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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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Hi, Im 53 years old, married and my wife is 38.During the

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I’m 53 years old, married and my wife is 38.During the last three years we have been received housing and council tax benefits. Also, I have been received Employment and Support Allowance from Oct 2012 until 17 of July 2014 when was stopped. Right now I made a new claim for different matter and I’m waiting to be processed.

My problem with Newham council is that in August my H&C Tax benefits was suspended because I’m a full time student. I tried to explain them money from Student Finance are not mine, are loans which must be paid back with interest, less maintenance grant (£3387) which are not payable back. Also, they mentioned to me verbally, DWP was informed about my situation and now they are waiting for a decision in order to pay me back my H&C Tax.

We don’t have any others sources of income, less student finance money, no saving, bounds or properties.

My questions are:

-I’m entitled to receive H&C Tax benefits if I’m full time student?

-Is it a compulsory condition to receive Employment in Support Allowance in order to get H&C Tax?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am Keith and will try to assist you with your question.
Sorry, full time students are not entitled to receive H&C Tax benefits. Here is the Government's own guidance on this matter:
'Who isn’t eligible
Usually you won’t get Housing Benefit if:
Your savings are over £16,000 - unless you get Guarantee credit of Pension Credit
You live in the home of a close relative
You’re a full-time student - unless you’re disabled or have children
You’re an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
You’re residing in the UK as an European Economic Area jobseeker.'
Thus Newham Council's decision to withdraw this benefit appears, on the face of it, to be correct based on Government guidelines. The matter of Student Finance is an irrelevancy.
Again the Government has give guidance on Employment Support Allowance and H&C Tax viz:
'If you’re claiming other benefits
Contact Jobcentre Plus to claim Housing Benefit with your claim for the following benefits:
Employment and Support Allowance
Income Support
Jobseeker’s Allowance
Jobcentre Plus will send details of your claim for Housing Benefit to your council.'
Employment Support Allowance is not a pre requisite for obtaining H & C Tax.
So sorry to have to rain on your parade.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi again.

Thanks for your help.I have received your answer just today in the morning.So,to be clear even if I'm unemployed me and my wife(I'm out of work for near two years with medical certificates), no others sources of income, possible Employment and Support Allowance again I can't qualify for H&C Tax just because I will receive a maintenance grant from SF?

How two people can copy to pay all their expenses just with SF money one year ?

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
The two are mutually exclusive. Your lack of entitlement to H&C Tax stems from your status as a full time student. The SF grant does not come into the H&C equation at all. If you had children now or were you yourself disabled then the whole ball game changes and H&C Tax becomes a possibility again. It all now hinges on your medical condition viz a viz disability. I am classed as disabled simply because I am a diabetic, but it doesn't affect my quality of life or my activities at all. Old age does, however!
I cannot comment on the social problems connected with your situation, although I can sympathise.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, can you be little bit more clear please.My student finance grant can influence our entitlement for H&C benefits?We don't have any children ,my wife is unemployed and I'm out of work for a whole! My medical shows very clear ''not fit for work'' because I have strong lower back pain and I can't work any more like a builder. Newham council try to explain us they are waiting for DWP to confirm our entitlement.

So in this regards ***** ***** have back our H&C Tax payments?

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
So, if it is confirmed that you are disabled, and you may have read in the media of the complications that entails, then the door to H & C Tax is opened again. You are now caught in a ding dong between Newham and DWP. Next step, write to your local councilor and your MP, not to mention informing your local newspaper!
Your SG is not income, it is merely a loan to you so should not affect the level of any entitlement to H & C Tax which is, of course, income dependent. .
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Now,I can understand.But let's forget about a letter to councillor or our MP because will be probably a wasting time.What other actions we can take? Exp. take action in a court...Please tell us all the alternatives and which is our chances to win ,in a court for example.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
This matter is most likely to sort out once Newham Council and the DWP get their act together. That is why I suggested a prod from your elected representatives might be of value or even the Fourth Estate! I would suggest that court action is still some way down the line and the Ombudsman the next line of approach should your application ultimately be refused out of hand by the council.
bigduckontax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your support.

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