Can I Claim Benefit, Can I Claim Benefit, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, what benefits can i


Can I Claim Benefit?

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction if:

  • You pay rent to a private landlord, housing association, or a council property. But you cannot claim Housing Benefit if you rent from close relatives or the landlord also lives in the same property. A close relative is a parent/step parent or sibling/step sibling. However, if the relative has a commercial tenancy agreement (ie they are a landlord who has let properties previously) then you may be able to claim
  • You have to pay Council Tax on your home. But if you live in a property that is band E or higher you will only be paid up to the amount for a band D property
  • Your savings are less than 16,000 for Housing Benefit and 6000 for Council Tax Reduction applications
  • You work full time or part time (employed or self-employed) and get a low wage
  • You get Benefit or Tax Credit managed by the Department for Work and Pensions, the Inland Revenue or any other low income.

The rules on claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction for self-employed people, students, people from abroad and people who have savings are different to those who get Benefit or Pensions.

There are also different rules for people who have adult children or adults who are not boarders/lodgers or joint tenants. You can find more information on all of the above situations in our related downloads.

How Much Benefit Could I Get?

This is based on the amount of income and savings you have. The more you have the less you get. When we work out your Benefit we take into account:

  • How much money you have coming in each week

Working age – there will be a cap on the amount of benefits that you can get. The Benefit Cap forms part of the Welfare Reform Changes that came into force from April 2013. There are a number of benefits that are included in the Benefit Cap as well as a number of benefits and circumstances that will exclude you from having the cap applied. The Benefit Cap factsheet in Related downloads can explain this further.

If you are not excluded from the benefit amount cap, it will be set at:

  • 500 per week for couples and lone parents; or
  • 350 per week for single adults.
  • How much you have in savings and investments
  • Who lives in your household and their circumstances
  • How much rent and Council Tax you have to pay
  • Whether you are of pension age or working age
  • How many rooms you need for your household (Housing Benefit only).

Renting from South Essex Homes or Housing Associations

Working age – the amount that you are awarded for Housing Benefit depends on the number of rooms you are allowed for your family circumstances, this is known as Size Criteria . Size Criteria forms part of the Welfare Reform Changes that came into force from April 2013. If you are considered to have:

  • 1 extra bedroom you will have a 14% reduction on your Housing Benefit
  • 2 or more extra bedrooms you will have a 25% reduction to your Housing Benefit

You will have to make up the difference yourself. There are some groups of people that are excluded from having the size criteria applied to their claim. For further information about these groups of people please see the Size Criteria Factsheet 2014 in Related Downloads.

Renting from a Private Landlord

If you are working age or pension age the amount you get depends on the Local Housing Allowance rate for the size property you are claiming for. The rates and are updated yearly and can be found in the LHA Rates 2017/2018 Poster in Related Downloads.

Payment on Two Homes

Housing Benefit is normally only paid for one home at a time. However, there are some exceptions where the council may consider paying benefit on two homes. These exceptions are:

  • You have moved into rented accommodation due to fear of violence
  • You are a student/trainee, one of a couple and have to live in separate rented accommodation
  • You have a large family and the council has housed you in two properties
  • You have moved to a new home which you have to pay rent for, but still have to pay rent for a period of time on the old property. This is known as unavoidable overlapping liability.

For further information on payment on two homes please read the Payment on Two Homes leaflet in Related Downloads.

Calculating your Entitlement

To find out an accurate assessment of what you could be entitled to please use the Entitled To Benefit Calculator. Not only will it calculate what you are currently entitled to based on your circumstances but it will also calculate whether you will be better off in work and how Universal Credit will affect you once active in the area.


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Trump Offers No Apology for Claim on British Spying, claim as true.#Claim #as #true


The New York Times

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WASHINGTON — President Trump provoked a rare public dispute with America’s closest ally on Friday after his White House aired an explosive and unsubstantiated claim that Britain’s spy agency had secretly eavesdropped on him at the behest of President Barack Obama during last year’s campaign.

Livid British officials adamantly denied the allegation and secured promises from senior White House officials never to repeat it. But a defiant Mr. Trump refused to back down, making clear that the White House had nothing to retract or apologize for because his spokesman had simply repeated an assertion made by a Fox News commentator. Fox itself later disavowed the report.

The rupture with London was Mr. Trump’s latest quarrel with an ally or foreign power since taking office. Mexico’s president angrily canceled a White House visit in January over Mr. Trump’s proposed border wall. A telephone call with Australia’s prime minister ended abruptly amid a dispute over refugees. Sweden bristled over Mr. Trump’s criticism of its refugee policy. And China refused for weeks to engage with Mr. Trump because of his postelection call with Taiwan’s president.

