Welfare Rights: Gary Vaux provides some benefits news that you and your clients may not have heard about yet
The court ruled that the claimant in this test case was entitled to housing benefit until the end of the notice to quit.
The advantages are threefold. First, the claimant receives six weeks to complete the pack – no waiting for it to be posted out or posting back several days before the deadline. Second, the application can be saved both online and on the service user’s or adviser’s own computer. No more lost packs! Last, by sharing the online version with their adviser or social worker before sending it off, the claimant can receive “expert” help on completing the pack without travelling to an advice agency or having a home visit.
Take, for example, a single man who was receiving income support on top of his incapacity benefit. The income support included the extra premium from DLA Care. He also had full housing benefit. When he was admitted to hospital, he
lost his DLA after four weeks and, therefore, his income support as well. This left him just on incapacity benefit, which was now above the recalculated income support level – so he lost his full housing benefit too and had to pay something towards his rent.
Half of the respondents said they had insufficient training to enable them to do their job confidently. Some 45 per cent said they intended not to be working for the DWP in 12 months’ time.
Gary Vaux is head of money advice, Hertfordshire Council. He is unable to answer queries by post or telephone. If you have a question to be answered please write to him c/o Community Care