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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

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The Department for Communities has issued guidance on the effect of a recent upper tribunal decision concerning the meaning of the phrase “A person is responsible for a child or qualifying young person who normally lives with them”, which appears in the Universal Credit legislation.

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Benefits, Practical tips, Case law, Legal
Image of housing benefit application form and electricity meter cards

The UK Upper Tribunal has found that a First Tier Tribunal erred in law by deciding that a person who sold his former home and rented it back could not receive Housing Benefit. In an important decision, the court ruled that the test of whether someone could continue to occupy their home without relinquishing ownership is one of practical compulsion, rather than legal compulsion and does not necessitate that the lender has started legal action to recover possession of the property.

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Benefits, Practical tips, Affordability, Legal

The Housing Executive has published the results of its analysis of the costs of poor housing in Northern Ireland. The report suggests that it would cost approximately £305million to eliminate category 1 hazards across Northern Ireland's housing stock, but suggests that such costs would be recovered within 8 years via reduced NHS costs as a result of improved housing. 

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Regulation, Social Tenancies, Affordability

Regulations were issued in August expanding the existing capital disregards relating to benefit arrears. Capital, resulting from a benefit arrear payable as a result of an error or on a point of law can now be disregarded for the lifetime of the benefit award. Previously, such capital could only have been disregarded for a maximum period of 52 weeks.

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently launched guidance for Departmental staff on what changes of circumstance trigger natural migration to Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is being rolled out at present and replaces the following benefits:

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

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