HB And Renting Privately


C

Clive

My wife (who is disabled, I'm her full time carer) and I currently
rent privately and find that our Housing Benefit is less than if we
rented from a LA. We are only allowed to have our HA based on a 1
bedroom 1 living room property but an LA property we would have HB
assessed on a 2 bedroom 1 living room property resulting in a higher
ammount of HB. I have been told by my Council there is no discretion
on the subject, I have a letter from Jeff Rooker to the contrary. Also
that if I was my wifes "live-in carer" it would be different (should I
divorce her and stay in our house to boost the HB? sarcasm, sorry)I
know my wife falls into the vulnerable group catagory due to her
disabilities and should be entitled to some help. Also where would the
Disability Discriminations Act stand on this matter i.e providing a
different level of service from a service provider? Thanks in advance
for any advice you can give.
 
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A

anthonyberet

Clive said:
My wife (who is disabled, I'm her full time carer) and I currently
rent privately and find that our Housing Benefit is less than if we
rented from a LA. We are only allowed to have our HA based on a 1
bedroom 1 living room property but an LA property we would have HB
assessed on a 2 bedroom 1 living room property resulting in a higher
ammount of HB.
There is no size restriction on Council Properties, or Housing Associations
for HB(although there are rules within housing allocation about how big a
council property you can get).
I have been told by my Council there is no discretion
on the subject, I have a letter from Jeff Rooker to the contrary.
Who is Jeff Rooker?
There is no descretion for the HB dept to ignore the rent-officer's
limitation that you have.
However, there is a thing called "discretionary Housing Payment" which can
be a top-up when full HB is not being paid.
(That isn't as contradictory as it sounds).
Ask your council about applying for this.
Also
that if I was my wifes "live-in carer" it would be different (should I
divorce her and stay in our house to boost the HB? sarcasm, sorry)I
know my wife falls into the vulnerable group catagory due to her
disabilities and should be entitled to some help. Also where would the
Disability Discriminations Act stand on this matter i.e providing a
different level of service from a service provider? Thanks in advance
for any advice you can give.
I don't think disabilty discrimination comes into it, but if you require an
extra room because of you wife's condition you need to make this plain to
the council.
-The easiest route for this is via Discretionary Housing Payment as I
said. -Give as much info as possible about why you need the extra space in
your case.
Remember Council rents are usually much less than private rents, so if you
had a 2-bed council property, even if the whole rent was paid, you might
well find that the amount is less than you get now. (not that this would be
a problem for you of course).
I do hope you are on the housing list too?
 
C

Clive

anthonyberet said:
There is no size restriction on Council Properties, or Housing Associations
for HB(although there are rules within housing allocation about how big a
council property you can get).


Who is Jeff Rooker?
There is no descretion for the HB dept to ignore the rent-officer's
limitation that you have.
However, there is a thing called "discretionary Housing Payment" which can
be a top-up when full HB is not being paid.
(That isn't as contradictory as it sounds).
Ask your council about applying for this.


