09 Mar 2015

A question about : Disabled child housing benefit ?


My partners learning disabled son lives with the two of us and is 19 years old. We have tried supported living for him however, he is unhappy as he has complex needs (IBS, stroke, behavioural difficulties). He is currently at college full time (however this will end in July).

I know that children who live with their parents cannot claim housing benefit however, we are renting from an estate agency who manages the property on behalf of a private landlord.

Currently the tenancy just has myself and my partner on it however, we would be happy to place her son on it as well.

What I am wondering is if our son is able to claim housing benefit and council tax benefit for living in the property ?

Many thanks

Best answers:

  • Yep, think I grasp that logic, thanks. Anyone got any views on the housing benefit (assuming we place her son on the tenancy ?)
  • I can't see a private landlord renting to someone with his disabilities. He could hardly be held responsible for anything.
  • I am going to stick my neck out and say as long as son is liable for the rent (ie. on the tenancy agreement) then he should be eligible for HB.
    Ditto the council tax.
    What I think is just as important is whether your LL would agree to this.
    Usually they would want to do checks on tenants added.
    Are you currently receiving child benefit/child tax credits for him? If you are then this may make a difference as he would still be classed as a dependant.
    Will he apply for ESA when he leaves college? Does he receive DLA/PIP?
    Housing Benefit Officer is a regular poster so might be able to clarify.
  • Great...I am pretty hopeful the estate agent would have no problem with putting him on the tenancy as we would remain on it and I have paid, every month, for the past 10 years in advance so there is no risk from their perspective (am I being naive here ?). He does currently receive ESA and DLA (middle rate care and higher rate mobility - the mobility component is used for a motobility car). He was eligible for housing benefit during the failed attempt at him privately renting in shared accommodation.
  • I should also add that it is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy
  • Which states the landlord's agent may enforce the terms of the agreement against all or any of the named individuals.....
  • Sorry....should have made this one post. No, we do not receive child benefit or child tax credits for him.
  • Have found this:
    3.237 Treat the following claimants as not liable for payment unless you are satisfied that the liability
    was not created to take advantage of the HB Scheme
    • their liability under the agreement is to a company or a trustee of a trust of which
    - they or their partner
    - their, or their partner's close relative who lives with them, or
    - their or their partner's former partner
    is, in the case of a company, a director or an employee, or in the case of a trust, a trustee
    or a beneficiary
    before the liability was created, they were a non-dependant of someone who lived, and
    continues to live, in the dwelling

    Now this document is from July 2009 and I cannot find any more recent legislation which refers to this scenario.
    Let's hope Housing Benefit officer knows the answer!
  • Many thanks for the research !! If this document is still relevant, I am guessing he could not claim as whilst he would be a joint tenant, he would have been a non-dependant of someone in the same dwelling prior to the creation of his liability (wonder what would happen if we all moved next door and signed a new joint tenancy ?)
    Can someone clarify if this is correct (many thanks to everyone !!) ?
  • If you have an additional bathroom, kitchen, or treatment room specifically for his needs, you can claim a disabled person's discount on council tax, for as long as he is living there. I realise that this is unlikely, but thought it worth mentioning for other posters.
  • I think this plan may fall under the umbrella of a "contrived tenancy", ie one that has been set up specifically to take advantage of the HB system.
  • Much appreciated everyone. A busted flush of an idea clearly but we are trying to explore any way to fund additional physio for him (in case anyone thinks this is just us trying to line our pockets). Thanks again for taking the time to assist.
  • Thank you so much for that pmlindyloo. Yes, unfortunately, the clinical care groups can only fund a certain amount of physio for primary care and it is an overstretched service, we then have to fund the rest ourselves. As our son is now 3 years post stroke and the biggest rehab gains are within the 1st year (and physio is quite an expensive treatment), decisions had to be made and we now don't receive any publically funded physio at all (despite the fact that it is commonly accepted that this would continue to be of benefit for our son). It is a shame but, that is the nature of any system that has demand outstripping supply.
  • The only other thing that I can think of is giving up the mobility car and receiving the money instead.
    Of course this might not be a possibility if there is no other means of transport or you can't get out of the lease without financial penalties.