Money myths busted: home owners & working families

Monday 18 July 2016

Falling on difficult times can happen to any of us - and if it does, it's often when we least expect it. Working out what help or benefits are available can be tricky. Sometimes the things we think we know aren't always correct.

These expert pointers from Riverside Home Ownership's very own Money Advisor dispel some of the myths that clients often believe are true.

1.   There is no help available to leaseholders to pay their service charge - False!

If you are a shared ownership leaseholders on a low income, you may get help from Housing Benefits, and if you own or are buying your property and still have a service charge, you may get extra help to pay the charge in your DWP benefit. 

2.   You cannot get disability benefits if you work - False!

Both Personal Independence Payments and the benefit it replaced (Disability Living Allowance) are not 'means tested' benefits. Put simply, this means that the rate you get is not affected by other income or savings.

3.   You cannot get benefits if you have savings - False!

The upper limit for capital that you can have without it affecting your benefits is usually £16,000 - with the exception of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, PIP and Attendance Allowance, which do not take savings into account.

RHO's Money Advisor can give residents free and confidential advice

Money Advice

4.   If someone sleeps at your property for three nights a week, then you are classed as 'living together' for benefits purposes - False!

There is no set number of nights that means you are 'living together' with someone.  Instead, regard would be given to the whole picture and a decision will be made as to whether you are a couple or not.

5.   You can work while you are on Employment and Support Allowance - True!

Some people are allowed to work up to 16 hours per week and it will not affect their ESA. This is called 'permitted work'.  In addition, if you do less than 16 hours work per week, you may be entitled to a 'top up' from DWP benefits.

RHO residents can arrange a personal telephone appointment with our Money Advisor. Call us on 0151 282 8544 or email 

The information here is for general guidance only. If in doubt, please contact the Department for Work and Pensions for full details.


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Read more about Riverside

Riverside Home Ownership

We're the specialist leasehold and affordable home ownership division of The Riverside Group Limited, one of the UK's largest housing associations. As well as building, selling and letting a wide range of property types, Riverside Home Ownership provides services to, and manages the leasehold of over 4,500 homes across the UK.