Benefits Advice

WBThe social security system is complicated. The welfare system has faced and continues to face massive changes to the way it works.
The next big change is the roll out of Universal Credit, which will happen locally, in phases from July 2016.
We advise you to look at the changes which you think will affect you and then get advice.

Means-tested
Entitlement to these benefits and the amount you receive depend on how much income and capital you have. The particular needs of you and your family are also taken into account. You do not need to have paid any national insurance contributions.

Non-means tested
Usually your income and capital will not affect your entitlement. For some non-means tested benefits you will need to have paid enough national insurance contributions.

With Jobseekers allowance and also employment and support allowance you could, in some cases, be entitled to both means-tested and non-means tested elements of the same benefit. For example, if you need additional help with housing costs.

Some examples of benefits we provide advice and assistance with are listed below:

  • Employment and support allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payment
  • Income support
  • Housing benefit and council tax reduction
  • Jobseekers allowance
  • Pension credit

We are good at getting cases resolved at an early stage but do regularly take on appeals up to Tribunal level.

You can access a benefits chart at the righstnet web site , which benefits you may be entitled to will depend on your circumstances:  Get advice!.


Case studies

Maurice

Maurice has been diagnosed with depression and is a full-time carer for his mother who is disabled.   He approached us for assistance; he had made a claim for backdated housing benefit but the claim was refused.   He was in substantial rent arrears with a court case pending and faced losing his home.
We assisted with an appeal against the decision to refuse his claim for backdated Housing Benefit and referred the possession case to the housing solicitor.  K&C agreed to backdate 6 months housing benefit before the court hearing clearing most of the rent arrears.
Had we not assisted he would not have appealed and his rent arrears would not have been reduced leading to possession proceedings and eviction.


Jan

Jan is a single parent, with 2 children aged 15 & 16, living in privately rented accommodation and claiming Housing Benefit and Job Seekers Allowance. He contacted Nucleus because his Housing Benefit had reduced from £565 to £340 per week, there was a 5 week gap in his claim and he had been notified of a recoverable overpayment of £1130. Jan’s Housing Benefit had gone down as he had lost his Local Housing Allowance transitional protection due to the gap in his claim. He was being pressurised by his landlord about rent arrears and was desperately worried about the reduction in his Housing Benefit as there was no possibility of him making up the weekly shortfall of £225. Nucleus successfully applied for backdated Housing Benefit to cover the gap in his claim as well and his weekly Housing Benefit was restored to £565 per week; therefore he no longer had an overpayment . In addition Nucleus identified that Child Benefit (CB) for the client’s oldest child had ceased when she reached 16.
Nucleus advised the client that as his daughter was still in full time non advanced education, he was still entitled to this and helped him to get the CB reinstated.


Joe

Joe is an ex-prisoner, illiterate, deaf, and has diagnosed mental health issues. Nucleus assisted Joe with an appeal against a refusal of Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) by obtaining evidence, writing a submission and representing him at the Tribunal hearing. With our help Joe won the appeal and was awarded ESA. Joe says that had we turned him away, he would have had to claim JSA but could not have satisfied the conditions due to his health condition. We also assisted him with his housing benefit and a claim for Personal Independence Payment. He told us that with no benefit he feared his only viable options would have been to turn to crime and enter into a cycle of going in and out of prison.


Resources

Advice Now logoAdviceGuide
Information on benefits and tax credits for different groups of people including: unemployed, sick or disabled people; help with council tax and housing costs; national insurance; payment of benefits; problems with benefits.


Advice Now logoAdviceNow KC Hub
Details on local advice services in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea providing welfare rights services.

 


DWP logoDepartment of Work and Pensions
Downloadable forms for claiming (most) benefits.