Claiming with no income

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    We have a customer who returned from living abroad in January 2012 and rented a room from a friend. She lived off her (cash) savings until October 2012 and when they ran out she claimed housing benefit. She assured us that she had applied for JSA so we put the claim into payment with no real income pending the JSA decision. After a few months we tried to verify JSA and it turns out that she has no intention of looking for work or taking a job (she needs to be able to visit her children who live abroad with their father whenever she wants to/ is able) therefore she has been told she cannot apply for JSA. She has confirmed that her mother and sister buy all her food etc and friends cover her transport needs. Do we have to leave the claim running on nil income indefinitely? Notional JSA would still award maximum benefit but does not really apply as she has been told she can’t have JSA (even though she has deprived herself of it through her refusal to look for work) is there anything in the regs which allow us to cancel her claim until she makes herself available for work/ eligible for JSA?  

    Andy Thurman

    There is no work seeker-based ‘conditionality’ in HB so you just conduct a standard means test which confirms ‘full’ HB. IF you used JSA as notional income it wouldn’t affect anything if she has no other income but I don’t believe you can say she has “deprived” herself of it.

    By the way, there are no regs allowing you to cancel a claim (ever)!! 😉


    Sounds to me like she’s honestly stated that she does not meet the terms of the workseeker commitments contained within the JSA rules, because she’s not in a position to make herself available for work. She has also provided what seems to be a credible explanation of how she is maintaining herself. I cannot see why she would not be entitled to HB if she has a rent liability.

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