What to do if your benefit payments increase through extra allowances

Q: I have recently been awarded PIP for daily living and in addition to this I also get Income Based ESA.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 12:00 pm
Concern over an increase in benefit payments.
Concern over an increase in benefit payments.

I had a small amount of Housing Benefit & Council Tax Reduction but did not get the full entitlement as I have two adult children living with me and they both work. However, since the PIP award the Housing Benefit & Council Reduction has increased significantly and I don’t know why since my income has increased and not decreased. How can this be correct as I am worried about getting overpaid?

A: There is nothing to worry about in this situation and you benefit adjustment is correct. Benefits such as PIP/DLA or AA are always disregarded as income for the actual calculation of other benefits including Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

If you are awarded PIP for daily living, DLA for care at middle or high rate or any rate of Attendance Allowance then any non-dependents living with you are disregarded in the calculation of certain benefits including Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction irrespective of whether they work or are on benefits themselves

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As you receive Income Based ESA this would normally entitle you to maximum Housing Benefit and at least 91.5% of your council tax liability. Before the PIP award the income of the two non-dependents was taken into account and this led to a reduction in the two benefits.

Once the PIP was awarded then the non-dependents and their income are ignored. This does not apply, however, to getting the Single Person Discount of 25% to your council tax bill. The removal of the non-dependents for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction will run from the date of your PIP award so make sure to check this has happened in your situation.

Any credit surplus will normally be added to your rent and council tax account.

This will also apply for anyone claiming Universal Credit who has their rent costs included in their UC amount. Furthermore the position remains the same if anyone were to commence a claim for Carer’s Allowance for any help they provide for you. These rules only apply to the care/daily living elements of DLA or PIP, if you only get mobility elements of the benefits or the low rate of care for DLA then the income and circumstances of the non-dependents still applies.