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Bedroom Tax

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Sophiap1991
Sophiap1991 Community member Posts: 5 Listener

Can anyone please advise. I am in a 3 bedroom flat on UC and pip.


I have one son, I have serious health issues. UC has said I can only get help for a 2 bedroom home. I told them I need overnight career, but I got no response to this. I am now worried If I persist that they will question how I managed to look after my son? I don’t need it every night but on some occasions I have trouble.


I am having £143 deducted for bedroom tax. I do not know if I should just leave it, as I do not want my child taken away or my pip to stop. I had lot of stress getting pip in first instance and I could not cope doing all that over again. Yes I do sometimes struggle with my child at times but he is cared, loved and fed.


The flat is quite small for a 3 bedroom, I know rules are rules but that money could be used for my son.  I had not made a big issue of it and just accepted it as it was so not sure If its now even too late to challenge it now. Housing benefit paid it in full without question.

I was advise to go on UC when I was seeking benefit advise and help, since then I had nothing but issues and it is where this problem occurred. I had wrote to them to explain but they still put a 2 bedroom rate on my journal. 






Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,208 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2022
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    Can I check that you’re renting from social housing or private landlord? Bedroom tax only applies to social housing. 
    To be entitled to an extra bedroom for a carer you must need overnight care on a regular basis. If the care you need is only on occasions then you may struggle to get this. https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/universal-credit-overnight-care-size-criteria
    You can apply for a discretionary housing payment from your local Authority. It’s only paid on a temporary basis and then you need to reapply. You may want to get help with the forms if you apply for this. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments
    Edit to add, if you get an extra bedroom for a carer it will not affect your PIP and you won’t have your son taken from you.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Sophiap1991
    Sophiap1991 Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    Thank u 4 your reply hun.Sorry for my late response I been unwell last few days and only starting to feel like myself again after doctor upped my medication. I spoke with a benefit advisor today and it seems after discussing my circumstances I will have to pay this myself which is frustrating but I understand. I spoke to the  council also & they have been very helpful and will help me to transfer to a 2 bedroom.

    I am not sure how quickly it will happen, I joined a swap site also today.   
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks for the update @Sophiap1991 :) I'm sorry to hear that you've been unwell recently, but I'm glad to hear that you're starting to feel more like yourself now. 

    Do you mind me asking whether you've had a needs assessment from your local authority regarding the care you need to support you and your son? 

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Sue_Alumni
    Sue_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 485 Pioneering
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    Sophiap1991

    If you're happy that the local authority are helping you move to a 2 bedroom property that is good news but I am concerned that you will not then be able to accommodate the overnight carer you say you need. Whether you are in social housing or you are a private tenant you are allowed an additional bedroom if that bedroom is needed for an overnight carer.  The requirements you need to satisfy are set out in Schedule 4 paragraph 12(3) UC Regs which I have set out below.   The need for overnight care doesn't need to be frequent but must be "regular" but the care must be provided in accordance with arrangements entered into for that purpose. If you need an over night carer and you think you satisfy the conditions you might want to ask that your housing cost element be reassessed and that you should be allowed an additional bedroom on the grounds that  you need overnight care and you satisfy the conditions of Schedule 4 paragraph 12(3) UC Regs.


    Additional room where renter requires overnight care
    12.—(1) A renter who is a single person is entitled to one additional bedroom if the renter requires overnight care.
    (2) Joint renters are entitled to one additional bedroom if one or both of them requires overnight care.
    (3) A renter requires overnight care if the first and second conditions are met.
    (4) The first condition is that the renter is in receipt of—
    (a)the care component of disability living allowance at the middle or highest rate;
    (b)attendance allowance; or
    (c)the daily living component of personal independence payment.
    (5) The second condition is that—
    (a)one or more persons who do not live in the renter’s accommodation are engaged to provide overnight care for the renter and to stay overnight at the accommodation on a regular basis; and
    (b)overnight care is provided under arrangements entered into for that purpose.

    Finally, as @poppy123456 says you absolutely will not have your son taken from you.


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  • Sophiap1991
    Sophiap1991 Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    Thanks Sue. I did worry and stress about this also, but I felt like I was getting no where. I was openly honest about my care needs, but in my journal I had a reply to my over night carer needs to be on majority of nights and not just on bad nights.

     I only need over night carer when things are really bad, so its not all the time. I had another appointment with my doctor today and he said he will kindly do me a letter of support and hopefully I can upload this to my journal. I just find it stressful at the moment, as I hate any kind of conflict.  But it does worry me if I am now going to downgrade to smaller property because I don't use to the room for anything else but when it needs to be used. I will send doctors letter and try to fight this if I can.

    I do appreciate all the replies and helpful information


    Thank you

     


  • Sophiap1991
    Sophiap1991 Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    I just feel so deflated at times that I feel like I no longer have the fight in me.  I just had bad news about my health, I hold on for my son though , at times I just feel like the system can be so cruel and not understanding. I will try to fight for what is right though if I can. xx

     
  • Sue_Alumni
    Sue_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 485 Pioneering
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    Hi @Sophiap1991

    I am so sorry to hear how you are feeling and unfortunately sometimes the process of trying to get what you are entitled to is difficult and causes immense distress.  The online community at Scope is here to help and support you. It is really good that your doctor is being supportive and will write a letter for you.  I suggest that you explain to your doctor that you need to show that your needs are such that you require an overnight carer to provide regular overnight care of at least once a week/ fortnight  whatever it is and sometimes at short notice so the doctor can use the wording of the regulations in his letter.  You will also have to give details of the carer you have engaged for the purposes of providing your care and the nature of the arrangement.  The regulations don't appear to require a formal arrangement but there must, I think, be some kind of agreement between you and your carer.  I do think given that your doctor is prepared to write a letter supporting you it is really worth a try  to get your housing costs re-assessed to reflect that you require an additional bedroom.

    I do appreciate that everything must seem such a battle and really overwhelming and upsetting.  The online community is here to support you and to provide a friendly haven to come to. Good luck and please let us know how you get on. 
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