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Housing benefit

(8 Posts)
MollyBloomYes Sun 07-Feb-16 13:21:51

I've tried googling but no clear answers, hoping someone can help!

Background: husband left two months ago, we have a 21 month old and a seven week old (yes he did leave a month before dc2 was born). He currently puts money in joint account to cover bills but this is an arrangement between us, no court order or csa etc.

I'm currently receiving maternity allowance, child benefit and am waiting to hear about my application for tax credits. Not working and unlikely to find a job that will pay enough when childcare for two is taken into account (plan was always to wait until kids went to school before returning to work. Qualified for maternity allowance due to when I finished work with dc1 and the gap between pregnancies)

At the moment we're living with my parents but this can't continue indefinitely so need to look at housing options. Imagine I would qualify for housing benefit under current situation but how does it get paid, eg do I need to be living somewhere before I can claim hb for it? If so how on earth do I pay rent before the claim goes through? Or can I claim once I've found a place but before the rent is due iyswim? Never mind finding someone who'll take housing benefit in the first place sad

I've just read this back and I sound really grabby. I'm honestly not, just can't really work until the 30 free hours for childcare come through for dc1. This was never the plan but clearly my husband didn't get that memo...

minsmum Sun 07-Feb-16 13:30:22

You can't claim housing benefit until you have a liability to pay rent. Benefit is always paid in arrears, normally a month in arrears. Where I live you have to pay a month's deposit and a month in advance.

Stoneagemum Sun 07-Feb-16 13:34:49

It might be a good idea to close the joint account and have him pay maintenance into an account in your name only. A joint account infers joint finances so could be viewed by the jobsworths at the tax credit office as you not being single.

MollyBloomYes Sun 07-Feb-16 17:06:35

Thank you for the clarification about hb minsmum
Stoneagemum bugger I had no idea. Off to the bank then. And to sort out all the direct debits. This is just the gift that keeps on giving!

charlybear7 Sun 07-Feb-16 19:57:12

Molly - completely with you on your situation, although my ex left 2 months before our 2nd son's birth. So far I've realised that single mum's get it tough I every aspect! But I guess it all just makes you stronger! I keep thinking my time time will come ..... one day X

MollyBloomYes Sun 07-Feb-16 20:25:23

Oh it will, this too shall pass smile

Lurkedforever1 Sun 07-Feb-16 20:35:41

As said you do need the liability before you will receive hb. Worth looking on the councils website to see what the local housing allowance is and give you an idea what help you could get. But bear in mind the maximum lha and the cheapest private rent often don't match up, so you may well have to top it up.

As for getting someone to let to you, my advice is don't mention the hb. You won't be lying because it won't be till after you've agreed to a tenancy and applied for hb that you'll officially be claiming. If it's a letting agent they will want to do the checks and see proof of income before agreeing to a tenancy. However if you can get either your ex or your parents to act as guarantor you can get round that.

MollyBloomYes Sun 07-Feb-16 21:51:00

Yes I had considered using a guarantor as a bit of a sweetener. Have already checked out local council rates etc and will def need to top up but still better than nothing!

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