Fighting the benefit cap: a case study

Westminster city hallJane is a single mother who lives with her 21 year old autistic son, Harry.  Although Jane is Harry’s registered carer and he is in receipt of a range of disability benefits, because the housing benefit claim is in her name, Jane is nonetheless affected by the £500 per week benefit cap.

This has seen Jane’s housing benefit reduced by over £100 per week, which has jeopardised both of their accommodation.  We assisted Jane to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP), which was successful, but Westminster have made this conditional on her contributing £20 per week from Harry’s disability benefits.  We are currently helping Jane to challenge this by way of internal review, but are also looking into more permanent solutions. Continue reading

Successful Bedroom Tax Appeal

The NextDoor Project has now assisted a number of clients with housing benefit tribunal appeals against local authority decisions to apply the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cap.  Although local authorities claim that they have no choice, particularly when it comes to the Benefit Cap, in actuality they remain the decision maker throughout.  This means that any decision to apply the Bedroom Tax or Benefit Cap is subject to the protections of a statutory appeal through the First Tier Social Security Tribunal, which is part of HM Courts and Tribunals Service, and can overturn such decisions. Continue reading

Case Study: the double impact LHA Caps & the Benefit Cap

 

Welfare Reform LogoLesley was affected by the Housing Benefit Caps in December 2012, and her landlord agreed to reduce her rent from £750 to £600 per week on the condition that she received a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to cover the remaining shortfall.  Once the rent reduction had been negotiated, Westminster agreed to pay £260 on top of her £340 Housing Benefit from December 2012 to July 2013.  Lesley approached our service in June because she was very concerned about what would happen when the DHP expired, and also because she had been contacted by the DWP to advise her that she would be affected by the new £500 per week Benefit Cap soon.

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Housebound client denied benefits

ESA-formIf I were run over by a car, contracted MRSA following hospital treatment which left me with both legs in braces and had no prospect of ever being able to walk again, I would hope that my employer would understand that I could no longer come in to work. I would hope that the people administering the welfare payments I had become entitled to as a result of my injuries would understand my limitations. And I would hope, particularly, that in cases such as mine, they would be able to arrange a home visit to assess my disability needs. Continue reading