Mr. Trump’s strained relations with Europe, which has viewed his ascension to power with trepidation, were fully on display on Friday, not just in the British spy flap but also in the venue in which it was addressed. The president was hosting for the first time Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who is seen by many Europeans as the most important champion of the liberal international order.

Though polite, the two leaders seemed stiff and distant during their public appearances. European news outlets and social media made much of the fact that she suggested a handshake for photographers in the Oval Office and he did not respond, although it appeared that he did not hear her. Either way, the two were clearly on separate pages on issues like immigration and trade.

The angry response from Britain stemmed from Mr. Trump’s persistence in accusing Mr. Obama of tapping his phones last year despite the lack of evidence and across-the-board denials. At a briefing on Thursday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, read from a sheaf of news clippings that he suggested bolstered the president’s claim.

Among them was an assertion by Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, that Mr. Obama had used Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, the agency known as the GCHQ, to spy on Mr. Trump. In response to Mr. Spicer, the agency quickly denied it as “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous,” while British officials contacted American counterparts to complain.

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“We said nothing,” Mr. Trump told a German reporter who asked about the matter at a news conference with Ms. Merkel. “All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. I didn’t make an opinion on it.” He added: “You shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox.”

The president tried making a joke about it, turning to Ms. Merkel, who was angered during Mr. Obama’s administration by reports that the National Security Agency had tapped her cellphone and those of other leaders. “At least we have something in common, perhaps,” Mr. Trump said. She made a face that suggested she had no interest in getting involved.

After the news conference, Mr. Spicer echoed Mr. Trump’s unapologetic tone. “I don’t think we regret anything,” he told reporters. “As the president said, I was just reading off media reports.”

Shortly afterward, Fox backed off Mr. Napolitano’s claim. “Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary,” the anchor Shepard Smith said on air. “Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time, any way. Full stop.”

Mr. Trump’s unremorseful tenor further stunned British officials, who thought they had managed to contain the matter. Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the United States, had raised the matter on Thursday night with Mr. Spicer at a St. Patrick’s Day reception in Washington. Mark Lyall Grant, the national security adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, had contacted his American counterpart, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster.

On Friday morning, a spokesman for Mrs. May said the White House had backed off the allegation. “We’ve made clear to the administration that these claims are ridiculous and should be ignored,” the spokesman said, on the condition of anonymity in keeping with British protocol. “We’ve received assurances these allegations won’t be repeated.”

But White House officials, who also requested anonymity, said Mr. Spicer had offered no regret to the ambassador. “He didn’t apologize, no way, no how,” a senior West Wing official said. The officials said they did not know whether General McMaster had apologized.

The furor underscored the continuing troubles for the White House since Mr. Trump first accused Mr. Obama of tapping his phones, an allegation refuted by intelligence agencies as well as Republican and Democratic officials. Even as Mr. Trump refused to back down, fellow Republicans appeared increasingly irritated by what they see as a distraction from their policy goals.

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Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma said on Friday that Mr. Trump had not proved his case and should apologize to Mr. Obama. “Frankly, unless you can produce some pretty compelling truth, I think President Obama is owed an apology,” Mr. Cole told reporters. “If he didn’t do it, we shouldn’t be reckless in accusations that he did.”

The conspiracy theorizing also tested what is often called the special relationship between the United States and Britain. American intelligence agencies enjoy a closer collaboration with their British counterparts than any other in the world. GCHQ was the first agency to warn the United States government that Russia was hacking Democratic Party emails during the presidential campaign.

Foreign policy analysts expressed astonishment that Mr. Trump would so cavalierly endanger that partnership. “It illustrates the extent to which the White House really doesn’t care what damage they do to crucial relationships in order to avoid admitting their dishonesty,” said Kori Schake, a former national security aide to President George W. Bush now at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. “America’s allies are having to protect themselves against being tarred with the White House’s mendacity.”

Eric S. Edelman, an under secretary of defense under Mr. Bush, has written about the stresses between the United States and Britain in recent years. “I hope that this latest episode doesn’t drive a stake through the heart of the strongest remaining element of Anglo-American partnership,” he said.

Julianne Smith, who was a deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., said Mr. Trump did not appear to realize how much American intelligence agencies depend on Britain in dealing with threats around the world. “He will probably live to see the day when he will regret firing off such an egregious insult to Britain and then failing to apologize for it,” she said.