I don't think disabilty discrimination comes into it, but if you require an
extra room because of you wife's condition you need to make this plain to
the council.
-The easiest route for this is via Discretionary Housing Payment as I
said. -Give as much info as possible about why you need the extra space in
your case.
Remember Council rents are usually much less than private rents, so if you
had a 2-bed council property, even if the whole rent was paid, you might
well find that the amount is less than you get now. (not that this would be
a problem for you of course).
I do hope you are on the housing list too?
Jeff Rooker is the Minister of State For Housing, Planning &
Regeneration, who states "The LA could, for example, request a
valuation based on two bedrooms and a living room to guide them in the
ammount of housing benefit they decide to pay" Discretionary Housing
Payments are SELDOM given out without the most INTRUSIVE actions I
have come across in my life. My wife has Moebius Syndrome which means
her eyesight degenerates dramatically each year, this Council even
approached the optician to confirm this and ask why the glasses she
needs are so expensive. Also we have been told WHICH shop we should
use for our food shopping. It took us a year to get it, I stumbled
upon the room allocation issue by accident. The local rent is
(roughly) equal here LA and private so we are quite a lot worse off
and the rents being close and the property suiting my ifes disability
more than an LA property would, we find it unfair to be asked to move
the day after we moved in. We are on the housing list but we have
recieved one offer in 9 months, Cumbria isn't "over-blessed" with
housing stock.
There is no size restriction on Council Properties, or Housing Associations
for HB(although there are rules within housing allocation about how big a
council property you can get).
We would be classed a s "over occupied" in a 3 bedroom 1 living room
property (LA) yet private 2 bedroom 1 livingroom is "over occupied"?
There is no descretion for the HB dept to ignore the rent-officer's
limitation that you have.
We have been sent from one department to another, my understanding
(and it's probably wrong) is, the HB tells the Rent Service how many
rooms to base the rent, then the HB section sets the housing benefit
on the rent that the Rent Service sets.....? Is that correct? Also we
have been told that "if I was not married to my wife but just living
here as her carer an extra bedroom would be taken into consideration"
That to me seems somewhat contradictory.
 
C

Clive

Jeff Rooker is the Minister of State For Housing, Planning &
Regeneration, who states "The LA could, for example, request a
valuation based on two bedrooms and a living room to guide them in the
ammount of housing benefit they decide to pay" Discretionary Housing
Payments are SELDOM given out without the most INTRUSIVE actions I
have come across in my life. My wife has Moebius Syndrome which means
her eyesight degenerates dramatically each year, this Council even
approached the optician to confirm this and ask why the glasses she
needs are so expensive. Also we have been told WHICH shop we should
use for our food shopping. It took us a year to get it, I stumbled
upon the room allocation issue by accident. The local rent is
(roughly) equal here LA and private so we are quite a lot worse off
and the rents being close and the property suiting my ifes disability
more than an LA property would, we find it unfair to be asked to move
the day after we moved in. We are on the housing list but we have
recieved one offer in 9 months, Cumbria isn't "over-blessed" with
housing stock.

We would be classed a s "over occupied" in a 3 bedroom 1 living room
property (LA) yet private 2 bedroom 1 livingroom is "over occupied"?

We have been sent from one department to another, my understanding
(and it's probably wrong) is, the HB tells the Rent Service how many
rooms to base the rent, then the HB section sets the housing benefit
on the rent that the Rent Service sets.....? Is that correct? Also we
have been told that "if I was not married to my wife but just living
here as her carer an extra bedroom would be taken into consideration"
That to me seems somewhat contradictory.
A question please regarding this matter if I may. We were informed
that if I was living here as my wifes carer (not living as a married
couple I mean)then a 2 bedroom 1 living room property would be allowed
for HB rates. What if we were to "seperate" but still live in the same
house? (Informing the DSS that even though we were seperating I would
still be "co-habiting" and staying as a full-time carer. What would
be the ramifications to that please as it's a course we may take if
needs be. Thank you
 
A

anthonyberet

Clive said:
(e-mail address removed) (Clive) wrote in message


A question please regarding this matter if I may. We were informed
that if I was living here as my wifes carer (not living as a married
couple I mean)then a 2 bedroom 1 living room property would be allowed
for HB rates. What if we were to "seperate" but still live in the same
house? (Informing the DSS that even though we were seperating I would
still be "co-habiting" and staying as a full-time carer. What would
be the ramifications to that please as it's a course we may take if
needs be. Thank you
I do know of some cases where ex-partners live in the same property and are
treated as two separate households for benefit purposes.
You would indeed be able to claim for 2 bedrooms, if the fraud dept let it
pass.
It *would* be fraud of course, so it isn't a course I can recommend.
 
C

Clive

I do know of some cases where ex-partners live in the same property and are
treated as two separate households for benefit purposes.
You would indeed be able to claim for 2 bedrooms, if the fraud dept let it
pass.
It *would* be fraud of course, so it isn't a course I can recommend.

