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Does anyone know how to help?

Does anyone know how to help?

Old May 6th 2009, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by lisa444
It seems we have gone down every route possible and it is just a waiting game now.
I hope that means appeals against HRT decisions have been registered.
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Old May 6th 2009, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

We have reclaimed for job seekers allowance, social services said this should act as an appeal, But he also said if they couldnt claim job seekers allowance they should still be able to claim for income based job seekers allowance, we did question this but the job centre said when you apply for one you automatically apply for the other.

We have been in contact with the council and told them my Aunty has started a job and they said they should be able to give her housing benefit and a property. They also said if they couldnt give a property they may be able to pay for a bond and months rent on private housing.

This is a big step forward but its just going to be difficult finding someone who will let them rent their house without references.

Also they didnt ask how many hours she was working (only 11) so maybe they wont be able to help, but we have an appointment tomorrow morning to see.

I have tried to speak to a solicitor about the things you mentioned but they didnt get back to me.

Im also not sure if they can claim legal aid as they arn't able to get anything else.

Im hoping if nothing else happens tomorrow they realize they are getting jobs and here to stay.

Il post what happens when im back from college tomorrow. Thanks for all your help
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Old May 7th 2009, 2:00 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by lisa444
We have reclaimed for job seekers allowance, social services said this should act as an appeal,It won't. It will only count as a new claim from the date of contact the new claim was registered. There will be a new HRT needed. But they may stick with the original refusal. They might say...."Oh well, they've now been here for (whatever time) so we'll accept it this time." But it will be a new claim and not the old one, unless they can be persuaded the original was wrong.

But he also said if they couldnt claim job seekers allowance they should still be able to claim for income based job seekers allowance, we did question this but the job centre said when you apply for one you automatically apply for the other.
In all my time there, up to 2004, an income based claim was automatically a claim for the contribution based version but not the other way around. The claim form was designed for contribution based on the first few pages and income based on the rest. That would be most of it.
Income based would ask, among other things, about savings.


We have been in contact with the council and told them my Aunty has started a job and they said they should be able to give her housing benefit and a property. They also said if they couldnt give a property they may be able to pay for a bond and months rent on private housing.

This is a big step forward but its just going to be difficult finding someone who will let them rent their house without references.

Landlords on the bond schemes that I knew of did not need references.

Also they didnt ask how many hours she was working (only 11) so maybe they wont be able to help, but we have an appointment tomorrow morning to see.

Hours worked don't matter for Housing Benefit; it's the income they look at. She could still get JSA income based from doing 11 hours if her wages were less than JSA. Even if a bit more. There is a 'disregard' on earnings...not sure what it is now.

Im also not sure if they can claim legal aid as they arn't able to get anything else.
In my time Income based JSA would qualify people for legal aid.
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Old May 7th 2009, 2:24 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Thankyou for replying so quickly. I know JSA would qualify them for legal aid but its the legal aid they need to claim JSA and help really, this is what we are up against, If one doesnt help none will.

I tried mentioning the Swaddling decision when we went to the Job centre but they actually refused to see us as they couldnt see any point as we had already been refused.

Its great to hear that the wages wouldnt stop them getting housing benefit and help with bond and rent, thankyou for that.

Who would it be better to speak with to put your views across? We went to the CAB they put us in contact with a solicitor in the city as they dont deal with immigration, but he hasnt got back to us.

Also we have two sick notes for my cousin now is there anything you can think of we can do to help him? he made a claim for disability allowance on march 31st they said they would send a statement for him to sign, and he may need an assessment with one of there doctors. But we havent heard anything at all from them, and we are still waiting on his referral to the hospital for an assessment as we thing he may be slightly autistic as well as other mental health issues.

Im getting really desperate now, fingers crossed the council will be able to help in the morning, if not i think we will go back to the CAB this afternoon with what the council have said, and explain the solicitor didnt get back to us.
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Old May 7th 2009, 3:33 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

I'm now thinking that you are in one of those "quiet" areas that don't get any situations outside the norm...or the staff are extremely obstructive. It's really sounding like only an appeal will get the desired result. They have to justify what they have done to people who are much more likely to have come across this.

In order of preference I'd (normally) seek the support of Shelter, CAB, Welfare Rights at the local council, then other organisations like Cyrenians (usually prefaced by the town or city name). Solicitors would be low down on the list unless they were those who are "thorns in the side of officialdom"
Any trade union connections? I'm not suggesting you use one but they might know of someone suitable in the area.
Is there a refugee organisation close to you? Again, not to use them, but they'd know who could be useful.

I'm not sure why CAB would refer you to a solicitor who deals with immigration issues if they are Brits with UK passports.