The issue clearly touched a nerve at GCHQ, which usually refuses to comment on intelligence matters. Its vehement response surprised British officials and analysts. Dominic Grieve, the intelligence committee chairman in Parliament, pointed to elaborate safeguards that prevent spying on the United States and require “a valid national security purpose” for any monitoring. “It is inconceivable that those legal requirements could be met in the circumstances described,” he said.

Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the last British coalition government, described Mr. Spicer’s repetition of the claims as “shameful” and said Mr. Trump was “compromising the vital U.K.-U.S. security relationship to try to cover his own embarrassment.”

Downing Street evidently wanted to avoid adding to any embarrassment in Washington while making it clear that Britain had no part in any such wiretapping. But in rebuffing that effort, Mr. Trump showed that Mrs. May, who was the first foreign leader to visit the White House after his inauguration, may not have forged the bond she had hoped, analysts said.

“It’s very easy to have a good meeting with Trump,” said Jeremy Shapiro, a former State Department official who is the research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London. “He’s very pleasant in person. He’ll promise you the world. And 48 hours later, he’ll betray you without a thought. He won’t even know he’ll be betraying you.”

Follow Peter Baker at @peterbakernyt and Steven Erlanger at @stevenerlanger

Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Steven Erlanger from London. Reporting was contributed by Mark Landler, Eric Schmitt, Glenn Thrush, Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Robert Pear from Washington and Maggie Haberman and Michael M. Grynbaum from New York.


How To Survive as a Newly Single Parent – Scary Mommy, what benefits can i


How To Survive as a Newly Single Parent

What benefits can i claim as a single parent

When you get divorced, a lot changes. I admit, that’s an understatement. A whole lot changes. If you have children, forget the new chapter bullshit; you’re in a new book altogether. Wait. Scratch that. You’re in a different library, in a foreign country. The people here don’t speak the same language, the books aren t organized like they were in your old house of literature and you can’t seem to find the damn directory anywhere.

Shit. This single parent thing is legit. Survival requires a skill set you most likely have either: a) lost, b) never used, or c) didn t have in the first place. From things like clogged sinks and lawns needing mowed, to instantly being placed in the dual role of good cop and bad cop, the tasks a single parent handles on a day-to-day basis put an air traffic controller’s job to shame.

Success, however, can be accomplished, I promise. Should a person equip themselves adequately, single parenting can actually be somewhat appealing. Swear to God.

Here are some things you ll need to come out on the other side of solo childrearing with (most of) your mental faculties intact, a smile on your face and only an average amount of therapy bills

1. A babysitter. Preferably one with no social life, so when you call her from your closet floor at 6 p.m. in tears, desperate for some “you time,” she’ll be right there.

2. A back-up babysitter. And at least one more back-up for the back-up. This is serious stuff. Criteria for a quality babysitter ranges widely depending on age and skills of your children. The older they get, the less important things like “speaks English” and “over 16” are.

3. Membership to a wine club. Or a discount liquor store. Or both! You think I’m kidding. I’m not.

4. A single friend of the same gender and near your age range. When you finally get a minute to yourself, have managed to find clothing that is not for work, “exercise” attire, or covered with last night s dinner and this morning’s breakfast, and still have the energy left over to hit the town, you’re going to want a wingman/woman. Choose wisely. Different friends, different crowds. ‘Nuff said.

5. A friend with benefits. There are going to be times when you, uh, would like some um, needs met. Unless you’re down with random hook-ups or have (equally unwisely) jumped back into a committed relationship, you might want to have a person on call with whom to handle this business. Just be careful. Don’t go falling in love and shit. Keep it together. Business is business, people.

6. A great group of supportive friends. Don’t blow it by being the party pooper all the time there, Debbie Downer. They have problems too. Listen and be supportive for them just as often (if not more frequently) than you bring your latest crisis to their attention.

7. Good neighbors. Ones you can look in the face the morning after a night out and who will either politely claim they did not hear you yelling at your children last night around 8 p.m., or, heard it, and were over in within five minutes to play backup.

8. Single parent friends and networks. Don’t know any? Try MeetUp. Seriously. These people will be absolutely essential to your feeling like anything other than a reject of the Members Only Club to which all your married peeps belong.

9. A virtual, cloud-based calendar shared with your ex spouse. Put everything possibly related to the kids and their whereabouts here. You can’t lose it, it’s highly accessible and it’s free. If you set reminders, you can’t forget about appointments (easily) and you can “communicate” with your ex sans contention. Well maybe, so long as you leave the sarcasm out of the comments section. Try hard. It’s possible, so I hear.

