Couples where one member is sick or disabled and the other is working 16 hours or more per week could become entitled to HB, or could get more HB, following a change in the HB Regulations.
The additional earnings disregard of £17.10 per week applies to claimants in various circumstances. It can mean more than £11 extra Housing Benefit every week.
For more information click here.
What has changed?
For couples where one is disabled, the rules before 23rd June 2017 required that it was the disabled person who was working 16 or more hours per week in order to qualify for the £17.10 additional earnings disregard.
The good news is that from 23rd June 2017, it does not have to be the disabled member of the couple who is working:the additional earnings disregard applies whichever member of the couple is working 16 or more hours a week.
This change, therefore, will affect couples where the member of the couple who is sick or disabled is not the member of the couple who is working 16 or more hours a week.
The disabled member of the couple must be:
- In the work related activity group for ESA, or
- Getting ESA with the Support Component, or
- Getting Disability Living Allowance, or
- Getting Personal Independence Payment, or
- Getting Attendance Allowance, or
- Getting Constant Attendance Allowance, or
- Getting Armed Forces Independence Payment, or
- Getting War pensioner's mobility supplement, or
- Getting Working Tax Credit that includes the disability element or severe disability element, or
- Certified as severely sight impaired or blind, or
- Incapable of work and has been incapable for 52 weeks (or 28 weeks if terminally ill).
Can you help?
The problem with this change is that there are no guarantees that the Housing Benefit Offices will find out who should now benefit from the extra earnings disregard. And HB Offices cannot be expected to know about anyone who is not currently claiming HB! So it would be great if this news could be circulated to tenants. If you have a tenants' newsletter or news page on your customer website, the following text may be useful to you...
A change in the Housing Benefit rules- Could you benefit?
A change in the Housing Benefit rules means that some people will now qualify for help towards their rent and others could get more Housing Benefit.
Contact us if all of the following apply to you -
- You are a member of a couple who live together, and
- You are not receiving Income Related ESA, Income Support, Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance, Universal Creditor Pension Credit, and
- One of you works for 16 or more hours per week, and
- The other is sick or disabled.