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Housing Benefit

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Housing Benefit

At one time housing benefit was paid direct to the Landlord but this was changed so the claimant got the money to pay the  Landlord,
Anyone know why this was changed and was it a good idea to change it ?
The word " Landlord " is a very old term  perhaps it should be changed to "property owner" ?
51 REPLIES
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Re: Housing Benefit

How strange that you should ask as I was searching for answers to these questions along with when did it change yesterday.
I think it happened early to mid-noughties around the same time that the LHA (Local Housing Allowance) was brought in Undecided
Wasn't the idea to help empower those on benefits by giving them more control over their finances.
Doesn't matter to me whether it be landlord, landlady or property owner.
The reason I was searching was due to a discussion with the ex-wife over our daughter who is thinking of renting. I remember when I started renting in 2005 that my (new) wife and I were only entitled to Housing benefit in relation to a one bedroom property. If we wanted a two bedroom property then we wouldn't get any HB. Then LHA come in and I found we could rent as many bedrooms as we wished but would only get  the one bed allowance. My ex-wife believed that you could always get Housing Benefit up to you eligible room allowance irrespective of how many rooms you actually rented. Never did find the answer.

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Re: Housing Benefit

Have you had a look on your local council website.... look under Revenue (if they have that as a title) or when you are on the site, key in Housing Benefit, in their search box....
Our local council site does give specific amounts depending on number of bedrooms.... ( can`t remember exactly what the criteria was.... )....
nanotm
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Re: Housing Benefit

it changed to optional about a decade ago (some people weren't offered the option due to prior bad conduct) so a claimant could choose how there benefit got paid, this was due to the human rights bill and the apparently making people responsible for sorting there own life out instead of the nanny state doing it for them,
for some people it was a really good idea for others it has just exposed more flaws in there already damaged character, the people who pay there bills and buy food + cloths then the treats with whatever is left are probably doing better under the system others however would rather complain that its someone else's fault and that instead of taking responsibility for there failings blame the state for everything and still expect to get given a house and cash in there skyrocket for nothing
the recent change that's being rolled out with Universal credit (everyone gets there rent money and has to pay the landlord themselves) is unsurprising leading to more evictions however for once the state is correct in the assertion that "its your money its your life you sort it out " because if they don't do that then when the "looked after" gets a job and has to prioritise there wages they wont be able to cope......that they also have a fallback plan of if you get evicted for non payment of rent you go to the bottom of the housing list and your kid(s) will go into care if you can't look after them properly does however hit a stumbling block because there are only a handful of children's homes left in the country and they don't have enough foster carer's (understandably because of all the ridiculous regulations) so they are actually failing to look after those that most need the help (the young)
I'm sure that when Red Ed gets into power next year he will mess things up a bit more and just up the cap to put a sticky plaster over the problem till someone else gets elected...
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
TORPC
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Re: Housing Benefit

Approx 2 - 3 years ago, all households were sent letters, that they were going to trial it, & if your name was on the list of trialists (You COULD NOT OPT OUT)
However many residents, including myself approached our local councillor, in respect of our concerns, & it was squashed
A few of the concerns were
1. What happens if a DD is owed & the money is taken out to pay a bill (especially when peoples money have been sanctioned by the joke shop Jobcentre)
2. The money could be spent by some individuals
3. There could be clerical / banking / computer errors (Mostly computer error(s), (as no-one accepts blame anymore)
There were other concerns, however you get the drift Wink
nanotm
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Re: Housing Benefit

the reasons you give there aren't actually valid
because every individual is in charge of there own lives,
if you are bothered about being sanctioned then you stay within the rules so it doesn't happen....
the people who misuse the cash end up homeless
payment errors don't cause problems, your money will be paid to you at some point all you have to do is calmly contact the landlord (or letting agent) and tell them there is a delay
people are too quick to complain there is no valid reason why an adult in this country who is free to roam around at will cant pay there own bills, the only people who would be "at risk" are the mentally ill, but if there not competent to look after themselves then they should be in a mental institute where they can be looked after ....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
TORPC
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Re: Housing Benefit

@nano
I don't know if you are familiar with a thread I posted in a while ago, when SWMBO & I, were, helping a neighbour that had his claim sanctioned because his advisor, wouldn't do his job & check the Universal Jobmatch to see what my neighbour had done looking for work, (long story, not going back into it), however the Jobcentre advisor had been sacked for mis-conduct, & my neighbour had his money re-instated, he also was on the verge of being evicted since his housing benefit was also affected (Through no fault of his own)
He is now working after between 12 - 24 Mths of being without work (as his old employer declared bankruptcy) also no fault of his own
Therefore it had nothing to do with the neighbour going beyond the rules
I suppose your work for an employer (so you wouldn't see what goes on) If the neighbour did not ask for help we would of not know what goes on
Payment errors do cause problem(s) / issue(s)
If your wages are (say) 1 hour late being processed, & in the meantime (say) typically your rent is taken out via DD within 15mins of your wages standard time 45 mins earlier, you can potentially get a bank charge(s) for lack of funds (which still has to be paid) until disputed & refunded back. (FACT) as it happened to us approx 4 years ago

Quote from: nanotm
people are too quick to complain there is no valid reason why an adult in this country who is free to roam around at will cant pay there own bills, the only people who would be "at risk" are the mentally ill, but if there not competent to look after themselves then they should be in a mental institute where they can be looked after ....

