If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Having difficulties logging in or resetting your password?


Please email [email protected]

Bedroom Tax/Spare room subsidy

Zebra88Zebra88 Posts: 55Member Courageous
Hi everyone

I'm just wondering if anyone has successfully had an extra bedroom included in their housing benefit/UC claim for overnight carers?

My situation at present is this: I have a disability requiring overnight care. The things I need help to do are clearly listed in an adult services care plan completed by my social worker. I'm not eligible for a care package from adukt services as I'm managing with the help of my partner who I live with, and family who stay over to help and give my partner a break... I'm due to have a cystectomy and urostomy as my bladder doesn't work now... and I have restricted mobility so yeah... lots of things to do.

Anyhow I have 2 bedrooms, and I also have children who stay with me 3 nights per week and my ex partner claims child benefit for them so they are not included in my calculation. We have three beds in the "spare room" as it's usually my sister who can stay.

At first my council refused to allow the extra room because they said my carer had to stay every night, and I found a reference to a high court case that disproves that as I have a fluctuating illness.

Now they're saying that as the children also use that room they will not allow it for that reason, however they do not pay any housing benefit for my children's room as they said in order to prove that they live with me I have to be claiming child benefit... so they're trying to have it both ways? They either acknowledge I need the room for my children as well and should include it, or they should treat me as though it's only used for the carer - that's my take on it.

Also it says on my care plan they cannot provide any help as they are satisfied I am managing... which is great... but if I had to downsize then I would have no room for someone to stay therefore to me it is required for that purpose as well. It's only £11 a week which is a lot less for them than a direct payment, but to myself going through bankruptcy it would make all the difference.

Any advice is greatly appreciated 

Replies

  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 369Member Pioneering
    @Zebra88 

    You have raised an interesting point here. It is my understanding that each Council have their own policy regarding Bedroom Tax, and whilst some councils are strict there are others not so. I would agree however, that in general, your career would have to be resident for a specific amount of hours each week as determined by your Council. My previous partner had a similar situation as she required her carer (also her grand daughter) to be at her home from Friday to Monday, however her appeals were unsuccessful and she eventually had to downsize into a smaller Council owned property. All very sad, as it had been her home from childhood... 

    Sorry I'm unable to be more helpful, but hopefully somebody on here will... Take Care.
  • Zebra88Zebra88 Posts: 55Member Courageous
    Roddy said:
    @Zebra88 

    You have raised an interesting point here. It is my understanding that each Council have their own policy regarding Bedroom Tax, and whilst some councils are strict there are others not so. I would agree however, that in general, your career would have to be resident for a specific amount of hours each week as determined by your Council. My previous partner had a similar situation as she required her carer (also her grand daughter) to be at her home from Friday to Monday, however her appeals were unsuccessful and she eventually had to downsize into a smaller Council owned property. All very sad, as it had been her home from childhood... 

    Sorry I'm unable to be more helpful, but hopefully somebody on here will... Take Care.
    Thank you for your reply- I have sought advice re fluctuating illnesses and indeed one council was found to have not acted fairly with regards to the word regular, as it is vague and could mean the minority of days a week as opposed to the minority. Also the carer doesn't have to be the same person every time, or indeed a professional carer.  That for me is definitely not an issue now as they have moved the goalposts again.

    I think it's really unfair that they will not allow a bedroom for my children in the first place when I have shared care as agreed in court. It's not like they're paying housing benefit twice for the same children as my ex partner is in a relationship and a w income household, but refuses to relinquish the child benefit claim as in his words "I never know when you're going to be ill". Also there is the issue of whether my children when they are older could actually be classed as child carers, something I don't want but my daughter does know what to do if I faint or I fall over and my partner is at the shops etc. I feel like the whole thing is totally discriminatory 
  • Zebra88Zebra88 Posts: 55Member Courageous
    Meant to say that regular could me minority and not majority. I've been discharged from most clinics now with them saying that eith the support I have I'm managing my condition well. The fact that I have someone to reach for me means I don't need to have costochondral joint injections. Not having that help could mean I would be more ill but I can't afford to pay a carer... They shouldn't be allowed to dictate who classes as a carer even if it is a relative. When I was working I used to pay a direct payment to the same person for the care, until they got a job in a care home and can only help some evenings to give my partner a break.
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 369Member Pioneering
    Zebra88 said:
    Meant to say that regular could me minority and not majority. I've been discharged from most clinics now with them saying that eith the support I have I'm managing my condition well. The fact that I have someone to reach for me means I don't need to have costochondral joint injections. Not having that help could mean I would be more ill but I can't afford to pay a carer... They shouldn't be allowed to dictate who classes as a carer even if it is a relative. When I was working I used to pay a direct payment to the same person for the care, until they got a job in a care home and can only help some evenings to give my partner a break.
    It 'may' be the case, that the council will reassess your situation only 'after' your operations in hospital, as your care needs and also your situation 'may' have changed... It's kind of how they treat single pregnant women. Until the child is born, they deem that there is no obligation on their part, for several reasons. The child's father may appear back on the scene? The woman may lose her baby during pregnancy or her child may be born with disabilities which would involve a different standard and obligation to provide... As far as they are concerned, any hospital treatments that you 'may' have to have in the future are not viable 'today.'  Stupid I know, but that's how most councils do things... For example, I'm on the list for a liver transplant which of course is a major operation, but as it's not anything that I'm going through 'today' it has little influence in terms of my caring needs until I'm out of hospital whenever that time could be? 

    In other words, you've got to be dead before they'll do anything about your funeral! Lol...    
  • Zebra88Zebra88 Posts: 55Member Courageous
    I know what you mean, but I already have a disability with care needs. I use a power chair full time and have osteoporosis, Ehlers Danlos, interstitial cystitis, postural Orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and lots of other things going on. The fact I am waiting on my bladder being removed wouldn't make that much difference as I may still need help getting my stoma bags etc because it won't help with my mobility, I'll still be poorly. I do understand totally what you mean by changing circumstances... They allowed me to have a big wheelie bin for bladder stuff waste at the moment and said I'll need reassessing after my op. I've been told to appeal the decision by my housing association and the council's own welfare rights person but they couldn't provide any similar examples 
  • Zebra88Zebra88 Posts: 55Member Courageous
    I'm winging it at the moment:) thanks for your insight I really appreciate it 
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 369Member Pioneering
    Zebra88 said:
    I'm winging it at the moment:) thanks for your insight I really appreciate it 
    You've every reason to talk about this... 

    Making an appeal wouldn't hurt, as there may genuinely be something that the council have overlooked. A different mind-set from a different person often has a good result. They can only say 'no' again, can't they! You have nothing to lose by appealing at this current stage.
Sign in or join us to comment.