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Advice needed for newly separated single mum - housing benefit

(8 Posts)
ohgawdherewegoagain Thu 28-Jul-11 15:04:04

Hi, Can anyone tell me whether housing benefit could be paid to a lone mother if she "owns" a house with her former partner? My daughter and her two children have moved in with me following a relationship split. Her ex p and her own a house and he has refused to move so she has. There really is little or no equity in the house and the local authority are saying that the claim for housing benefit will take 6 - 8 weeks. She cannot commit on the rented house until she has a decision on HB and staying with me for this length of time is going to be difficult. (I currently have 4 generations here and a very excitable dog!!) Thank you in anticipation.

aliceliddell Thu 28-Jul-11 15:13:51

I see why you chose your name, OP! Get advice from CAB or Gingerbread or Child Poverty Action Group before you claim, tell them nothing until you have that advice or you might get disallowed unnecessarily. Good luck.

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 16:31:36

Hi op, I have recently separated and still own a house with ExP. I was exactly in the same situation as your daughter, I had to leave because he was not willing to leave so I had to rent a house for my DD and myself. I am not getting HB at the moment but that is another matter. They will ask your daughter what are the plans for the house, current value of the property and if there is any intention on selling the house and her financial interest in the property.

If your daughter has a solicitor who is dealing with the separation she may need a letter to explain that her ExP is keeping the house. She may need to be removed from the mortgage and he will have to pay off your daughter, at least what it has been paid of mortgage while they were together.Her solicitor will be able to tell her what she is entitle to

Check with CAB but in my case they were not very helpful. If she is not working she can find some solicitor that will help her with her benefits and she can get Legal Aid. Check this link to find a solicitor

www.lawsociety.org.uk/choosingandusing/findasolicitor.law

Hope everything goes well and good luck

ohgawdherewegoagain Thu 28-Jul-11 17:17:24

Thanks both - a solicitor it is then!

lorna220210 Fri 29-Jul-11 14:36:15

My advice is dont even bother claiming housing benefit has been the most stressful event of my life. I ended up in debt with my rent because they took so long i now have a letter stating how much they owe me for different periods which i have no idea why they pay me diffrent amounts every few weeks but from the 10th july 10 days after i lost my job they have decided i am not entitled to anything!!

PinkCarBlueCar Fri 29-Jul-11 20:44:51

Housing Benefit is dependant on two main factors - what your income is (I'm guessing Lorna's was variable), and how much you have in assets / savings.

Itsnotpossible has it bang on with regards to the assets side of things, as the (currently) jointly owned property will be considered a potential asset. She may be asked for the latest mortgage statement to show the equity. The other side of things is that the DWP is likely to also want similar information in order to decide if your daughter is eligible for benefits. That said, I'd hazard a guess that she'll get JSA or Income Support (with JSA being more likely if both children are of school age).

That said, if your daughter works, then it becomes an income based claim (try www.entitledto.co.uk for a guide to what her benefits entitlement is likely to be), and as said, the HB department will be wanting what itsnotpossible said.

If you have one in your area, you could try Accommodation Concern as an alternative to CAB.

itsnotpossibleisit Fri 29-Jul-11 20:52:18

In my personal experience if she owns £16,000 or more on the equity from the property she may not get HB as it will be considered as savings even though she does not have the money. It is all about financial interest and equity from the property. This amount will also be taken into consideration for any other benefits whoever it won't be applied to JSA income based where the quantity goes down to £6,000 or over. She will need a recent mortgage statement for JSA or IS as well as for HB. She will also need a letter from solicitor where clearly shows how much equity she is entitle from the property and how much money she should get to be removed from the mortgage.

All these is what I have had to provide for the WPD and also for the HB department.

flabbyapronbelly Fri 29-Jul-11 21:34:04

Hi ohgawdherewegoagain - I am a benefit officer at my local authoirty. Any marital home is disregarded for 26 weeks if you have left with the children. After the 26 weeks the value of the home minus the mortgage (ie - the equity) then minus 10% (cost of selling) is taken as capital. Anything above £6,000 and she would not be eligible.
The LA will not be able to assess the housing benefit claim until she submits a signed tenancy agreement and is either in the property or about to move in (ie a few days before).
Most Local Authority website seem to have benefit calculators on there to give a good idea of entitlement.
LHA direct will also give you an idea of how much as a maximum she could claim, you just have to enter the postcode of the area she is thinking of moving to. For number of bedrooms it is worked out on 1 room per adult couple, 1 room per 2 children if under 10, if over 10 years old would be one room for up to 2 children of the same sex
Good luck with everything

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