There are many valid reasons why some adult(s) within this country or abroad for that matter, are not able to pay their own bills, & you have also contradicted yourself, yet I disagree where you come across as all mentally ill patients should be in instituted.
For one who would fund the increase of institutions that would need to be built / cater for them
I guess more taxes would have to be fabricated / enforced
There are many that can live in their own homes or with relatives, that can function in many other ways.
I am guessing that you have never met a mentally challenged person on a regular basis, to understand them & to see where I am coming from
Edit:


@nanotm
Weekly homework
Check out CH4 / DM / JohnnyVoid & other media
nanotm
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Re: Housing Benefit

mentally challenged people should not be able to be solely responsible for there affairs, its that liberal minded idiocy that put them at risk in the first place, when all the respite centres home care services and shrink shops were shut down 20 years ago in favour of some non existent policy called "care in the community"  (which in reality was abandoned in the community) everything went pete tong.
if your not mentally challenged there is no reason why you cannot effectively communicate a problem over payment and prevent unnecessary problems with a landlord, your landlord wont (and legally cant) start proceedings to get you evicted until your 3 payments behind in your rent or your contract is expired, being late with a payment or missing a payment and not bothering to speak with them can however cause you problems, I know this because I've had that problem caused by non payment of wages that was down to a computer glitch that took 9 months to fix, I racked up something close to 5k of bank charges but my wages did get paid to me in the end and everything did eventually get sorted out, fortunately my wife also had a job and her wages did get paid so were weren't totally up the creek and could at least buy food, but then I communicated with all the various people and companies I needed to get the problem sorted out, and didn't suffer legal problems because of any failings on the part of my employer (which were caused by someone ticking a box on a personnel record to tell the database that I was dead when they were supposed to tick the box for someone else, reassuringly its hard to bring someone back from the dead on paper)
I know plenty of people who require help I myself did for a while (and I had it and I wasn't responsible for things during that period) the problem is that the vast majority of those who require it don't even get offered help never mind accept it
as to your comments about the incompetent at the jobcentre, there are always incompetent people in every walk of life they fail miserably and only when reported in a coherent unemotional way does anything ever get done about them, of course that's not possible for the mentally ill because they struggle to be coherent at the best of times never mind when there in a flat spin, but that goes back to my first point they shouldn't be solely responsible for there affairs
as to your comment about the direct debit failure because of too short a time line, that's more a case of failure on the part of the person setting it up, a well adjusted individual would of put the bills to come out a day or two after payday (which allows for those little oddities) but a small minded individual will set them up to leave there account before they have access to the cash because they lack the ability to prioritise ......

it would cost significantly less to care for all the people who need it properly in centralised locations than it does right now when the majority aren't getting proper help (if they get any at all) the problem is that right now the majority of the expense is though a different department so its not accounted for (the prison system has a lot of mentally ill people in it and the police spend a lot of time dealing with mentally ill people because those individuals are failed by the system and thee are no resources to care for them)
near me there are 19 former care centres of which only 2 were sanatoriums, they were closed down and all the people that received proper care at them were turfed out of there sanctuary into society, those buildings are all still empty and in disrepair but still state owned, like everything though they inflate the costs artificially to show that something the liberal minded idiots believe the be for the best (despite empirical evidence to the contrary) so that they can proclaim there saving money (when in opposite in true)
but that's mixing up several issues really
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: Housing Benefit

I agree that  community care failed for mentally I'll people the reason it failed was that by closing the large mental hospitals the government thought it could save money and at the same time prevent any further scandals that occurred in those places details of which can be found in the inquiries into Ely, Whittingham and several others.
The reality is that  community care costs more money if done correctly but it is easy for a government to cut back funding for this group as most mentally I'll people have enough to contend with and are unable to set up pressure groups like other groups who take on the government,
Of course some pressure groups such as MIND and others put forward a strong case but I suspect  things like Cancer and other physical problems people have are seen as a higher priority.
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Re: Housing Benefit

I manage my limited, fixed income quite well, but that wasn't always the case but it takes a bit of strong will and self-control to get to that position.
There were a couple of times where an issue with Housing Benefit payment meant that I may be late paying the agent so, as nanotm says, the best option is to contact them and explain the situation. As it happened the issue was sorted by the council within time.
After the second time I decided to set up an overdraft for the amount of rent due so that there shouldn't be a problem in the future. I understand that this wouldn't be available for everyone.
Quote from: gleneagles
Of course some pressure groups such as MIND and others put forward a strong case but I suspect  things like Cancer and other physical problems people have are seen as a higher priority.
I think that is due particularly to two things:
Physical problems can often been seen to a conclusion e.g. broken bones mended, faulty organs replaced, etc. and the bean counters are able to justify the money being spent as they can count the success rate.
Illnesses such as cancer are widely known, talked about and the impact on the sufferer and family understood and, irrespective of the outcome, some improvement in the quality of life can be measured which, again, satisfies the bean counters.
Mental health, on the other hand, is grossly misunderstood by the general public and some health officials alike. People can be frightened of diagnosis as well as the fear of being stigmatised. They can also feel unable to speak up for themselves to push for help. Also, any benefits from treatment are not easily measured so the bean counters don't get satisfied which means funding isn't as forth-coming as it should be.