Don't you find this situation absurd? To get the same consideration
for HB in private rented accomodation as in an LA property I have to
consider committing fraud!!!
Though I fully intend to try (in my own small way) how stupid and
inflexible the situation is.
 
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C

Clive

One more thing please (if I may?)

DDA States........Duty of providers of services to make adjustments.
21. - (1) Where a provider of services has a practice, policy or
procedure which makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for
disabled persons to make use of a service which he provides, or is
prepared to provide, to other members of the public, it is his duty to
take such steps as it is reasonable, in all the circumstances of the
case, for him to have to take in order to change that practice, policy
or procedure so that it no longer has that effect.

Our Council States- "Mr A***** believes that the Council should assess
his housing benefit on the rent for a two bedroomed property as he is
the full-time carer for his wife. However, under the housing benefit
regulations he is first and foremost Mrs A*****'s spouse and the
regulations do not make any porvision to allow for an additional room
where a spouse is also a carer.

This SURELY is contrary to the Disability Discriminations act ie

1) "Where a provider of services has a practice, policy or procedure
which makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled
persons to make use of a service which he provides, or is prepared to
provide, to other members of the public"?

To say that a person living with someone as a carer is different to
someone who is married but STILL a carer and should have different
considerations/rights is penalising a disabled person who is married.
 
C

Clive

Pat Winstanley said:
On the other hand, in the above the discrimination appears to be purely
regarding marriage, not disability.

There are quite a few benefit situations where someone is treated
differently based purely on whether they are married (or living together
as if married) or whether they are people sharing a building but not a
household.

Is there a particular reason why in this case the carer sees it as
essential that they should have a separate bedroom from their spouse?
Simply one of the spouses being disabled wouldn't necessarily require
this. Is there something about the effects of the particular disability
involved that makes separate bedrooms a requirement?

Perhaps one approach (if it is a medical requirement for there to be
separate bedrooms) might be to get some sort of letter from the doctor
stressing that it is essential the disabled person have a bedroom or at
least bed (perhaps large size) of their own (rather than sharing a
bed/bedroom, even with their spouse).
No the discrimination is a (if you read the DDA ruling) legal
technicallity in as much that 2 sets of rules exist for determining
HB, ie a lower HB for an exact same property, also if the HB ruling is
different for a person living as a carer with a disabled person then
(again) a service provider is supplying a service to a group of people
that they are NOT supplying to disabled people, again going completly
against the DDA.

Is there a particular reason why in this case the carer sees it as
essential that they should have a separate bedroom from their spouse?
Simply one of the spouses being disabled wouldn't necessarily require
this. Is there something about the effects of the particular disability
involved that makes separate bedrooms a requirement?
The extra bedroom is allowed but NOT taken into account for HB
assessment. As I said earlier, someone could be living in a 2 bedroom
HA property that was then (ok not likely to happen but an example
non-the-less) transfered to a private landlord, that property would
straight away be "under occupied" for HB purposes!!!

Now I may be reading you post wrong Pat (and I am not attacking you ,
honestly) but you seem to think this is an attempt to gain
financially, if that was so I would give up my princely sum of £43.00
ICA and aquire a job and my wife can then go look after herself (sic)
Did you know that carers SAVE the NHS £54.000.000 per year while
putting thier own health at risk? It is an attempt to show how carers
and disabled people will STILL be discriminated against regardless of
the DDA. Then that's no surprise when we have a totally inept minister
for disabled people Maria Eagle, you only have to look at the refusal
to bow to the campaign to get severly disabled people the winter
heating allowence to see exactly how concerned with disabled people
she is.
 
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A

anthonyberet

Clive said:
there is an allowance made in council tax for an extra room
so why not HB?
That isn't strictly true, as there are no size criteria as such which affect
CTB entitlement.
CTB is simply capped at band E, which is the mechanism by which CTB
claimants are kept
from the lap of luxury...
 

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