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Universal credit reconsideration notice Letter

houndog6105houndog6105 Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited April 2019 in Disabled people
Hello everyone
I'm new and this is my first post on here . Just after some help and advice and this seems to be a good place to start

Trying to get advice please on a decision by universal credit regarding the housing cost element (HCE) decision I received for the additional bedroom

I asked for a mandatory reconsideration and the original decision to not grant us the additional bedroom was again denied and I'm now thinking of appealing via the tribunal but I want to make sure I'm right first


Circumstances are we have a 3 bedroom house and there is myself my wife (disabled) unable to walk and currently living downstairs and we are unable to share a bedroom anymore. 2 kids both boys aged 1 and 9. One year old sleeps with me upstairs

DM says we don't qualify for part 2 which states because of their disability the renter is not reasonably able to share a bedroom with the joint renter
Now that's the part I see that they are wrong about
Surely she does qualify for part 2?? Or am I wrong?
Are they saying because she's not actually using the bedroom itself as an additional room then we don't qualify?


Here is the decision letter. I'll copy and paste it below

Your Mandatory Reconsideration Notice 

You or someone who has the authority to act for you, asked us to look at the decision we made on 07/03/2019. We have taken into account all the information available and the decision remains the same/has been changed. 
An explanation of our Mandatory Reconsideration decision is set out below

Mandatory Reconsideration Universal Credit I am able to revise the decision dated 07/03/2019 which determined that you did not satisfy the disabled person condition and therefore an additional bedroom could not be awarded. Details of the Decision. The Decision Maker (DM) was asked to look at the Housing Costs Element (HCE) in respect of Universal Credit claim.

The decision maker was asked to consider the room allocation needs. On 15/5/18 Myself and my husband made a joint claim to UC. They stated on their initial disclosure that they live in a 3 bedroom rented property with 2 dependants living with them (Max DOB 5/7/12 (MY SONS IS 5/7/17. THEY PUT WRONG DOB)
and Leo DOB 25/5/09) On 15/2/19 Myself and my husband stated that were unable to share a bedroom, reason because:

I'm living bathing and sleeping downstairs and currently unable to walk and go upstairs. I use a commode downstairs for toilet needs I'm living downstairs in my living room and using a large sofa as I'm unable to walk and get upstairs. I wash,bath and sleep downstairs and can only stand for a very short period of time using a Zimmer frame 

Universal Credit is operated by the Department for Work and Pensions UCD477 Page 2 of 4 Regulations provide that a renter is entitled to a bedroom for 
1. the renter or joint renters 
2. a qualifying young person for whom the renter or either joint renter is responsible 
3. a non-dependant who is not a child 
4. two children who are under 10 years old 
5. two children of the same sex 6. any other child. Universal Credit Regs 2013, Sch 4, para 10 Universal Credit, New Style JSA, New Style ESA: Decisions-Claims, revisions, supersessions, etc, determinations of questions and Mandatory Reconsiderations LT54(UC) 

Disabled Person Condition 
A renter will also be entitled to an additional bedroom if they satisfy the new disabled person condition (this captures those couples who are unable to share because of disability). 
Universal Credit Regs 2013, Sch 4, para 12 The disabled person condition mentioned above is satisfied where the renter would normally be expected to share a bedroom with a joint renter but: 
1. The renter is in receipt of 
1.1. the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the middle or highest rate 
1.2. Attendance Allowance (AA) (at the higher rate) 
1.3. the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment and 
2. because of their disability the renter is not reasonably able to share a bedroom with the joint renter. 
Myself is in receipt of the enhanced level of care of Personal Independence Payment. 
Myself has stated that im living and sleeping downstairs in the living room as she is unable to get upstairs. There is no evidence to suggest that there is a bedroom situated downstairs, therefore the question of allowing an additional bedroom allocation serves no useful purpose as she is unable to get upstairs