10. A sense of humor. Don’t have one? GET ONE. NOW. The only way to make this drama into less of a horror flick and more of an action parody is to be able to laugh, often, at yourself and your situation.

So quit whining already. The credits will be rolling before you know it, take off those pouty pants, get yourself together and hit the road, running. You can do it.


VA taking guesswork out of filing for benefits by requiring forms, what benefits can i


VAntage Point

What benefits can i claim as a single parent

VAntage Point

Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VA taking guesswork out of filing for benefits by requiring forms

A new way to file

What benefits can i claim as a single parent

What benefits can i claim as a single parent

A couple years after I separated from the military, a retired chief at my local The American Legion post told me I should look into filing an increase on one of my disabilities. At that time, my disability was causing me increased pain and she was concerned I was not being compensated appropriately.

At first I ignored her, but with more prompting I went onto VA’s website and searched for the form to file an increase on my disability compensation. Finding none, I went back to the chief and she found me a local service officer who wrote on a piece of paper that I wanted to file an increase for my service-connected disability, put it in an envelope, and dropped it in the mail.

I was stunned. For weeks, I had searched for a form that did not exist.

Shortly after that, I started working for a Veterans service organization helping other Veterans appeal their claims. Like the service officer who had helped me, I would advise Veterans to write what they were appealing on a piece of paper and mail it in. Many of them found it confusing.

“What do I write?” they would ask. Or, “There’s really no form?” Or my favorite, “Even the DMV requires me to fill out a form for a driver’s license.”

The confusion Veterans, their families and survivors felt in the claims process was a major reason why I came to work at VA in 2011. I had ideas and wanted to be a part of the change to help Veterans like myself and husband. More importantly, I wanted to communicate those changes to you.

Nearly four years later, I am amazed at the changes that have occurred. For instance, Veterans no longer have to drop their claims in the mail and can instead file online, our claims processors can now work your claim from start to finish electronically and Veterans can automatically add dependents online. And starting today, we are making it easier to file a claim. By using standardized forms – much like applying for a driver’s license – you won’t have to wonder which form to use, or which one is best for you. There is now only one form for filing each benefit – compensation, pension and dependency indemnity compensation and one form for submitting an appeal for a compensation claim.

Here are two major changes we want you to know:

First, when you file a claim, you must use one of these forms:

  • Veterans filing compensation claims should still use eBenefits. It continues to be the fastest and easiest way to file a claim for compensation. In fact, the form is already built into the system.
  • If you prefer not to file online you must complete and submit VA Form 21-526EZ,Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, to VA
  • Wartime Veterans filing pension claims must complete and mail VA Form 21-527EZ, Application for Pension
  • Survivors filing for dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), survivors pension, and accrued benefits must be filed on VA Form 21-534EZ, Application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits

What benefits can i claim as a single parent

Visit explore.va.gov for more information on using standard forms to file a claim.

Second, if you plan on appealing your claim’s decision, VA will provide you an easy-to-understand form that allows VA to quickly determine why you disagree with the decision. This is called the Standard Notice of Disagreement, or VA Form 21-0958. If you receive a compensation decision on or after March 24, you will have to use this form if you want to appeal. Those wanting to appeal pension and survivors benefits are not required to use the standard NOD at this time.

But wait, those forms aren’t new!

You’re right. VA has used these forms for years, but they were optional. In that time, we’ve seen how use of these forms has gone a long way in removing confusion and easing processing delays in the claims process.

Finally, for Veterans and survivors who want to file a claim, but need more time to gather information, we’ve standardized what used to be known as an informal claim by using a new intent to file a claim process. This basically means you or your representative can submit information, including what general benefit type you are seeking (i.e., compensation, pension, or survivors benefits) to preserve an effective date for benefits while you take up to one year to gather the evidence necessary to support your claim and complete the required application form. This process is completely optional. If you already have the information you need to file a formal claim, you should file the formal claim instead of using the intent to file a claim process.

The Intent to File may be submitted in one of four ways:

  1. Through your accredited Veterans Service Organization, which can submit it electronically on your behalf
  2. Electronically via eBenefits by initiating and completing the personal information page, and saving (but not submitting) the application
  3. Completing and mailing the paper VA Form 21-0966, Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC to VA
  4. Informing a VA call center representative over the phone or a public contact representative in person at a VA regional office

This change allows VA to award increased benefits retroactive to the date of medical treatment as long as you submit your intent to file within one year of your treatment and the required claim form is filed within the same year as your intent to file.

