Benefit’s Expert: ‘Who is right?’

Have your say

Q I AM single, aged 38, and work eight to 15 hours a week for £6.08 an hour.

I get low rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA), pay rent of £7 a week and no Council Tax.

Life is a struggle. Can I claim anything and, if so, from where?

Worried worker.

A AS you work less than 16 hours a week you can claim Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) provided you are looking for further part-time work.

Because you get DLA you are eligible for more JSA and can earn more before your benefit is reduced. So, even if you work 15 hours a week, you will be due £30 a week.

You can claim by phoning Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

Q MY wife and I understood that our Pension Credit (PC) would be reassessed every five years and that increases in our capital would not take effect until the five years were up.

So when we sold our house and moved to rented accommodation we did not expect any immediate change. Also, as we received Guarantee PC, we thought we would receive full Housing and Council Tax Benefit (HB/CTB) for our new home.

However, the Council say, due to the house sale, we have too much in the bank to get HB/CTB and the DWP has stopped our PC. Who is right?

Mr H (by Email).

A FIVE-YEAR reassessment does not apply to everyone on PC. You or your wife must have reached 65 and the other must have reached 60.

If this was the case when you sold the house, your understanding is correct and you should challenge the decision.

Q I WAS made redundant last year with £23,000 redundancy pay.

I received JSA but this stopped after six months. I was refused further JSA because I could not produce receipts to show how I had spent my redundancy money.

My dad was terminally ill and I was spending £50 a time on incontinence pads, but I did not keep the receipts.

I also spent money on a television, a lap top, bed and bedding as well as numerous taxi fares to see dad in the hospice.

Can I claim anything?


A CONTRIBUTORY Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is payable for six months and is not affected by capital.

After this you are not entitled if your capital is over £16,000. If the DWP treats you as still having £23,000 capital, you need to produce proof that you no longer have at least £7,000 of it before you could be considered for benefit.

It appears that you would find it hard to do this.