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AIBU?

Universal credit argghhhh

20 replies

recklessruby · 11/10/2018 12:53

My best friend has just called me in tears due to her housing association wanting rent arrears of £1400 by tomorrow. She used to get housing benefit but uc have been paying her expecting her to pay the rent with it. She hasn't as she thought it was paid by them.
My friend has learning difficulties and works part time. She can't pay this.
She needs time.
Aibu to think uc is a shower of shit and putting vulnerable people at risk of eviction?
Also aibu to call her housing association later on her behalf and explain things?
Surely they can't expect her to pay all that tomorrow?
She can't function. She is in a blind panic and I have some experience of the rights of tenants and the benefits system (not UC though. That's a tough one).

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gamerchick · 11/10/2018 12:58

How did you not know that UC pays the rent to the tennant and they have to pay it. It's been shouted about since it's conception?

Your best friend and you didn't know this? It's the first thing I tell our vulnerable families when they get moved onto this.

You can ring them maybe with her permission I don't know. Sort out a payment plan and standing order for it.

Then go through her budgeting with her.

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recklessruby · 11/10/2018 13:03

I didn't know as I asked her if she was ok with rent and she said yes I ticked the bit about paying it to the landlord.
I only get a little bit of housing benefit myself so don't know about UC. It's only just coming into our area.

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Lazypuppy · 11/10/2018 13:18

How did you friend not realise she had so much extra money per month asthe rent portion was being paid to her!?

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recklessruby · 11/10/2018 13:47

I don't really know tbh. It's a right mess and I m trying to sort it out for her. They said they could issue an emergency payment which would be deducted from UC until it's paid off.

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EwItsAHooman · 11/10/2018 13:49

How did you friend not realise she had so much extra money per month asthe rent portion was being paid to her!?

Depending on the type and extent of her learning difficulties she probably presumed the money being received was correct a d rent had already been paid, as per the old system

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arethereanyleftatall · 11/10/2018 13:55

Yanbu to call the housing association on her behalf. That's a nice thing to do, and the right thing.

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AamdC · 11/10/2018 13:56

I dont think this is univerals credits fault maybe a lack of communication and maybe somone needs ro be helping her with her finances though?

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chasegirl · 11/10/2018 14:05

Now she has rent arrears of more than 2 months worth of rent she can apply to have her housing part of UC paid directly to her landlord (or her landlord can apply for this).

Crazy system. I don't think the housing part is explained well at all for people who used to be on HB paid directly to landlords

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Neshoma · 11/10/2018 14:25

It's not the fault of UC. Surely she has been receiving letters about this for months.

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Bombardier25966 · 11/10/2018 14:32

The claimant has learning difficulties and will be used to the rent element being paid directly to the HA.

The OP ticked that the rent should be paid directly to the HA, which is permitted where a claimant is unable to manage it themselves. The DWP failed to action this.

What part of this is not the fault of the DWP?

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Bombardier25966 · 11/10/2018 14:35

@Neshoma, it's not unusual for people with learning difficulties to ignore or hide post, as they find it too overwhelming to deal with. You do come across as devoid of all empathy whenever there is a post about benefits.

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HelenaDove · 11/10/2018 14:50

she comes across as a bloody sociopath.

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TheOxymoron · 11/10/2018 14:58

I would suggest an email over a call so there is always a record of everything discussed. Perhaps advise her to go to citizens advice. They may be able to provide or recommend an advocate that can negotiate a payment plan for her.

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Neshoma · 11/10/2018 16:19

You do come across as devoid of all empathy whenever there is a post about benefits.

Sorry you find this unsympathetic, but tapping someone on the head, saying there, there isn't helping the situation either. If your income and home depends on understanding the system then the friend really needs to be encouraged and taught to share these things before they become too bad. To turn around and blame the state however is wrong.

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EwItsAHooman · 11/10/2018 17:09

If your income and home depends on understanding the system then the friend really needs to be encouraged and taught to share these things before they become too bad. To turn around and blame the state however is wrong.

If part of someone's learning disability is that they don't seek appropriate support and/or cannot ask for help then all the encouragement and teaching in the world will not change that. The state needs to provide better safeguarding for vulnerable individuals such as this and make sure that they are supported, the DWP failed to make direct payments to the landlord so they do have blame in this.

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Feefeetrixabelle · 11/10/2018 17:14

Call the housing association with her so she can give permission for you to talk. Has she been taken to court? If not then that will be the next step if she can’t pay in full. If by the time they get a court date she has been paying her rent and clearing the arrears then the judge will look favourably on this. If she can give the housing association a payment plan tonight they might also agree to that

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recklessruby · 11/10/2018 19:11

Update. I have called the housing association and spoken to them and they are sending e mails to UC and my friend.
My friend has panic attacks and tends to ignore post. She finds it hard to talk on the phone and cannot read very well.
She went to a special school for learning difficulties.
I m now allowed to act as advocate for her with them all.
I didn't realise the extent of the problem as she just kept saying her rent was paid.

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flowercrow · 11/10/2018 19:27

So glad your friend has you to help her.

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MissMisery · 12/10/2018 11:06

Yes... you sound like a lovely friend 🌸

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Persiangirl · 12/10/2018 22:34

Really kind of you, hope things get sorted for her x

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