There’s still more work to do, and we have more ideas, but everyday we’re working hard to improve your experience at VA. These forms will help take out the guess work so many of you, me included, have experienced.

Editor s note: Still have questions? Visit explore.va.gov for more information on using standard forms to file a claim.

Cat Trombley is a public affairs specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration. Prior to working for VA, she was an assistant director at a Veteran service organization and represented Veterans before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. She is also an Air Force Veteran and married to a Marine Corps Veteran.


Advice and Support for Single Dads: Financial, what benefits can i claim as a single


Financial Advice

The following pages will give you basic information on benefits, entitlements and maintenance for single parents. We have also listed useful organisations who will be able to give you further information.

Income Support

What is Income Support?

This is extra money to help people on a low income.

It is for people who don’t have to sign on as unemployed.

This could be if you are:

  • sick or disabled
  • a lone parent responsible for a child under 12 years of age
  • a carer, or
  • registered blind.

Can I get Income Support?

It is for people who:

  • are 16 to 59 years old
  • have a low income
  • work less than 16 hours a week
  • are not in full-time study
  • do not get Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • do not have savings above £16,000, and
  • live in Great Britain

Employment and Support Allowance

What is Employment and Support Allowance?

Employment and Support Allowance replaced Incapacity Benefit and Income Support, paid because of an illness or disability, for new claims from 27 October 2008. If you are currently receiving these benefits you will continue to receive them, so long as you continue to satisfy the entitlement conditions.

Although, Employment and Support Allowance will initially be for new customers only, you will be fully eligible for the work-focused help which will be available with the Employment and Support Allowance and can access this on a voluntary basis.

Employment and Support Allowance is a new way of helping people with an illness or disability to move into work, if they are able.

There is evidence which shows that people are better off in work, not only financially, but in terms of their health and well-being, their self-esteem and the future prospects for themselves and their family.

Employment and Support Allowance offers you personalised support and financial help, so that you can engage in appropriate work, if you are able.

It gives you access to a specially trained personal adviser and a wide range of further services including employment, training and condition management support, to help you manage and cope with your illness or disability in a work context.

Central to Employment and Support Allowance is the new medical assessment called the Work Capability Assessment which assesses what you can do, rather than what you can’t, and identifies the health related support you might need.

Most people claiming Employment and Support Allowance will be expected to take appropriate steps to help prepare for work, including attending a series of work-focused interviews with their personal adviser.

Under Employment and Support Allowance if you have an illness or disability that severely affects your ability to work, you will get increased financial support and will not be expected to prepare for a return to work; however you can volunteer to do so if you want to.

Tax credits are payments from the government. If you’re responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but earn low wages, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit.

Who can get tax credits?

Nine out of ten families with children get tax credits, but you don’t need to have children to qualify. You may also qualify if you are working and earning low pay.

How much do you get?

The amount of tax credits you get depends on things like:

  • how many children you have living with you
  • whether you work – and how many hours you work
  • if you pay for childcare
  • if you or any child living with you has a disability
  • if you’re aged 50 plus and are coming off benefits

Your payments also depend on your income. The lower your income, the more tax credit you can get.

Mr and Mrs Khan both work full-time. Between them, they earn about £25,000 a year. They have three children. They get about £87 a week in tax credits.

If their income was higher, and they earned about £50,000 a year, they’d get about £10 a week instead.

Jon Barry is aged 30, not married and lives alone. He works full-time and earns £10,000 a year. He gets about £24 a week in tax credits.

How tax credits work

If you’re married or living with a partner you’ll need to make a joint claim for tax credits. You can only make a single claim if you don’t have a partner.

The Tax Credit Office pay tax credits directly into your bank, building society, Post Office® or National Savings account if it accepts Direct Payment – either weekly or every four weeks.

Who gets the payments?

If you’re both working and you both qualify for Working Tax Credit, you can decide who’ll get the payments.

If you’re claiming Child Tax Credit and you’re in a couple you need to decide which one of you is the children’s main carer. If you’re the main carer then the money will be paid to you.

How tax credits payments work

The tax credits payments you receive are based on your current personal circumstances and your income from the tax year that ended on the 5 April 2009.

If you’re making a new claim for tax credits your payments will usually run from the date of your claim to the end of the tax year. For example, if you make a claim on 10 November 2009, your payments will be worked out from that date until 5 April 2010.

