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Housing Benefit: Example # 2

In yesterday’s post I gave an example of how difficult it can be to claim Housing Benefit and how this can cause problems with managing one’s cash flow.

Today, let’s look at it from the other end.

Please note: this is not about me. It is an EXAMPLE. 

I am a single mother. I have been out of work for a while. I’m on Jobseeker’s Allowance and I have 3 school-age children. My rent and council tax are completely covered by my benefit.
I have been looking for jobs, but I need to find something that fits in with school hours, and pays enough for us to live on. Eventually, I find a job temping in a factory.
The day I start my new job, my Jobseeker’s Allowance stops.
I am now entitled to claim Working Tax Credits; to get this, I have to tell them how much money I think I will earn for the remainder of this tax year. If I under-estimate how much I think I will earn, I will receive too much in Working Tax Credits, and will be asked to pay it back in April. Therefore it’s better to over-estimate how much I think I will earn. Ultimately though, I’m plucking a figure out of thin air. This is a temping job; I have no idea how long they will need me.
My Housing Benefit continues to cover my rent, until I submit my first payslip to the Council office. Then they take a couple of weeks to re-assess my claim, and I get one of their unintelligible letters. The letter says that since my first day back at work, I am only entitled to Housing Benefit to cover half of my weekly rent. But for the past 6 weeks they have been over-paying my benefit, so for the next few weeks I will receive only a quarter of my weekly rent in benefit, in order to claw back the overpayment.
Last week, I was up-to-date on my rent but now with this amendment in my benefit, I’m behind.
Now the factory have caught up on their backlog, and they don’t need me any more, so I am unemployed again. I go back to set up my Jobseeker’s Allowance again, but I know this can take up to 15 working days.
Once my Housing Benefit is re-assessed (which they can’t do until my Jobseeker’s Allowance claim is finalised), it will be backdated to the date I stopped work, and will once again cover my rent. 
Now I am in a position where my rent and council tax are covered, but I’m living on Jobseeker’s Allowance, and I still owe rent from the brief period I was in work. 

Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

14 Comments
  • Anonymous

      REPLY

    Do you not think that working makes you a valuable member of society, opposed to someone who is out to take what they can from those who work hard? Working for a living should make you value the things that you have, because you have earned them. At the moment, everything you own has been paid for by me and other hard working people of your community. <br />We didnt ask or force you to have a

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Perhaps if you are going to make long, judgemental comments on my blog you should read it more closely. <br /><br />I was going to sit here and point out all the ways in which your comment is wrong, but I don&#39;t have time.

    2. Kerrie McGiveron

        REPLY

      You clearly have neer read any of this blog - you just skim-read this post. <br /><br />I don&#39;t have time to point out the errors in your comment either.

    3. Adele

        REPLY

      My god what an absolute tool! It's people like anonymous (Suzi senior?) that are the problem with society. Made yourself out to be incredibly un intelligent, ignorant and as I said before an utter tool!

  • Anonymous

      REPLY

    To be fair I meant to reply to your other blog post in which you seem to be complaining about the amount of money you receive from the government.<br />I&#39;m sorry, but your post makes it quite clear that you are in receipt of benefits. Whether or not your working 1 or 2 days a week is irrelevant. You are still in receipt of free money, cheaper rent, cheaper council tax, free school meals for

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      I&#39;m sorry you feel the need to judge other people; perhaps your life is not as fulfilling as it could be. I have no need to justify myself or my actions to some anonymous troll on my blog. Reading 2 or 3 of my posts does not make you an expert on my position; I hope you pay closer attention to your own.

  • Naomi

      REPLY

    Wow! Anonymous person, I&#39;m really quite astounded at your ability to judge and your inability to read properly! If you were to take the time to read this blog from the beginning, you would find a hard working, brave and clever woman who has overcome obstacles that some couldn&#39;t even comprehend. I&#39;m not a benefits claimant, and I do have issues with elements of the benefits system, but

  • Anonymous

      REPLY

    Oh dear. <br />You seem to be mistaking judging for having an opinion. I&#39;m not judging you personally, I don&#39;t even know you! I&#39;m just expressing my displeasure at a post which seems to promote being on benefits as a lifestyle choice. <br />Some people NEED to claim benefits to make ends meet, these are the same people that have to do without the very luxuries I mentioned previously.<

  • Vicky Charles

      REPLY

    How DARE you come to my blog and imply that I STOLE some yoga mat! If you bothered to read more than just the first paragraph of any of my posts you would know that the products you so resent my having were all given to me to review on the blog.<br /><br />Don&#39;t come here talking to me about personal sacrifices or how I shouldn&#39;t be blogging, or how being online is a waste of time. Go

  • Anonymous

      REPLY

    Whoa! I think someone needs a saucer of milk! Judging someone when you can&#39;t be bothered to read it properly and then hiding behind a computer to put your views across! People like you make me smile inside as I know I will never be sad enough to slate other peoples opinions and views. If you don&#39;t like it, don&#39;t read it. Suzi Senior.

  • Tina Fox

      REPLY

    Anonymous u know absolute jack shit about this single mother.... she is a wonderful single mum who hasnt abused the system she trying so hard as a single mum I suggest you fuck off

  • Tina Fox

      REPLY

    Anonymous I suggest you fuck off u know jack shit!!

  • Pgee

      REPLY

    Anonymous, you have assumed that she became pregnant because she wanted too.. Have you not factored in that she might have been raped or something awful like that, and kept the baby because of her morals or on religious grounds. There are many factors for people becoming single parents, such as abusive partners and even death of a partner, so before jumping to conclusions perhaps one needs to be

  • Michele Way

      REPLY

    Hi Anonymous, you seem to be very quick to judge. I worked with this single mum for a number of years when she was a full tax paying member of society. Just because she needs a hand up, not a handout, you feel the need to pigeon hole her along with everyone else on benefits. Each case to be judged on its&#39; own merits I say... it doesn&#39;t take much for life to change so dramatically and we

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