Hi, I'm really hoping someone here will be able to clarify some things for me.

I'm asking on behalf of my mother who has been in the ESA Support Group since April 2018. We thought she was just on income based which she is definitely entitled to when I look at the numbers, and her award letter shows that she receives the enhanced disability premium which I believed you can only get if you're on income based? We called the DWP to clarify as we needed to know if mum was entitled to free prescriptions and they said that it was income based.

I live at home and receive income based ESA in the support group, as well as the enhanced rate of both daily living and mobility for PIP. My dad gets Carer's Allowance for me. My younger sister is also at home and she's a student. That's all the money coming into the house.

The problem is with housing benefit. When mum first applied she was told she was entitled to the full amount (around £510 a month) as she's on income based ESA, just minus the amount for me as a non-dependent (I believe this is right about £15 a week). My sister doesn't have a deduction as she's a student. It wasn't until March this year that mum received an email stating that she'd been overpaid housing benefit as the DWP had informed them that she was actually contribution based so she wasn't entitled to the full amount of rent from the beginning. They dropped what they would pay to £90 a week to take back the overpayment and we had to find the extra. We've now had another letter stating that we're in arrears with the housing association because the council are actually paying even less housing benefit to them than they said.

I'm just confused as to what our actual entitlement to housing benefit is? I was under the impression that even if the award was contribution based with an income based top up, that would still qualify for the full rent amount besides the amount for me as a non-dependent?

If anyone could help clarify I'd be very grateful. Thank you.