Each year during April, May and June the Tax Credit Office write to you asking you to:

  • check the information they have about your personal circumstances
  • confirm the income you received in the year that has just ended
  • renew your claim

This helps the Tax Credit Office to check that the payments they have made to you were correct. It also allows them to base your payments for the year ahead on the right amount of income.

Sometimes you will have been paid too much or not enough. If this happens the Tax Credit Office will make an adjustment to make sure that your payments are correct. Any payments they make from 6 April 2010 to the date on which you renew your claim are temporary or provisional and if you don’t renew, you may be asked to pay them back.

Changes at home and work

If your circumstances change it can affect the amount of money you should be getting. So please contact the Tax Credit Office as soon as possible to tell them about any changes.

Contact the Tax Credit Office

You can contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900 or textphone 0845 300 3909 open from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm seven days a week except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

You may be able to get Child Benefit if any of the following apply:

  • your child is under 16
  • your child is over 16 and in education or training that qualifies for Child Benefit
  • your child is 16 or 17, has left education or training that qualifies for Child Benefit and is registered for work, education or training with an approved body

You can get Child Benefit even if your child doesn’t live with you. However, if they live with someone else, you can only get Child Benefit if:

  • you pay towards the upkeep of your child
  • what you pay is at least the same as the amount of Child Benefit you get for your child
  • the person bringing up your child is not getting Child Benefit for them – if you and another person both claim Child Benefit for the same child, only one of you can get it

You can also get Child Benefit for a child even if you are not their parent, but you have to be responsible for them to qualify.

How much Child Benefit will you get?

There are two separate amounts, with a higher amount for your eldest (or only) child. You get £20.00 a week for your eldest child and £13.20 a week for each of your other children.

How is Child Benefit paid?

Child Benefit can be paid into any bank, building society, or National Savings Investments (NS I) account that accepts Direct Payment. It’s usually paid every four weeks, but it can be paid weekly if you are getting Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income related Employment and Support Allowance or if you are a single parent.

Child Maintenance Options provides impartial information and support to help both parents make informed choices about child maintenance.

The fact that they are impartial means they are there to help both parents and aren’t biased towards any one way of arranging child maintenance.

They can help you for example:

  • if you’re separating from the other parent or are not living with them and you need to set up a child maintenance arrangement
  • if you’re thinking of switching from a private agreement to an arrangement using the Child Support Agency (CSA), or the other way round
  • if your child maintenance arrangement has broken down or is not working as you’d like it to.

If you’re a guardian, relative or friend, or if you have a professional interest in finding out more about child maintenance, they may also be able to help you.


Can I Claim Benefit, Can I Claim Benefit, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, what benefits can i


Can I Claim Benefit?

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction if:

  • You pay rent to a private landlord, housing association, or a council property. But you cannot claim Housing Benefit if you rent from close relatives or the landlord also lives in the same property. A close relative is a parent/step parent or sibling/step sibling. However, if the relative has a commercial tenancy agreement (ie they are a landlord who has let properties previously) then you may be able to claim
  • You have to pay Council Tax on your home. But if you live in a property that is band E or higher you will only be paid up to the amount for a band D property
  • Your savings are less than 16,000 for Housing Benefit and 6000 for Council Tax Reduction applications
  • You work full time or part time (employed or self-employed) and get a low wage
  • You get Benefit or Tax Credit managed by the Department for Work and Pensions, the Inland Revenue or any other low income.

The rules on claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction for self-employed people, students, people from abroad and people who have savings are different to those who get Benefit or Pensions.

There are also different rules for people who have adult children or adults who are not boarders/lodgers or joint tenants. You can find more information on all of the above situations in our related downloads.

How Much Benefit Could I Get?

This is based on the amount of income and savings you have. The more you have the less you get. When we work out your Benefit we take into account:

  • How much money you have coming in each week

Working age – there will be a cap on the amount of benefits that you can get. The Benefit Cap forms part of the Welfare Reform Changes that came into force from April 2013. There are a number of benefits that are included in the Benefit Cap as well as a number of benefits and circumstances that will exclude you from having the cap applied. The Benefit Cap factsheet in Related downloads can explain this further.

If you are not excluded from the benefit amount cap, it will be set at:

  • 500 per week for couples and lone parents; or
  • 350 per week for single adults.
  • How much you have in savings and investments
  • Who lives in your household and their circumstances
  • How much rent and Council Tax you have to pay
  • Whether you are of pension age or working age
  • How many rooms you need for your household (Housing Benefit only).

