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Debbie_Scope Chatterbox

My name is Debbie and I work on the Scope helpline. Each member of the Helpline team has a subject lead role which aligns to Scope’s strategic themes. The lead role means that we have a deeper understanding and knowledge around the issue/s. The aim is to provide more in-depth information and advice to disabled people and Scope’s customers as well as sharing information and updates with Scope colleagues. My lead role is based around Benefits, Finance and Housing.


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Member, Helpline, Community advisor


  • djm
    Dear Debbie, My stepdaughter has had a Personal budget from local Social Services for several years. She lives in rented home in the community and has 24hr support. We would like to rent a house which has better facilities for her disability. We have tried to look for somewhere different but It would appear that as she is in receipt of HB this negates her from being accepted. We have thought about a shared ownership scheme. Can Emma have a mortgage on part of property and pay rent on the rest?

    January 16
    • Debbie_Scope
      Hi @djm,

      Sorry for the delay replying to you and thanks for your message.
      Getting a mortgage if your income consists solely of benefits is really difficult. I wrote some information about Mortgages which you can view on the Scope website if you haven't already seen this information. https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/money/mortgages-hold

      It is possible to have a mortgage and pay rent on the share you don't own (Shared Ownership). You can claim housing benefit (if eligible) to cover the rent side but the mortgage payments would have to be covered out of existing income. There isn't any equivalent support for mortgage costs. The limited help that is available will from April, be paid as a loan rather than a benefit.

      Is your Step-daughter's home rented privately or through a social landlord?
      What facilities does she need and could her current home be adapted to meet some of her needs?

      It can be much harder to access the private rented sector when you're in receipt of benefits. Landlords are very reluctant to accept tenants on benefits and sometimes this is because they have restrictions placed on them by lenders and/or insurers. Some don't rent to tenants in receipt of benefits because they're worried about delays in the benefits system, this is becoming more prevalent with the roll-out of Universal Credit.

      There's also just not enough housing to meet the demand either, so this places further barriers and makes independent living harder to achieve and costly.

      Please do let me know if you need further information.

      Best wishes
    • heavenhelp
      What about when people receive a letter from DWP about how much benefit they will get and no housing cost ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration and if they still dont give you your housing cost go to the Tribunal. More chances of you winning there would you agree?
  • crystal98
    i was on pip i was awarded pip to august 2019 but my mobility got worse so my social worker said i needed to apply for mobility which we do someone came out to see me then my pip stop 
    February 5
  • gigtryer
    My vital support has ended, none since 17th December 2017.
    January 26
  • gigtryer
    Hi, Debbie. I've been in total despair since Headway, the Brain Injury Charity, decided to end their Home Visiting Service. There's been none since 17th December 2017, and no alternatives lined up. I'm also not getting the right (enhanced) PIP. Social Services make one visit to me and my Partner who is also disabled, then they abandon us.
    January 26
  • GoodpersonS
    Hi was wondering if anyone can explain to me ,why my partner whom I was his career and he claimed for me ,and was joint tenancy,went into hospital ,and managed to get a temporary accomadation ,and left me without any warning and is waiting on  a sheltered accom ,and no one even considered that I was left in a state of shock with no money for 3 mths. I was restricted to dad doesn’t wantto see u . I’m broken hearted with no explanation .
    January 20
    • Debbie_Scope
      Hi @GoodpersonS,

      Sorry to see you're having such a hard time at the moment.

      I'm not sure that I can explain what's happened here because I don't fully understand what's happened. Has your partner ended the joint tenancy? Are you able to continue living in the property?

      Sorry I can't be much more help than this, please do let me know more though if need further information.

      Best wishes
  • rich_hobbs_1
    Hi Debbie I would like to ask you a question if I can I’m due to sell my home at some point in the future and was wondering would it void my benefits if I was to have a large sum of money in the bank onthe basis that it is to buy a new home ? 
    Many thanks 
    January 21
    • Debbie_Scope
      Hi @rich_hobbs_1,

      The proceeds of the sale of your home can be disregarded for up to 26 weeks if you intend to purchase a new property. If you need further information about this please let me know.

      I hope this has been helpful and thanks for your question.

      Best wishes