Can I still claim Housing Benefits If I Quit My Job?

This blog answers the question “Can I still claim Housing Benefits If I Quit My Job?”Housing Benefit is recently being replaced by Universal Credit for financing housing expenses so you can claim it instead. This blog also considers other options available for covering housing expenses when you quit your job.

Can I still claim Housing Benefits If I Quit My Job?

You can apply for Housing Benefits after quitting your job, if your request is not accepted you can file an appeal against your council’s decision. You must attach proper evidence to prove your case challenging the decision such as proof of income and expenses. Also your savings need to be under £16000 for claiming housing benefit.

For savings from £6000 to £16000, you will get your Housing Benefit Allowance reduced. Your unemployment means that you will now have lesser income than before, which could lead to an improvement in your circumstances (for the benefit claim)

A Housing Benefit rent allowance can help to cover your rental expenses while you are unemployed. This rent allowance is also beneficial for people with a low monthly income.

What are Housing Benefit payments?

You can only submit a new housing benefit application if one of the following situations arises:

  • If you have reached the state pension age 
  • If you are living in supervised, protected or temporary accommodation

Most people will not be permitted to submit a new housing subsidy application.

You can only submit a fresh housing grant application in one of the following situations:

  • Both you and your partner( if you have one) have reached state pension age. 
  • Starting from 15 May 2019 if only one of you have reached the state pension age and the other one is still under the limit. The following situation applies for the couple to qualify. They are ineligible for claiming pension credit unless they were claiming pension credit or the pension age housing benefit as a couple before 15th May 2019 and have had no gaps in their claim for the benefit since that date.
  • You are living in a sheltered housing or in temporary housing
  • Your landlord is a municipality, charity or housing association and provides you with support.

To apply for housing benefit, you usually need to:

  • have a low income or be claiming other benefits too
  • be at least 16 years old .At least 18 years old if you have lived in foster care
  • have under £16,000 in savings or claim Guaranteed Pension Credit

In case you are disabled, you can qualify for the Housing Benefit if:

  • The board decides you are “work restricted” and have been claiming it for 28 weeks 
  •  You have completed an ESA or Universal Credit assessment the same scores will be used for your approval for Housing Benefit
  • You are deaf and also claim a disability allowance
  • You are registered with your council as severely visually impaired or blind

How Can I Challenge my Local Council’s Housing Benefit decision?

You can challenge your local council’s decision about your Housing Benefit if you think a mistake has been made. This is known as appealing the decision.You usually need to make your appeal within 1 month of the council’s decision being communicated to you.

 If the council is still checking whether you’re entitled to Housing Benefit, you’ll need to wait until they’ve decided.

Even if you miss the 1 month deadline, it’s still worth appealing if you couldn’t do it sooner. The council will still reconsider the decision if they agree you couldn’t appeal in time.

For appealing the decision you will need to:

  • Inform the local council of the reason behind your appeal
  • Attach evidence with your appeal if possible
  • You can also choose to explain your reasons for appealing the decision to an independent tribunal if the council doesn’t agree 

If they ask you to write a letter, write “Objection” at the top of your letter in the contents of the letter:

  • Mention any reference numbers from the rental allowance letters
  • Mention your name and address
  • Mention your Citizen Service Number
  • Mention the date of the council decision which you are appealing
  • Mention why you think the council’s decision is wrong.

It is important to explain why the decision is wrong. You need to provide specific reasons for why you disagree.

Review the contents of your decision letter again and write down each of the statements you disagree with along with your reasons. Describe any evidence you submit to the tribunal and also explain how this evidence supports your reasons for disagreeing with their decision.

What are Discretionary Housing Payments?

Discretionary Housing Payments are designed to provide you with extra (short-term) support in paying your rent. You must be claiming Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit first, to be eligible to receive Discretionary Housing Payments. Also, it must be first demonstrated that the financial help provided by Universal Credit and Housing Benefit is insufficient to cover rent payments in your case.

So the requirements to apply for Discretionary Housing Payments are:

  • Being on Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit
  • Being able to prove the existence of a shortfall between the amount of rent you have to pay and your benefits (plus the income and savings you might have leftover to cover rent payments)

The documentation evidence which will be looked into includes:

  • Your income and savings. This will be your monthly pay slips or income from shares or assets and the level of your current savings
  • Your current bank loans and debts (which could be mortgage debts, council tax debts or credit card debts)
  • Evidence of anyone being disabled or diseased in your family or household. This evidence can become the basis of a Discretionary Housing Payment award.
  • Evidence of you having to receive care at home for a disability.
  • Proof of how and on what you spend your income.

The Discretionary Housing Payment can be applied for online You will need to upload scanned copies of the following documents in your online form:

  • A copy of your most recent payslip. If you are working
  • A copy of your bank account statements from the past 2 months
  • Evidence of any loans you have taken such as a credit card repayment agreement or mortgage repayment agreement.
  • In case you are unwell you will need to provide copies of recent medical evidence from the NHS or your (registered) medical practitioner.
  • Copies of any letters you have received from your landlord about your rent arrears

Discretionary Housing Payment in the UK helps those people who are affected by:

  • The benefit cap ( A limit on benefits)
  • The abolishment of the spare room subsidy in the social rented sector
  • Local Housing Allowance (rent) rates

What happens if I miss the housing benefit appeal deadline?