Effect on Award. 
Entitlement to the Additional Bedroom Disallowed On 22/02/19,

You requested a reconsideration of the decision not to award an additional bedroom. I have taken into account all the available evidence with regard to your Mandatory Reconsideration. In order to be able to award an additional bedroom due to your disability you must satisfy the disable person condition. 
Universal Credit, New Style JSA, New Style ESA: Decisions-Claims, revisions, supersessions, etc, determinations of questions and Mandatory Reconsiderations LT54(UC) Disabled Person Condition

A renter will be entitled to an additional bedroom if they satisfy the new disabled person condition (this captures those couples who are unable to share because of disability. Universal Credit Regs 2013, Sch 4, para 12

The disabled person condition is satisfied where the renter would normally be expected to share a bedroom with a joint renter but: 
1. The renter is in receipt of 
1.1. the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the middle or highest rate 
Universal Credit is operated by the Department for Work and Pensions UCD477 Page 3 of 4 1.2. Attendance Allowance (AA) (at the higher rate) 
1.3. the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment and 

2. because of their disability the renter is not reasonably able to share a bedroom with the joint renter.

Departmental records confirm that Myself is in receipt of the enhanced level of care of Personal Independence Payment. 
This satisfies Part 1.3 of the disabled person condition. However, to be eligible for the additional bedroom entitlement
Part 2 of the condition must also be satisfied.
Myself has stated that I'm living and sleeping downstairs in the living room as she is unable to get upstairs. 
This reason does not satisfy part 2 of the condition. No new evidence or information has been received and as such the original decision is UPHELD

Effect on award No Change
Yours sincerely, 
Office Manager Universal Credit

Replies

  • RoddyRoddy Member Posts: 389 Pioneering
    Hi @houndog6105

    This is a difficult one!  I can see your point, but also the decision.

    However, as you have noted mistakes (such as D.O.B. of Your Son) I would certainly appeal. It is unfortunate that most decisions are not based upon 'actuality' in terms of how your family have to live on a day to day basis. They are based upon the sex of your children and their age, and although it is obviously preferable for each of your children to have their own bedroom, as they are both boys this will not be deemed as being a factor... 

    You will however have a better chance in say 4-5 years time when your eldest Son is in his teens... All said, I would still appeal myself, but a visit to your Citizens Advice Bureau would also be a very good move. 

    Please keep us posted and Good Luck. I hope things go well for you.
  • Zebra88Zebra88 Member Posts: 55 Courageous
    edited April 2019
    If you lived in a 3 bed property with a bedroom on the ground floor would your partner use this? Just asking as this was an important secnario regarding my recent reconsideration.
  • houndog6105houndog6105 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Zebra88 said:
    If you lived in a 3 bed property with a bedroom on the ground floor would your partner use this? Just asking as this was an important secnario regarding my recent reconsideration.
    Should I say in the appeal that her bedroom is downstairs and we are using the living room upstairs for the time being?

    I'm not sure what to write in the appeal
  • crackercracker Member Posts: 324 Pioneering
    I sympathize with 6997694 difficulties. Decent housing is so difficult to find here in US, too.

    I hope you can appeal again.
  • Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Hi @houndog6105 thank you for sharing this with us. I will tag in @BenefitsTrainingCo and suggest maybe getting in touch with your local CAB. Please keep us updated.


  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hello Houndog6105
    The provision to allow an extra bedroom for a disabled adult is based on there being a reason why the adult cannot share a room with their partner. Although many of us are opposed to the bedroom tax in principle and you have my sympathies, we have to look at the law and the facts. It would seem to me that the reason your partner is sleeping in a separate room is not because of a difficulty sharing with you, but because the bedroom is upstairs. If you were to both sleep downstairs, effectively converting the living room to a bedroom and converting one of the bedrooms to a living room, there would still be a spare bedroom upstairs because your sons would be expected to share. And so whilst you have the right of appeal i am not sure that you are likely to succeed.
    You should consider asking your local council for a discretionary housing payment if you have not done so already. And you should also check to see that you are not missing out on benefits in the wider system which you can do using the Scope calculator here.
    Good luck
    David
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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