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nanotm
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Re: Housing Benefit

the real problem is that money goes where there is a chance of someone getting better (like depression or nervous breakdown) as opposed to never going to "cure" problems like bi-polar or schizophrenia (or a whole host of others)  that are life long problems, and then they compound the problem by refusing to treat people who wilfully cease taking med's that make them "normal" and spiral (often committing a spree of crimes)
and yes I understood why the various places were closed, but rather than introducing proper psychiatric care for the carers (because a lot of them were stuck on the same ward with the same abusive patients and started to abuse them back, and a few were just weird from the get go) they went straight to closed and dispersed the patients to the wind ....
the various pressure groups like MIND don't do there job very well, they continually argue that there's no need to be afraid of mentally ill people (but someone who cant think straight is a danger to themselves and often everyone around them as well) what they should be campaigning for is reality, that care centres are required and compassion is required but don't go near someone who's screaming at invisible people because your likely to get hurt unless your trained to deal with the mentally ill, far to often well meaning  passers by get hurt because they don't understand this, in large part due to groups like MIND focusing there awareness campaigns on people who have suffered a temporary upset but are now well on the road to "normality" (like the last ad campaign about a bloke returning to work post breakdown), they are still hiding from the general populous that the majority of mentally ill (unhinged) people are in fact suffering from a disorder that wont ever be "right" although it can be controlled with meds (so long as they actually take them), and there the people who should be getting publicised because they often lack the mental capacity to look after themselves......there also the segment of "non productive society" who are very often criminalised because of the lack of care they get ....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: Housing Benefit

Refusing to treat people who refuse to take meds ?
Not sure about that one, people can be detained under  various sections of the mental health act and can be treated against their wishes if necessary,, the problem regarding not treating some people is due to the uncertainty as to whether or not they can be classed as mentally I'll,
Psychiatric services often end up dealing with people who do not fall into any other category such as Psychopaths, Drug addicts, alcoholics etc and whose behaviour get them sent to mental health professionals but the cure, assuming one is available depends as much on the cooperation of the patient as it does on the treatment provided and in some cases that  cooperation is not there,
Now here is a problem for you to think about,"....Someone phones the Psychiatric Services with a previous psychiatric history and says they are going to kill themselves, what do you do ? No doubt you talk to them for some time but what if they say admit me to hospital as I cannot cope, do you admit them ? If yes then are you not setting yourself up  for future problems if they phone again with similar demands, if you don't admit them and they carry out the threat then you are in for a tough time at the inquest and possible inquiry that follows such incidents, Those who make these decisions tread a thin line and not a decision I would wish to make
nanotm
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Re: Housing Benefit

the CAT/CRIT team tell them to pop along to the unit (which if there lucky might even have a bed space) if they show up they get help if they don't the team did its job and "oh well we cant save em all" is the order of the day ......

as to the other point you actually cant section someone under the mental health act without a court order, you then have to obtain another one to forcibly treat them and they have legal aid to prevent both from succeeding regardless of the best interests of the patient/client because its there wish, the only time this doesn't apply is if they are being investigated for mental defect after committing a criminal act, although that does require consent to assessment from the patient......
no longer can a doctor or a copper section you, because it was open to abuse of power if your spouse wanted you of the way for a weekend etc
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: Housing Benefit

Quote from: nanotm
as to the other point you actually cant section someone under the mental health act without a court order, you then have to obtain another one to forcibly treat them

That's simply not true.
[quote=http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/beingsectionedengland.aspx]Who decides I need detaining?
The process usually starts because your GP, a family member, a police officer or psychiatrist is worried about your mental health. The decision is usually made (other than in an emergency) by two doctors and an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP)
Quote
Can I have medication forced on me if I refuse to take it?
Yes. The choice of medication should be discussed with you, unless you are unable or unwilling to discuss it. But you can be forced to take it if your Responsible Clinician thinks it is necessary.
If, after 3 months, you are still detained and don’t want the medication, or are too ill to consent to it but your responsible clinician still thinks it’s necessary, then you will see an independent consultant psychiatrist sent by the Care Quality Commission. You can then only be forced to take the medication agreed to by the independent psychiatrist (called a Second Opinion Appointed Doctor or SOAD).

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Re: Housing Benefit

I Think you need to do a bit more homework on this one,
I refer you to the Mental Health Act 1983 and the changes made in 1997
In particular look at sections 2,3,4,5 of the act, these clearly show who can detain you and if necessary treat you against your wishes.
Not sure where you get the court order being necessary .?