A little help is needed please? Thank you

Hi, first I would like to thank you for taking the time to help me, it’s very much appreciated.
My mother is a Carer for my grandmother so she receives carers allowance, income support and housing benefit.
She lives in a 2 bedroom home (knightstone) and lived there alone until recently. She now has student/s living in the spare bedroom. They are international students who have come to England to learn English. There are up to two students at a time in the room and they can stay between 1 and 10 weeks at a time. She has to wash there clothes and cook them food and she receives a maximum of £110 per week for 2 students and around half of that if only one student.

She did not report her changes in circumstances and someone has reported her, leading to her receiving a letter saying she will receive a phone call on X date at X time from a compliance officer and if she does not answer her benefit will stop. The compliance officer phoned and said they received information that other people were living at the house so my mum explained the situation that students are living there and told her the truth.
The compliance officer is now going to send a letter/change in circumstances form to be filled out by my mum. But before she fills the form in she wants to know what changes will be made to her benefit first?

We understand that as a Carer she is allowed to earn up to £123 per week so that shouldn’t be affected?

However with the housing benefit will there be a deduction made?
Or will there be a deduction from the income support?

I believe they are full time students at a language school, will this make any difference as I noticed here Housing Benefit | Carers UK it says No non dependent deduction can be made if your non dependent is: then the last point says Full time student.

We are a bit confused if she is allowed them or she’s not allowed them and if she is will there be a deduction in benefit? She has only recently started this as a way of a bit of extra income as a friend of hers was doing it, but with all this she just wants to pack it all in and stop!
If she’s not allowed them or there will be a large deduction then she will NO longer continue to do it.
The woman on the phone made it very clear that if any overpayment was made it will have to be paid back, she repeated this.
This made my mum very anxious and worried.

I hope this makes sense hope it wasn’t too long thanks for taking the time to read it and thanks in advance for any advice/ answers given.

Hi Josh … what follows is almost a standard reply whenever the DWP are involved.

ANY income related benefit would be affected by additional income … see the provisons attached to any.

( If HB , I assume the property is rented ? Landlord’s permission obtained to sub let ???
If no " Bedroom " tax , I assume b.t.l. … breach of the AST ? )

Either the CAB or the Carers Advice Team ( Best by email ) :

Citizens Advice


Benefit changes ?

An online benefit calculator will give you an idea before the forthcoming DWP meeting :


Simple calculation to give you an idea has to how much has been overpaid ?

I think as far as Income Tax is concerned a certain element of income for “boarders” is exempt, not classed as income. Mum would also have expenses which would be deducted i.e. cost of washing, food, etc. etc.

Yep … hardly a problem for the TaxMan but … a major one for the DoleMan.

One good thing so far … it has been spotted early … imagine if a year had passed ?

I’ve been filing, and in doing so found my Disability Rights Handbook 2014.
In the Carers Allowance section it says, in the “calculating earnings” section, that

  • "the first £20 a week plus half the resto of the income from a boarder is considered

  • the whole of any contribution towards living and accommodation costs from someone living in your home (other than boarders and subtenants)

In the “Income other than Earnings” section it says under Payments for your home
Income from tenants and lodgers
Payment you receive from lodgers if you provide board and lodging in your home are disregarded.
(Chapter 17 page 129)

So you need to find a copy of the latest book and double check this!

Yep … hardly any effect on CA on the figures posted.

It’s the INCOME related benefits that are … by how much ?

That’s where that online benefits calculator comes in.

What does it show for IS and HB once the addition income is factored in … a XXp for a £ 1 scenario ?

Still … Josh’s mother will soon find out ?

It seems to be disregarded totally, but this needs to be checked.

A rule of thumb when claiming HB and have additional income :

You won’t usually get full housing benefit > unless > you earn less than you’d get on JSA, ESA or income support.

Your housing benefit is reduced by 65p for every £1 you get in extra income above the amount you’d receive in benefits if you weren’t working.

It seems to be saying that these payments don’t count as income though, Chris

For INCOME related benefits , they do.

CAB … also covers that £ 20 disregard … part of the section on INCOME SUPPORT :


Check you’re on a low income

Your income needs to be less than a certain amount to claim Income Support - this amount depends on your circumstances.

Your income can’t be higher than the amount you’d get from Income Support each week - check how much you can get.

When you work out your earnings, you can exclude the first:

£5 a week if you’re single with no children
£10 a week if you’re claiming as a couple
£20 a week if you’re a single parent, disabled or a carer

Some other benefits also count towards your income, for example working tax credits or Carer’s Allowance.

Scourge of a few of my neighbours … short hour zero hour contracts … for every £ 1 earned , upto 68p can be lost in income
related benefits … housing benefit being the common one … council tax reduced rate being the other.

( Throw in the UC element and I have my work cut out locally ! Income erratic , expenditure fixed. )