If you received the letter less than 13 months ago, you may still be able to appeal. You must have a good reason for the delay, for example:

  • you submitted your objection on time but it got lost in the mail
  • someone in your family was seriously ill so you could not appeal
  • you made a mistake in scheduling the appeal deadline
  • you were unable to receive advice in time
  • you needed medical help because your health situation made it harder for filing an appeal

If the board does not consider your late appeal, it must send it to a court called HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

The court will tell the board to review your appeal if it finds:

  • the council should have examined it, even if it was late
  • Your appeal must be handled for a different reason, such as if the decision prevents you from claiming other benefits or if you are in debt

The court will write to you to inform you if you have been given more time.

If it was more than 13 months ago

You can ask the municipality to change its decision if it has made a mistake, a so-called ‘official mistake’. This also applies if the municipality:

  • made a mistake in calculating the rent allowance
  • you missed a piece of evidence you sent them
  • I misunderstood some of the evidence you sent

You should write to the board explaining why you think they have made an official mistake. At the top of your letter, write “Request for official review of errors” and include:

Your full name

  • your social security number, if possible
  • that you disagree that you owe housing allowance (even if you have paid too much)
  • what was the official mistake?

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “Can I Still Claim Housing Benefit If I Quit My Job?”You may still be able to claim Housing Benefit after you quit your job but your circumstances will make it harder to make that claim now. Other benefits can be used for paying rent or mortgages such as Discretionary Housing Payments

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Can I Still Claim Housing Benefit If I Quit My Job?

I am going away for more than 7 weeks to visit my aunt in Walsall Council, do I need to inform my council?

Inform your town hall if you or someone you live with someone for a period exceeding:

  • 4 weeks spent abroad
  • 13 weeks spent the UK

You can continue to receive housing benefits as long as you plan to return to live in your accommodation and not rent it out while you are away.

Explain the causes for your absence from your property. How long you can receive housing benefit depends on giving acceptable reasons for your absence.You can receive housing benefit if you are absent for up to 13 weeks spent somewhere else in the UK.

You can receive housing benefit if you are absent for up to a year because:

  • You, your partner or your child are hospitalized or receiving treatment or care approved by your doctor
  • Someone else is receiving treatment and you are caring for their child
  • You are evaluating a retirement home by living in it on a temporary basis.
  • You are providing care for a person, as their designated carer.
  • You were forced to move out of your home in fear, due to risk of injury or violence from a family member like your partner.
  • You are enrolled as a student and have to live in an accommodation provided by your school or university during the study session.
  • You are attending a training course
  • You are in police custody or awaiting sentencing for a crime.
  • You are required to live away from your home as a condition of the bond

If you suddenly had to leave your home, you could also qualify for housing benefits to cover the cost of living in a dormitory instead. When you go abroad

As a general rule, you can receive housing allowance if you are traveling for up to 4 weeks.

 You can get it for up to 8 weeks if you are staying abroad due to the death of your partner. You might also be staying in another country owing to the death of a child who was also claiming housing benefit.

You can receive housing benefit if you stay abroad for a maximum period to 26 weeks because:

  • You, or your partner or your child have been hospitalized. You or your wife and children could also be receiving treatment from your doctor at this time.
  • You are living in a retirement home to evaluate its facilities (on a temporary basis)
  • You were forced to move out of your home in fear, due to risk of injury or violence from a family member like your partner.
  • Either you or your partner are conscripted as temporary military personnel and have been using your temporary living allowance (TLA) to cover lodging expenses.
  • You or your partner are sailors, working offshore on an oil rig.

What is Statutory Redundancy Pay?

Statutory Redundancy Pay is a compensation payment to a worker whose services are no longer needed by the employer because the company plans to reduce the workforce or downsize business activities. A worker laid off under the statutory redundancy condition would have kept their job in better economic times or if their job was more essential to the organization.

So with this justification for a layoff a worker must be awarded monetary compensation in the form of Statutory Redundancy Pay. A worker is normally entitled to getting Statutory Redundancy Pay if they have spent at least 2 years in the service of their employer.

You will have:

  • half a week’s salary for each full year spent on the job, under the age of 22 years
  • weekly earnings for each full year that you were 22 years or older but under 41 years of age
  • one and a half weeks of pay for each full year you were 41 years or older and working for the employer who has made you redundant

The overall term of service is limited to 20 years.

Your weekly salary is the average salary you earned during the 12 weeks leading up to the the date of your termination.

If you were laid off on or after April 6, 2022, your weekly wage will be capped at £ 571. Also the maximum statutory severance pay you can get after being made redundant after 6th April 2022 is £ 17,130. In case of a redundancy before 6 April 2022, these amounts will be lower.

You are not entitled to Statutory Redundancy Pay if:

  • your employer offers to re employ
  • your employer offers you a suitable alternative job that you refuse for no good reason
  • You have been dismissed for misconduct. Dismissal for misconduct does not count as dismissal, so you will not receive statutory severance pay in this case.

You are not eligible for getting Statutory Redundancy Pay if you are included in the following categories:

  • former registered dock workers  and shared fishermen
  • UK civil servants (crown servants), members of the British armed forces or members of the Metropolitan Police.
  •  students at the end of the training course who have failed to find (get) a job
  • Working as a housekeeper for one of the family members of your employer

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