat per delegate - click here for more info.
Universal Credit:
New 12 Month 'Grace Period' for Self-Employed

From 23rd September 2020 most new Universal Credit claimants who are 'gainfully self-employed' will have a 12-month ‘grace period’ before the 'Minimum Income Floor' kicks in.

More information on the new 'grace period' here

£150 reduction in Council Tax Bill  
Did you know that the government has set up a Council Tax Hardship Fund that provides extra help due to the Coronavirus outbreak to those on Council Tax Support / Reduction? 
For most claimants of Council Tax Support / Reduction this will mean a £150 reduction of their Council Tax bill for 2020-2021.
This should apply even if they are only entitled to 50p a week Council Tax Support or if they are only entitled to Council Tax Support for a few weeks.
More info on help with Council Tax Bills here
Coronavirus and Benefits Update: Latest Briefing
Click here for the Briefing

Latest DHP Statistics

New figures for April 2019-2020, released on 13th August 2020 show that DHPs are much needed!

  • 41% of local authorities spent more than their allocation from central government, ie. they topped up the DHP pot using their own funding.
  • Just 12% of local authorities spent less than 90% of their allocation.

You can find the statistics on gov.uk here.

More general info on DHPs here
Want to know more about:

EEA Nationals and UC

Book onto our
Blended Learning Course - 

which combines an interactive E-learning course with a 2 hour case study Workshop
for just £55+vat
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
The winner will be selected at random and can nominate a food bank of their choice to receive a £50 cheque from us, and they will receive a box of chocolates for themselves.

Well done to our July winner -  Katy from Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association - a £50 cheque is making its way to her chosen Foodbank.

To enter this month's competition, just email your entry to us by Friday 11th September 2020 for your chance to win.

This month's competition question - 

A UC claimant / joint claimants should not have their UC reduced by the Benefit Cap in any monthly assessment period when they have earned income (or joint earned income) of at least:

a) £604
b) £935
c) £1322 

Find your answer here

email your entry to: info@housingsystems.co.uk

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Keep yourself up to date and find out what we're up to!


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