Renting from South Essex Homes or Housing Associations

Working age – the amount that you are awarded for Housing Benefit depends on the number of rooms you are allowed for your family circumstances, this is known as Size Criteria . Size Criteria forms part of the Welfare Reform Changes that came into force from April 2013. If you are considered to have:

  • 1 extra bedroom you will have a 14% reduction on your Housing Benefit
  • 2 or more extra bedrooms you will have a 25% reduction to your Housing Benefit

You will have to make up the difference yourself. There are some groups of people that are excluded from having the size criteria applied to their claim. For further information about these groups of people please see the Size Criteria Factsheet 2014 in Related Downloads.

Renting from a Private Landlord

If you are working age or pension age the amount you get depends on the Local Housing Allowance rate for the size property you are claiming for. The rates and are updated yearly and can be found in the LHA Rates 2017/2018 Poster in Related Downloads.

Payment on Two Homes

Housing Benefit is normally only paid for one home at a time. However, there are some exceptions where the council may consider paying benefit on two homes. These exceptions are:

  • You have moved into rented accommodation due to fear of violence
  • You are a student/trainee, one of a couple and have to live in separate rented accommodation
  • You have a large family and the council has housed you in two properties
  • You have moved to a new home which you have to pay rent for, but still have to pay rent for a period of time on the old property. This is known as unavoidable overlapping liability.

For further information on payment on two homes please read the Payment on Two Homes leaflet in Related Downloads.

Calculating your Entitlement

To find out an accurate assessment of what you could be entitled to please use the Entitled To Benefit Calculator. Not only will it calculate what you are currently entitled to based on your circumstances but it will also calculate whether you will be better off in work and how Universal Credit will affect you once active in the area.


Donald Trump had biggest inaugural crowd ever? Metrics don t show it, PolitiFact, claim as


Donald Trump had biggest inaugural crowd ever? Metrics don’t show it

By Linda Qiu on Saturday, January 21st, 2017 at 9:13 p.m.

Claim as true

At the first press briefing of the new administration, White House press secretary Sean Spicer blasted the media, saying they deliberately misled the public about the size of President Donald Trump s inauguration crowd.

Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular Tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall, Spicer said on Jan. 21. That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe.

Spicer offered a few facts to disprove media reports of low turnout, but many of them are misleading or inaccurate. His overall assertion that Trump s inaugural drew the largest audience ever is flat-out wrong.

Spicer pointed to changes in infrastructure that gave the illusion of low turnout.

It was the first time that floor coverings were used to protect the grass on the National Mall, which had highlighted empty spots in the inaugural crowd, an effect not experienced in past inaugurations, he said.

But this is not the case. Floor coverings were also used in 2013, and floor coverings remained on the Mall during the Women s March on Washington the day after the inauguration.

Spicer also blamed the first time usage of fencing and magnetometers on the Mall for preventing hundreds of thousands of people being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had inaugurations past.

According to a 2017 Congressional Research Service report, screening magnetometers, or metal detectors, have been used in past inaugurations, though it s not clear if they were placed on the Mall itself. The screening zones, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, did include two busy metro stops close to the Mall.

Spicer s claim was also disputed by New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, who tweeted that two unnamed law enforcement officials told him magnetometers were not used in the areas Spicer said they were on the Mall.

Spicer then knocked the press for tweeting out inaccurate numbers involving crowd size.

No one had numbers because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out, he said. We do know a few things. So let s go through the facts.

We know that from the platform from where the President was sworn in to 4th Street holds about 250,000 people. From 4th Street to the media tent is about another 220,000. And from the media tent to the Washington Monument another 250,000 people. All of this space was full when the President took the oath of office.

Many news organizations, including PolitiFact, have noted that it s difficult to gauge crowd size and that estimates are inconsistent. The National Park Service stopped tallying crowds on the National Mall in 1995 after a dispute over the attendance of the Million Man March.

Spicer s claim of full spaces on the Mall — which photographs contradict — would give Trump a crowd size of at least 720,000, which is higher than preliminary estimates reported in the media but are on par with the 700,000 to 900,000 organizers expected to attend. The President himself touted 1.5 million on Jan. 21 at CIA headquarters. But that still wouldn t have been the top figure.

Here are the attendance estimates for past inaugurations:


Hillary Clinton s wrong claim that FBI director Comey called her comments about email truthful,


Hillary Clinton’s wrong claim that FBI director Comey called her comments about email ‘truthful’

By Lauren Carroll on Monday, August 1st, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

Hillary Clinton said that she has told the public a consistent and truthful story about classified material on her emails, and FBI director James Comey backed her up. That immediately caught our attention.

