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Housing benefit can anyone explain please

(28 Posts)
Pickleypickles Thu 08-Jun-17 18:42:23

Hi all can anyone explain how housing benefit works please? Just don't a calculator which says I can claim £57 a week housing benefit, the area I live the average rental price is £550-£600 pcm, with the housing benefit my total earnings will be around £1100, I'm a single mum and did work full time, on maternity leave until November though and will only go back 3 days a week. I currently live with my parents who are selling up and moving 100 miles away, it's not practical for me to go with them (new house is only 2 bed for a start) so I will be homeless as soon as the sale has gone through.
Please tell me IBU in thinking I can't afford a £550/600 pcm rent and then pay all my bills and raise a baby on £1100 ? Does this sound about right for what help I will get?

ChildishGambino Thu 08-Jun-17 18:44:40

I'd pop into your local CAB or make an appointment as they're best placed to help. Hope you get it sorted.

StillDrivingMeBonkers Thu 08-Jun-17 18:46:16

It wont just be HB you get - which pays a portion of your rent - you'll be claiming tax credits etc which on a 3 day week will be quite hefty.

PookieDo Thu 08-Jun-17 18:46:49

You will get tax credits you need to do that calculation as well. And child support

It's based on your local housing allowance and your income not just local rent. Like my local rent is £1000 or so PM for 2 bed house, the max housing allowance is £167 per week, and I earn £1500 pm in my job, and get £200 housing benefit a month so the rest of what you live on is tax credits and child support.

Oswin Thu 08-Jun-17 18:48:20

Are you claiming tax credits? If not when you claim remember you need to do it on your new earnings and not on last year's.

impossibledreams Thu 08-Jun-17 18:49:16

Could you work more than 3 days? It would mean you earn approx. another £300 per month.

Pickleypickles Thu 08-Jun-17 18:51:13

Sorry shouldn't of explained better my wages atm (on mat leave) are about £600 and tax credits £250 for working and £250 for child so £1100 is with all the benefits I can claim.

I did go CAB but the woman was next to useless - I asked her how I was meant to afford it and she went "yeah you can't really can you" in a pathetic dopey voice! Ha but I guess I could go again and see someone else

impossibledreams Thu 08-Jun-17 18:53:47

Yes so what I am saying is why can't you work more hours when you go back in November?

3boys3dogshelp Thu 08-Jun-17 18:53:56

Can you go back to work sooner? Does the baby's dad pay you any maintenance?

AndNowItIsSeven Thu 08-Jun-17 18:54:15

So you mean your total income whilst on maternity is £1100. If so just rent a one bed you don't need two beds atm.

PookieDo Thu 08-Jun-17 18:55:27

So £600 wages
£250 tax credits
£250 for child (is this child support? Are you getting this?)
£225 housing benefit

This is £1325 and your rent would be £500 possibly, which is less than 50% of your income so it sounds about right

I may seem that I have 'more' money but my rent is double yours and yes I have to live off £500 per month pretty much and it's a struggle and I work full time (and studying)

I think I saw something that nowadays a lot of people are paying 70% of their income to rent and it's exactly why people want labour back in power

Bungleboggs Thu 08-Jun-17 18:56:34

Have you looked at the entitledto website? Will show exactly what you can claim

DoublyTroubly Thu 08-Jun-17 18:58:44

Can you get a 1 bed place? As long as there's room for a cot in bedroom you should be fine until the baby is 2

Pickleypickles Thu 08-Jun-17 19:00:24

Dad was abusive and isn't involved at all, doesn't work anyway so he wouldn't have to pay regardless
pookie thank you I didn't realise I had my maths wrong!! £1300 sounds much more doable, I expected it to be a struggle and to be tight so I'm not worried about not having ""disposable income" I just thought £1100 sounded impossible. Thank you all for replying smile

Becca19962014 Thu 08-Jun-17 19:03:16

It's calculated to cover the lowest third of rents in your area (usually it's a county but it can be across two counties - I know my area for LHA
is across two counties and doesn't cover anywhere near rent in populated areas like towns (I'm in rural Wales)) and the number of bedrooms you are deemed to need, which in your case would be one (I think).

It's also calculated according to your age, if you are between 21 and 35 you get one room rate in a shared house, though because you have a baby you would (I think) qualify for one bedroom bedsit type place, so room with your own kitchen and bathroom.

Extra rent people are expected to make up from other money.

Don't underestimate how difficult it can be to rent, in terms of being accepted as a tenant, when on benefits

LakieLady Thu 08-Jun-17 19:10:30

The online calculators are usually accurate, but they depend on you putting the right info in. CAB staff aren't always the best at this, they use professional benefit software and you need to really know what you're doing to get the right result.

Because your income will be lower this year than last, you will need to give HMRC an estimate of what it will be for this financial year. Your tax credits will then be higher. Have you factored in child care costs? You'll get help with those added to your tax credits, too.

Getting a one-bed flat is good advice. Your housing benefit will still be based on the local housing allowance for a 2-bed, so you could well get a bit more housing benefit compared to rent by doing that.

Also do your utmost to get maintenance from your baby's father, as that doesn't count as income for benefit purposes so it will make you properly better off.

I also recommend you put your name on the council's housing register. While it will take a long time, it's still the only way for people on low incomes to get affordable rents in many parts of the country.

Becca19962014 Thu 08-Jun-17 19:15:01

(Apologies I thought that LHA was one bedroom until a child was a certain age not two)

PookieDo Thu 08-Jun-17 19:30:27

I'm not sure housing benefit age rules apply if you have a baby. Happy to be corrected but I thought it only restricted single people without children

You really should try to get maintenance

I did find it hard to find a rental place, the moment they know you will need to claim they don't want to know so I ended up with a dodgy landlord

I have 2 kids of the same sex and get 2 bedroom entitlement

AyeAmarok Thu 08-Jun-17 20:13:33

Can you get tax credits etc while on maternity leave? Surely not?

ChildishGambino Thu 08-Jun-17 20:15:08

No, you can't.

PeaFaceMcgee Thu 08-Jun-17 20:19:00

Yes you can

BitchQueen90 Thu 08-Jun-17 20:25:20

Housing benefit is not calculated by age when you have a baby, it's only if you are a single person and yes you can get a 2 bedroom place, I claimed housing benefit from when my DS was 10 months. So you should get LHA for a 2 bedroom place. I don't think they'll pay you extra if you get a 1 bed place though? They'll just calculate the LHA for a one bedroom instead of a 2.

I work part time and earn similar to you, I get roughly the same amount of tax credits. Have you calculated in child benefit as well? I also get £45pw housing benefit but my rent is a lot lower than yours plus I get maintenance from DS's dad so we manage OK.

thistlewine Thu 08-Jun-17 20:26:54

Yes you can claim child tax credits once baby is born and working tax credits I think as on maternity leave you are still employed. If I remember correctly my baby isn't a baby anymore.
Op I think you will be entitled to 2 beds, I was but again a while ago since mine was little. Also is the difference in rent price between 2 and one bedroom places that great? It isn't a massive difference around here might be worth going with 2 and paying slightly more than having to move again in a couple of years.

expatinscotland Thu 08-Jun-17 20:31:45

I'd look to rent the smallest place possible, the cuts under the Tories will only get worse.

Pickleypickles Thu 08-Jun-17 21:10:11

childish yes you can claim while on maternity, in fact they went up to make up for what I lose not working but thanks for your input hmm

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