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Thread: HELP advice needed - anyone work for council housing/benefits?

  
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    HELP advice needed - anyone work for council housing/benefits?

    I'm on incapacity benefit and also recieve some help with my council flat rent and council tax. Although I'm not required to seek work due to my condition I still desperately want to work and have been trying to find a new job I can physically do, to get me back into work and off benefits altogether so I can get a house of my own.

    I have been offered free training to become an NVQ assessor, however the training (which is for 12 weeks) is in London, and I live over 200 miles away, meaning I will have to find somewhere to stay in London for the 12 weeks.

    This of course is potentially going to leave my flat empty for that time, as I do not recieve any payment for the training, nor any garuntee of a job at the end of it, however they will assist me in trying to find a job once I'm qualified. I don't want to give up my flat as I still need somewhere to live.

    While the training is going on I obviously can't afford to rent anywhere, and am still trying to find through friends/family someone who may have a spare room I can stay in while I train.

    What I am worried about is that I don't want to get in trouble for my flat being empty for so long, I don't know if my housing and tax assistance will have to be cancelled, but if it is then on incapacity benefit I cannot afford to pay either the rent OR the tax myself, and will be homeless again. In theory I could return to my flat at weekends, but I will probably not be able to afford the petrol to do that.

    I need advice on (1) who to talk to about this (without getting in trouble) and (2) how to explain it to them?

    I want to point out that I am trying to get myself off benefits by bettering myself, but unfortunatley this free training is only in London.

    Anyone on the inside able to give any general advice before I approach housing/benefits officials?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Try ringing the Job centre people, IIRC they give you help financially if you are trying to get back to work in the form of a budget/social loan which gets taken out of your benefits weekly (a very small amount) then if you get a job at the end of it and come off IB, you can arrange to pay it back using your wages (still a low amount, and its a no interest loan). You should be able to use that money to pay the rent on your flat until you finish your training.

    Have a look on their website, Im sure it will say about it on there


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    id take a guess that while its your flat, it doesnt matter if someone is there for 1 week or 12 weeks, just make sure you lock up properly and have someone go and check it once in a while

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    the issue is really that they won't be happy paying to help me with rent and tax if I'm not actually living there, and I don't want to get into trouble.

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    You can look into what they call a temporary abscence with regards to your Housing/ Council tax benefits. Cant remember the scenario's off the top of my heads but there is a system there for you.

    The only one i can remember off the top of my head is hospital stays as that can be paid for up to 52 weeks.

    I'll have a quick look for the regs on the net if i can.

    I'd also go in and see your office and discuss it with them (best to speak to a senior as some may not know the exact rules due to it being a rare situation)

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    A quick search threw this up:

    http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/hou...ry_absence.htm

    Is it an approved course?

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    The only problem i can see is that they may stop your Council Tax Benefit due to you being away from the property. However this is worse case scenario and you could apply for an exemption based on the same information.

    So your Council tax benefit would stop but youd probably not get charged Council tax for that period.

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    thanks very much for the advice Ryan, thats the kind of info I needed, I just didn't have a clue where to even start looking, I'll get onto it

    Kirsty

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    btw yes the course is government funded, it's provided by the London Assessor Project

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