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Housing Benefit Rant !!!

(19 Posts)
kymbo Sat 22-Jan-05 14:26:55

Now, before I start I do want to say that it is wonderful that here in Britain we have help such as HB but bloody hell I wish they'd get it right!!!
We have been receiving HB as a top up to our rent as we are classed as a 'low income' family,well we are a low income family! Anyway,we recently had a minor change of circumstance that affected our benefit. That was in October,that we went to them about this and we now haven't received any HB since then,while they are reviewing are claim. I'm sorry but I really had to get this off my chest as we have just had to go to the in-laws for a loan,which we cannot afford to pay back,just to be able to pay the rent. It's really caught up with us.
I'm just thinking what about those who don't have others to help,when things like this go wrong. In-laws may not be a fav among Mumsnetters but once again mine have come through,and I'm extremely thankful for them!
Rant over.
Sorry if you're not interested.

Frizbe Sat 22-Jan-05 14:28:43

no that's fine, rant away thats what we're here for!

misdee Sat 22-Jan-05 14:36:57

i would've not paid lol. if you are still entitled to some HB, i woud've just paid the shortfall, as they will hopefully backdate it all to oct. i had this problem when i moved into a new property and it took about 4 months to sort out my full HB. i kept getting letters from the HA (as did everyone who was trying to claim), and we had to keep phoning them up as we couldnt afford to pay.

kymbo Sat 22-Jan-05 14:59:24

Thing is,we are renting privatly. Stupidly tricked by an evil woman at our local Housing Options team. I know it may sound as though I am being rather harsh about this woman,I'm not,she had me in tears,really needs to work on her people skills. Anyhow,when made homeless by parents when I got pregnant,this woman,said we had the option of either going into temporary accomadation(which was 15 miles from dh's work and he wasn't driving at the time,no buses,impossible)or put our names on the housing list and go into private accomadation(with HB help) then one sweet day,our names will come up on the HA list.(e.t.d 1yr)
So we did.
I contacted the HA a year later to see how far along the list we were,only to be told we were not even on the list as the Housing Options Unit woman took us off!
Contacted her and she said yes,she did take us off as we were now in 'secure accomadation'!!
So we are now stuck in a rut. So according to this woman people who have a roof over their heads are not aloud on a housing waiting list!

Change of subject, my PILs have just brought the kids back, with new shoes, and a weeks shopping!

misdee Sat 22-Jan-05 15:02:17

try again to get onto the list. also try the council and not just HA.

moschops Sat 22-Jan-05 15:03:16

we used to claim housing benefit due to being low income. then FIL (our accountant) read all the relevant paper work and decided that working tax credits were much better. we get loads less hassle claiming this than when we were claiming housing and council tax benefit.

it might be worth getting all the relevant paper work and checking if you are eligible.

(we basically get the same amount of money as we did before)

moschops Sat 22-Jan-05 15:08:41

and further to misdee's post......find out about every housing association operating in your area (there may only be one, but there are several in ours so it's worth checking), and ask to apply to be put on their housing list. and yes apply to the council too. i've learnt from experience you have to take an active interest in your own welfare, the authorities are notoriously lazy/imcompetent.

kymbo Sat 22-Jan-05 15:28:55

Yes, am definatly going to put my name back on the list and ask to be notified if anyone takes me off,as we were sat here for a year thinking we were on it!
Our council don't have any homes,they nominate you to the local HA's. There's one application form,and then you tick which HA's you want to be added to,and they do the rest. Have filled it in and am handing it in on Monday(fingers crossed).

Tortington Sat 22-Jan-05 15:32:07

re: not paying it - the rules to your rent are - its YOUR responsability - even if housing benefit fuck up - which is why the HA's still send out the letters - even though they know - and most are very understanding.

re: private renting - you should phone the housing office tell them you are behind on your rent - get a rent statement ( as you havent recieved HB) and tell them you simply cannot afford to private rent and you will soon be homeless - see who shifts their arse - and the usual advice i give.... get the local newspapers involved - free papers and local evening paper, local radio - use the internet to get their contact details - write to all the councillors in your area, write to your MP - sending copies to the Housing office. the squeeky wheel gets the oil - i absolutley promise becuase the more you nag nag nag the more they want rid of you.

xxxxgood luck

winnie Sat 22-Jan-05 16:17:52

kymbo, I really sympathise. However, custardo is right and you the private renting system is such that it is very easy once you are in rent arrears (for any reason) to start possession proceedings. You have done the best thing in boring money to keep up to date with your rent. Hopefully your HB will be backdated and you will be able to pay bck inlaws. I also agree with custardo that you need to get onto anyone who willlisten, make yourself a problem, get help from the CAB if necessary and the council will want to get it sorted to get you off their backs.
It is disgraceful that it takes so long and there are so many cock ups along the way.
Please rant away, & best wishes, Winnie

misdee Sat 22-Jan-05 17:34:54

when the back date it (which they should) make sure the cheque comes to you so u can pay back the in-laws.

custy, i really didnt have the money for the rent, as it was near on £80 a week and was on income support. the problem with the estate was that none of the postcodes were registered, so they couldnt pay out. we were phoning each and every week the HA and the council to try and sort it out. i know some people got really stressed about it.

nutcracker Sat 22-Jan-05 18:18:13

Ring up every single housing asociation in your area and ask to be put on their list. When they put you on it, ring them up loads and loads to see where you are on the list, what else you could do to get more points etc and basically keep nagging them.

It's a pain in the arse but in the end they will know it is you before you have even given your name, and thats exactly what you want, cos that way they know you are not going to give up.

janeybops Sat 22-Jan-05 18:28:45

have you been in contact with them and explained the situation?

kymbo Sat 22-Jan-05 18:30:52

Thanks for the support guys!
My HV has already been on to the local newspaper about it, she was reaaly p**sed off when I told her,she gave me the same advice,just keep on and on at them. She has even wrote a letter for me to hand in with the application form saying that I have PND and all this money worry is doing me no good. If we fall so far behind with the rent that we get evicted,the council don't have to house us as we've made ourselves 'intentionally' homeless! We cant borrow again,so I just hope it gets sorted A.S.A.P!!!
HB gets paid straight to us so we will use it for the repayment to the in-laws. WHEN IT COMES...

kymbo Sat 22-Jan-05 18:35:17

Our landlord knows the situation and is actually okay. He did remind us though,when we called saying the rent'd be late,that FIL is the garanturrrrr,(can't spell it,sorry)so we should ask him for the money!

kymbo Tue 01-Feb-05 14:58:45

Hooray! It's finally sorted,but now they are saying they have over paid us.
I've worked it out and they are right,so they are taking a bit out each week. They have back dated it too so we can pay back the Inlaws.
I'm quite please actually as they could have just taken what we owe out of the back payment but that said that would be unfair,so taking it weekly.

misdee Tue 01-Feb-05 15:06:05

thank goodness it sorted. are you abck on te lists yet?

kymbo Tue 01-Feb-05 15:08:46

Yes,and I handed it in with a cover letter,saying I wanted to be notified if anyone tries to remove us from the list. Although still waiting for confirmation letter to say I'm on list...

winnie Tue 01-Feb-05 15:26:31

kymbo, what a relief for you.

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