Login FormClose

Free ESA, PIP and DLA Updates

With over 140,000 subscribers our fortnightly updates bulletin is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Get the facts about what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare.   Get your free benefits updates now.
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password:
Remember me
Members
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Living together as a couple ( not )

Living together as a couple ( not ) 3 weeks 5 days ago #201198

Dear advisers

I have been in touch with you regarding another matter but today something else has happened which i need advice on.

I live in a two bedroomed flat with my best friend. We both claim benefits ( UC and ESA ) We are two gay men trying to live with AIDS and because of this our relationship is very close, but we are not a couple.

15 months ago my flatmate was asked to meet a compliance officer at the Job Centre. They did not ask for me. This person accused my flat mate of living with me as a couple. My flat mate explained that we were not a couple, just two men who lived together as flatmates, we slept separately in separate beds in separate rooms, but he did admit we did sometimes cook together and did our washing together basically sorting the whites, darks and colours out, doing this to save money. This compliance officer said that this explanation was fine and no action would be taken. We did not hear anything more about this and I read on mumsnet that they never contact you about this anyway.

Now 15 months later out of the blue, my flatmate has received a letter on his journal saying they consider us to be living as a couple. This is pure discrimination, after all they would not be hauling two straight men, living together over the coals like this!

The letter quotes the Welfare Reform Act 2012, section 39, which I have tried to look up, but no govt website mentions the fact that trying to save money on washing clothes together is proof that two people are living as a couple.

At the end of the letter it states that the overarching factor in this case is the fact that they are in a very close relationship and are willing to support each other indefinitely. We did not say this, but cannot best friends make this commitment to each other, especially as we both have AIDS

At the end of the letter under "What if I disagree with this decision" it does not say that you need to ask for a mandatory reconsideration it just says to "ask us to explain and ask us to reconsider our decision" Is this a Man recon?

I am really upset about this. Please advise us. How is this going to effect both our benefits and the rent we pay?


Beragon and flat mate

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Living together as a couple ( not ) 3 weeks 5 days ago #201222

Beragon

I'm going to recommend that you both get face to face advice from a trained advisor, to resolve this matter you are going to interact with the DWP via your journals and in writing the office dealing with your claims, this is not something that we can help you with on the forum.

Do an internet search for "welfare advice" with your postcode, town or county.

As to your benefits. If you are treated as a couple then there will only be one claim for Universal Credit where there are currently two, whilst the couples rate is higher than that for a single person it will be considerably less than that for two single people.

This also obviously will mean that one of you will be forced to close their UC claim, again you need to speak to an advisor about which would be the best way forward for this.

Gordon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Living together as a couple ( not ) 3 weeks 4 days ago #201271

Dear Gordon, Ok I take your advice but can you just answer the question as to whether this decision can be challenged by asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration?

Beragon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Living together as a couple ( not ) 3 weeks 4 days ago #201289

Beragon wrote: Dear Gordon, Ok I take your advice but can you just answer the question as to whether this decision can be challenged by asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration?

Beragon


Yes, an MR and then appeal if necessary is the legal route for challenging a Decision.

Gordon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: bro58GordonMrs Hurtyback