On the July 31 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace played a video montage of several times Clinton said something like: I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time.

Wallace remarked, After a long investigation, FBI director James Comey said none of those things that you told the American public were true.

That s not what Clinton heard Comey say, she responded.

Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails, she said.

Clinton appears to have selective hearing.

In saying Comey called her answers truthful, Clinton was apparently referring to and putting a positive spin on a comment Comey made in a July 7 congressional hearing regarding Clinton s closed-door interview with the FBI as part of their investigation. Comey said, We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.

In her interview with Wallace, Clinton was making the point that what she told the public is consistent with what she told the FBI, and Comey said what she told the FBI was truthful, campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin said.

So Clinton s statement implies that Comey has confirmed that her public comments are accurate. That is incorrect.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked Comey at the July 7 congressional hearing, Did she lie to the public?

Comey responded, That s a question I m not qualified to answer.

He also said he hadn t compared Clinton s public comments with the FBI interview to see if there were inconsistencies. There is no transcript of the FBI interview.

When Comey announced the FBI s findings July 5, it was clear that there are obvious inconsistencies between what Clinton said publicly about classified information on her private email server before her FBI interview and what the FBI found. Pointedly, Clinton said there wasn t any classified information in her email, and he said there was.

Take the video Wallace played on Fox News Sunday. In it, Clinton said, I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified materials (March 10, 2015); I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time (July 25, 2015); I had not sent classified material nor received anything marked classified (Aug. 18, 2015).

But Comey reported that, of the tens of thousands of emails investigators reviewed, 113 individual emails contained classified information, and three of them bore markings signifying their classification status. (Information can still be classified even if it does not have a label.) Eight email threads contained top-secret information, the highest level of classification, 36 contained secret information, and the remaining eight contained confidential information.

About 2,000 emails have been retroactively classified, or up-classified, meaning the information was not classified when it was emailed, but it is now.

Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information, Comey said in a July 5 statement.

Then, there was this exchange between Comey and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., at the congressional hearing:

Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her emails either sent or received. Was that true?

Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said, I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. Was that true?

Comey: There was classified material emailed.

In fairness to Clinton, Comey said some of the classified emails were insufficiently marked, and it s understandable that she didn t realize that some of the ones without labels were actually classified.

But he also said of some of the classified emails that did not bear markings, There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton s position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about the matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.

We ll also note a couple other major inconsistencies between Clinton s remarks and the FBI s findings:

Clinton repeatedly said she turned over all work-related emails to the State Department in 2014, about 30,000 emails. However, Comey said FBI investigators uncovered several thousand work-related emails that she had not handed over to the State Department.

And, Clinton has said her email servers had numerous safeguards. It was on property guarded by the Secret Service. And there were no security breaches.

Comey said that while there s no evidence anyone successfully hacked Clinton s email servers, they certainly were susceptible to attack. There was no full-time security staff, which are found at government agencies and commercial email providers like Google. Further, he noted that Clinton used her personal email abroad, which could have allowed hostile actors to access her account.

Clinton said regarding the presence of classified information in her email, FBI director James Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people.

A reasonable person would interpret Clinton s statement to mean that Comey has endorsed her public remarks about her email. This is not the case.

Talking specifically about Clinton s closed-door FBI interview, Comey said there is no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI about her email practices. But Comey has specifically declined to comment on whether Clinton s public remarks have been accurate.

Further, while not explicitly rebuking Clinton s public comments, Comey highlighted a major problem with them.

Clinton repeatedly said she did not have any classified information whatsoever in her email, marked or unmarked. After the FBI investigation, including the interview with Clinton, Comey said she unequivocally did.

We rate her claim Pants on Fire.

Claim as true


North Korea claims missile can reach anywhere, claim as true.#Claim #as #true


North Korea tests missile it claims can reach ‘anywhere in the world’

Updated 2223 GMT (0623 HKT) July 4, 2017

Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what s happening in the world as it unfolds.

Claim as true

Claim as true

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Story highlights

  • United States calls for UN Security Council meeting
  • Test comes days after Trump phoned leaders of China and Japan about threat

(CNN) North Korea claims to have conducted its first successful test of a long-range missile that it says can “reach anywhere in the world.”

International reaction

North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea.

. and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!

Most successful test yet

Claim as true

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