Sick notes would normally mean an Income Support claim which also needed an Incapacity Benefit claim form. Both forms needed to be done at the time I left. I doubt that's changed.

HRT would still apply though. That sounds like the key to everything which is why an appeal is likely to be so crucial.

Disability Living Allowance can take a long time.
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Old May 7th 2009, 3:39 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Google "welfare rights" and then search within for your area.
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Old May 7th 2009, 7:05 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

The Guy who came on thursday was from Welfare rights, he was the one who said all we needed was a habitual residence form and told us to contact the solicitor who deals with immigration, whom the CAB told us about, but he hasnt got back in touch.
The man from Welfare rights can only be spoken to on a thursday and friday, so we are calling him after the visit to the council if they cant help.

I thought by doing the "test" was in some way applying for the habitual residency, that they have failed twice, once with the council and once with the jobcentre. Or is this something else?

Sorry im not very clear but my brain is frazzled at the moment.

Also Shelter have said they cant help because they cant claim money.
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Old May 7th 2009, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by lisa444
I thought by doing the "test" was in some way applying for the habitual residency, that they have failed twice, once with the council and once with the jobcentre. Or is this something else?

Sorry im not very clear but my brain is frazzled at the moment.

Also Shelter have said they cant help because they cant claim money.
I can understand the frazzlement. I'm really not impressed with the sorts of advice you are reporting

The Habitual Residency Test is what needs to be satisfied to qualify for the benefits and housing side of things. It's not something that has to be "applied for" to allow someone to live in the UK; it's just a condition one has to meet to qualify for the benefits.

Everything is doomed to failure while Habitual Residency is not being accepted.

"Shelter have said they cant help because they cant claim money"
What I would expect them to be doing is advocating for them to get money; to show they are Brits who lived in the UK previously and are again taking up residency as borne out by looking for work and already having found work (albeit part time), having family support, having registered with a GP, having a plan to confirm making a life in the UK etc etc

Granted, Shelter was set up for people with housing problems, but finance is a key to housing and they have long since expanded to include an advocacy role where the immediate issue isn't necessarily housing.

In my time in DSS/DWP occasionally I'd come across someone who wasn't getting what they should in terms of service, or benefit entitlement, whatever. If it wasn't something I could get directly involved in I often used to refer people to Shelter or Cyrenians so they could fight their case. It was something they were more than happy to do. But maybe that was just the people in my area.

Maybe new claims for JSA and Income Support will achieve the desired result. Maybe that would enable the decision making staff to compromise and say because "an appreciable period of time of actual residency has now passed" that they will accept Habitual Residency currently. Then benefits and housing can kick in.

I've seen it happen that way and sometimes people will just be happy the main problems are at least over.

But imagine how much better things would be if the original claims were allowed (only possible by winning an appeal or making an appeal so that the department thinks they won't win it, so they change the decision) and back payments were made.
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Old May 7th 2009, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Yes that would be better for them if they got backdated benefits. Its strange because my Aunty reclaimed for jsa over the phone but when my cousin went to do the same thing they told her she couldnt and she would have to cancel the claim first.

Well they went to the council today and the council have offered up to £500 for a bond on a private rented property as they didnt have anything for them.

We went to see a place today and we explained about not having references and they seemed ok about it, As long as they pay 6 months rent upfront and have a guarantor hmm so we are all scraping around to find that.

Also the council said that they should be able to claim housing benefit, but he couldnt say for sure until they made a claim.

He brought up the swaddling decision first but said that was mainly for the benefits and not housing. He also said All places operate the time period not just them, as my Aunt questioned this.

We have another property to look at tomorrow to see if they could be more lenient on how much we need to pay upfront, so fingers crossed they get that
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Old May 7th 2009, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by lisa444
Its strange because my Aunty reclaimed for jsa over the phone but when my cousin went to do the same thing they told her she couldnt and she would have to cancel the claim first.

That sounds as if they may not have officially decided the earlier claim yet.

Well they went to the council today and the council have offered up to £500 for a bond on a private rented property as they didnt have anything for them.
We went to see a place today and we explained about not having references and they seemed ok about it, As long as they pay 6 months rent upfront and have a guarantor hmm so we are all scraping around to find that.

I knew the schemes operated differently in different areas. That's some difference there!! They were brought in for people who would have a problem with the deposit. Forking out 6 months up front is probably a bigger problem than a deposit.


Also the council said that they should be able to claim housing benefit, but he couldnt say for sure until they made a claim.

