Housing Benefit or Universal Credit

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    Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated we have a couple who are currently in receipt of ESA (IR).
    They move out of the temporary accommodation on 20.01.24 (keys handed in that day) and straight into a council tenancy. The council tenancy doesn’t start until 22.01.24. Currently we have paid rent up to 20.01.24. As there is a gap in the liability are we able to continue to pay as HB or do we need to tell them to claim UC. With a normal tenancy I would have thought we could have paid until the end of the week and then carried on paying the council tenancy but with the supported having a definite end date I am not sure what we can do?

    Thanks in advance

    John Boxall

    I might start by having a word with housing, I cant imagine they would say no to two days rent………….

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield


    No there is a gap in the liability and they are working age it seems (unless mixed age?). So in principle UC. Would it matter? Might they be better off on UC perhaps? Why would they want to continue on HB and not move to UC. DWP tell us how much better off many folk are on UC in general. Well…. But there again the migration rules might not apply for some years. .

    Peter Barker

    My view is that HB is always, without exception, a weekly benefit and the award is continuous unless you have a clear benefit week without entitlement.

    The reasoning is:

    – s130 says you are entitled to HB if, inter alia, there is an “appropriate maximum HB” (AMHB)
    – s130A provides for Regulations to prescribe the manner in which AMHB is determined. At this stage, no mention is made of the period covered by AMHB
    – HB Reg 70 says that AMHB is the eligible rent calculated on a weekly basis under Reg 80
    – Under Reg 80, eligible rent can be anything from 1 to 14 days’ rent depending on the circumstances, but it’s always eligible rent for the week. In this case, there has been a change of dwelling and Reg 80 says the eligible rent is the number of days’ liability for the two dwellings aggregated, which is 5 + 0. This means HB for the week of the move is slightly lower than it was the previous week, and from the next week it will be 7 days’ new rent. Award is continuous.

    If you don’t buy that, here is an alternative way to keep HB going: unless the decision to end HB was made in “real time” on the Saturday or Sunday, which I doubt, this would be a textbook closed period supersession.

    Having said all that, if their ESA(ir) does not include an SDP but does include a support component, UC is worth a look.

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