Housing and independent living
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Spare Bedroom

dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
I live in an adapted house with a through floor lift and downstairs wetroom, Its 2 bedroom, of which my partner occupied one, but he as now gone so I live on my own, House benefit are saying my benefit will be reduced by 14% I am on ESA age 64, any advice? 
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  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,136

    Scope community team

    Hello @dkb123, hope you're well.

    I'm not sure personally of what to suggest or if the housing benefit provider are right to do this, but I'm sure someone will be along shortly who does.
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    Im not sure what advice you want here. If you're renting from social housing and now have a spare bedroom then the bedroom tax will apply to you.

    However, i note from previous threads that you were claiming Income Related ESA,  is the claim in your name? If so, does anyone claim carers allowance or the carers element of Universal Credit for looking after you?

    If no one claims any of the above for looking after you, you will now be able to claim Severe disability premium in with your ESA payments. This will increase your ESA by £66.95 per week because you live alone. To claim this you'll need to contact DWP/ESA and ask to fill out the IS10 form over the phone. It can also be backdated to the date you became eligible.

    Of course if anyone claims any of those benefits then you won't be eligible for the SDP.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    edited December 2020
    thanks  no one claims any of the benefits you list, but I do live in a HA home, and they moved me to contribution ESA about a year ago  I didn't think the Spare room tax applied to an adapted property 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes the bedroom tax applies to adapted properties like yours.  I used to live a HA 3 bedroom house with a thru floor lift like yourself. When my eldest daughter moved out, i specifically asked about the 1 bedroom being used for my lift but unfortunately, it didn't make any difference because it's still a bedroom. My rent was reduced by 14% because of this.

    Regarding your ESA. May i ask how much per week you receive? Is it £113.55? (£227.10 every fortnight) or is it more than this?
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    its 113,57 per week
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If your ESA is Contributions based and not the New style ESA then i'd advise you to ring DWP to ask about the disability premiums. If you're not receiving any pensions, which would reduce any Income Related top up on your ESA then you maybe entitled to claim these premiums. However, because all areas are now Universal Credit it may not be possible to claim the income related top up on your current ESA. I'm not 100% sure on this but can't find anything specific that tells me you can't.

    Regarding your bedroom tax, living in a disabled property doesn't automatically exclude you from the bedroom tax but there's certainly no harm in asking your local council but don't be surprised if you're refused.

    You can also apply for a discretionary housing payment (DHP) from your local council for the shortfall of rent. You will need to fill out a form for this, which will ask you for a full expenditure breakdown (financial assessment) this will then allow them to determine whether you'll receive the DHP for the shortfall of rent. Although it is discretionary so not guaranteed and it's only paid for a short amount of time before you'll need to reapply.

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    I will certainly start  the ball rolling on Monday 
    Thanks 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,010

    Scope community team

    How have you been getting on @dkb123
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  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    Thanks for your follow up, I am still waiting for the Council to allocate the case, as they say, most of their staff are sick or shielding, so I may try to chase them up as its been quite a while, I suppose I am lucky to have a Housing Association Landlord, maybe private ones would not have been so patient 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,010

    Scope community team

    I can't imagine there'd be much harm in chasing them up @dkb123 :) Hopefully it won't be too long! 
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  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    edited January 11
    You obviously haven't heard of the old anecdote of the civil servant that has a pile of files on his desk .and every time he gets a query the file goes back to the bottom, no matter how far up the pile it is, I don't think the invention of computers has changed it much. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    To be fair here, the pandemic hasn't helped matters. No one expected it to still be carrrying on almost a year later when first lockdown was announced on 23rd March 2020.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    You may be right, but I can't help but wonder how much, homelessness, evictions and indebtedness there is due to the mismanagement that Housing and Council Tax Benefit workers cause, by disinterest and slackness, or they are just not trained to do the job that they are paid for 
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    An update to the case is the Council wrote on the 29Jan to say that because I don't receive the disability addon to my ESA I would have to claim UC  which they said we told you to do on the 3rd Dec, Both letters arrived on the 29thJan so no letter on the 3rd, I became eligible for the addon on the 11thNov when my partner moved out, and the CAB applied for it on my behalf because they said the closing date was 27thJan for anyone to get it and most DWP staff don't know how to pay respectively  so even when I rang the Council in the second week of Jan they said it was still with the assessor which is not true if they posted the 3rd Dec letter telling me to claim UC, the result is two months rent arrears has accumulated and it's going to be a lot longer to sort it out,
    When do the stop on evictions run out due to the Virus, which may give me some time to get some money together to pay the rent 
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