Council Tax, HB changes April 2013 and legal case

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Meridi

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Hi everyone.

I am in situation with large adapted council home, know I can and will apply for Discretionary Housing Payments but these discretionary so each local authority can decide what they will pay and for how long. Such uncertainty ( as we have to re apply as often as LA wants, is intolerable)

Anyway there is a legal case being started to challenge these changes re HB, if anyone is in a substantially adapted home with spare rooms, can qualify for leagl aid, could you let me know if intrested in being involved please? They asked me but I am overwhlemed with other issues like ILF legal challenge, mums death and illness. they have people in desperate circumstances but no one esle in adapted house with spare rooms.

I was horrified to find out I and others will have to go through yet another 'assessment' to prove I qualify and that lessons will be given on budgeting and employment ( bloody cheek!!)

So now I also face the council tax issue in April, I read somewhere that there is again  another way to apply for discretionary exclusion, does anyone know about this as sure some of here will need to apply, including moi!

There has been a consultation on DHP but not seen outcome, has anyone else??

I drowning like most at this time so any pointers or info very much apreciated.
Meri :)

Meridi

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I looked up Council Tax Discretionary Relief

Each local authority has own guidance but heres one for example


http://www.bexley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2667

It may help

devine63

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Hi Meridi

thanks for raising this again!    I know you know about it, but for the benefit of others who may not know about the Discretionary Housing Payment here is some info:

From Shelter - the Homeless Charity
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/housing_benefit_and_local_housing_allowance/discretionary_housing_payments 

and  from DWP:
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dhpguide.pdf   

and your local council will probably have something about their claims system for DHP - so search their website!

regards, Deb






Meridi

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This is link to current draft guidance for next year

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/discretionary-housing-payments-guide-draft.pdf

It gives some pointers which may help

devine63

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thanks Meridi - that didn't come up when I searcher their site!
regards, deb

Fiz

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On review previously I went from HRC DLA to zilch and then lost my non dependent disregard. A fault in the non dependent charges is the LA fail to take into account reimbursement of costs in the non dependents pay packet. My ds1 receives hundreds of pounds each month reimbursed for petrol costs as he travels widely throughout 4 counties every single day for work. The LA deemed his wages to be enough to pay 60% of my rent here plus council tax, but as a lot of his wages are the reimbursed petrol costs I couldn't take that off him so had to pay the rent myself out of my ESA. CAB advised me to throw him out as I couldn't afford it but I couldn't do that. Once my utility bills/rent/counciltax was paid I was -80 a month before buying food so I became increasingly in debt over the months until my DLA Tribunal which I won and got my non dependent disregard back.

But what that document linked to above seems to imply is that all the commiserations from the benefit department of my LA about the unfairness of the system (as they fail to take into account expenses and reimbursments of the non dependents wages and not count that as income) was ballony, they could have awarded me discretionary payments to cover it?! The debt I got in, the hunger me and my dd went through - just doesn't bear thinking about.

devine63

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Sorry to hear that, Fiz!    you could challenge the council on it and see what they say - but my guess is "those individual staff were not aware you could claim discretionary help in those circs"

regards, Deb

One Girl and her Big Dog

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I'll be in this situation when my daughter moves out.  Which could be very soon.  I was advised by my LA to apply for DHB, and that 'once they realise the implications of moving people from adapted homes into unadapted, and having to adapt them, it'll change'.

Meredi
PM me if you want.

1G

stalwart

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Fiz, I would challenge the LA over the travelling costs, I would not consider this to be "gross income" as this is not income but reimbursement of expenses.  Income should be taxable income plus any benefits, pension etc (and expenses are non taxable.) 



Fiz

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Stalwart, I did challenge them and they gave me the blurb from the Government in writing. Whereas with the main HB claimant they disregard student loans and reimbursements, they don't for non dependents when working out the amounts they need to pay towards rent and CT. They offered their commiserations and said on the phone it doesn't make sense. I had no idea though that there was a discretionary payment they could have helped me with. They knew our income to the penny and knew we couldn't afford to pay it so must be getting in to debt. Makes me cross now! If I was well enough I would write to my MP and try to get him to see sense re non dependents income but I'm not up to it plus he's Tory so won't be on board as they are in atm.