Housing benefit does depend on HRT though. They can make their own decision. They might be influenced by the previous refusal...or they might decide it favourably. The thing is though, Housing Benefit can be paid to people on a low income. They do an assessment to see what people are due. When they know JSA or Income Support has been claimed, the Housing Benefit entitlement is automatically at the maximum and they don't need to do their own assessment. So they tend to wait for confirmation that JSA/Income Support has been awarded (or not). They don't have to...it's just better for them...why assess themselves and then revise it later instead of just waiting and doing it once.

He brought up the swaddling decision first but said that was mainly for the benefits and not housing. He also said All places operate the time period not just them, as my Aunt questioned this.
Swaddling is about benefits because it was a benefits decision challenged and the ruling was on the benefits application. But Housing Departments are unlikely to accept a housing application for someone not habitually resident.
That's not correct. I used the phrase "appreciable period" earlier. It is not defined and is flexible. It's not a standard period so it's not something that all places will use. One of my earlier posts referred to someone arbitrarily deciding 6 months was the point at which to pay benefits. For a while, some offices used that. But it had no legal backing. Some places since decided 3 months. But that had no legal backing either. Some people took it upon themselves to tough it out and make a new benefit claim a couple of months later...and succeeded. That was then considered an appreciable period.

There is someone on this forum who had no trouble at all when she returned to the UK and she was paid almost immediately having been accepted as Habitually Resident. Hopefully she'll post her experience soon.
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Old May 7th 2009, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by BristolUK
Swaddling is about benefits because it was a benefits decision challenged and the ruling was on the benefits application. But Housing Departments are unlikely to accept a housing application for someone not habitually resident.
That's not correct. I used the phrase "appreciable period" earlier. It is not defined and is flexible. It's not a standard period so it's not something that all places will use. One of my earlier posts referred to someone arbitrarily deciding 6 months was the point at which to pay benefits. For a while, some offices used that. But it had no legal backing. Some places since decided 3 months. But that had no legal backing either. Some people took it upon themselves to tough it out and make a new benefit claim a couple of months later...and succeeded. That was then considered an appreciable period.

There is someone on this forum who had no trouble at all when she returned to the UK and she was paid almost immediately having been accepted as Habitually Resident. Hopefully she'll post her experience soon.
Hello

It is me that has recent experience of the HRT.

I had been out of the UK for 9yrs and returned last June to start a job in London. Just one week after i arrived I was struck down with pnuemonia and was in hospital for a couple of weeks. I had a veru slow recovery due to other medical conditions which meant i had to give up the job.
I was advised by a hospital social worker to go claim income support.
All i had to do was fill out the HRT forms, fill in the claim and a couple of weeks later I was in recepit of full benefit.

Please listen to Bristols advice. It is correct. You should definitely appeal and seek out better advice than you seem to be getting right now. I am living proof that your rellies are entitled so do not give up.

Best of luck
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Old May 8th 2009, 7:00 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

yes Bristols advice has been fantastic, the only thing i see differently in your case is you returned to the UK to work which in their eyes is completely different.
My Aunt basically got off the plane and went to claim benefits so i can see why they are doing this, even if it is wrong, but im glad it worked out for you, and thankyou for posting. Any advise is greatly appreciated.

Im hoping today if they get this property without needing references, she can claim housing benefit and then that may open up doors for help with income too.. thanks once again for all advice
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Old May 8th 2009, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by lisa444
...the only thing i see differently in your case is you returned to the UK to work which in their eyes is completely different.
My Aunt basically got off the plane and went to claim benefits so i can see why they are doing this, even if it is wrong,
Yes, stepping off the plane and going for benefits does not attract sympathy.

As for flea returning for work, so did your aunt (just not arranged at that time but has been since). I wonder if they checked that flea really did have that job arranged, though, or did they just apply the rules properly, regardless.

At the very least it shows that "All places operate the time period" is just fiction.
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Old May 8th 2009, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by BristolUK
Yes, stepping off the plane and going for benefits does not attract sympathy.

As for flea returning for work, so did your aunt (just not arranged at that time but has been since). I wonder if they checked that flea really did have that job arranged, though, or did they just apply the rules properly, regardless.

At the very least it shows that "All places operate the time period" is just fiction.
I dont know whether or not they checked, but all i do know is that by LAW you can claim regardless of whether you have a job to go to or not. That is irrelevant as far as i am aware.
Very very few people would already have a job lined up before entering the UK initially. I was just lucky that i got a transfer from my Sydney office to the London office.
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Old May 9th 2009, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

No my Aunt has only just got the job this is why they said its a whole different ball game now,it was the fact she went straight to the council and benefits as soon as she came back, as i said.

I know you say its wrong that they havent received help but they havent. im just going to go for this private flat they have found and keep looking for work with them thanks everyone for your advise. its been greatly appreciated
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