When being honest goes against you

A lady we were aware of had told the DWP that she would be moving her boyfriend in to live with her on a permanent basis. She was at the time in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and low rate Disability Living Allowance. Being in receipt of ESA meant she was able to claim housing benefit and council tax relief. DWP responded to her honesty by immediately stopping her ESA payments, which then triggered her housing benefit and council tax relief being stopped also. Her partner had only part time work, 20 hours per week, which was too few to be able to claim working tax credits, currently 30 hours per week, so that wasn’t an option. Also because the work he was doing was as a self employed person, he was struggling to get any proof of his income to give to their local authority to satisfy their demands for proof of earnings. All this happened just before Christmas, and he was left with no work at all over the Christmas period, so no income beyond the low rate DLA she received. Her rent was in arrears, and she was close to losing her home. It was just a struggle too far. So we sent across £300 to cover the rent arrears and an extra £50 so they could get some food. Their Christmas meals over the whole of the Christmas period consisted of only baked beans and potatoes, all they could afford. Hopefully this money will help them get straight with their rent. We discovered they now have some proof of income, so hopefully the relevant authorities can be satisfied and they can begin to get on with their lives together.

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