A step in the right direction for housing benefits and people with disabilities

  • The Court of Appeal has ruled that local authorities should now use a wider interpretation of the term ‘adapt the dwelling' when deciding housing benefit allocations for disabled people.

    Before this new ruling the word ‘adapt' in housing benefit cases related solely to changes to the fabric or structure of the property. However, following a recent case the Court of Appeal has decided that the term could now also include works such as redecoration or carpeting, which previously fell outside the scope of the definition. /images/blog/disabledhome.jpg

    The court has decided that a case-by-case examination was required, and the work being done to the property and setting it against the claimant's disablement and the needs arising from it, reports 24dash.

    The question needs be asked on whether the claimant's disablement needs made it reasonably necessary for that work to be completed before the claimant moved in and if the delay in moving in was reasonable and the works were reasonably required before the claimant and their family could move in; then the dwelling was being adapted to meet a disablement need.

    The decision by the Court of Appeal means that local authorities should no longer use the narrower interpretation and must look at each case on a case-by-case basis at the disablement needs of the claimant.

    Examples on how the new ruling my affect housing benefit claims have been provided by the DWP and 24dash highlight three examples:

    Example 1

    Mr A has significant difficulties with balance and coordination. He currently lives on an upper floor in a block with no lift access, and is moved by his housing association to a ground floor flat. This flat currently has polished wooden floors, which would be a health hazard to Mr A due to his condition. His move to the new address is delayed for a week to allow the polished floors to be covered by carpets. He claims a dual payment of HB for his new property for the week before he moves in. The LA decides that Mr A is eligible for HB on two homes as the delay in moving is reasonable, there is a clear connection between the adaptations being made and Mr A's disablement needs, and the works are reasonably required before he is able to move in. 


    Example 2

    Miss B, who is wheelchair bound, is moving from her present owner-occupied house to a single-floor dwelling. It has been left in poor condition by the previous tenant and so must be fully redecorated before Miss B is able to move in. She makes a claim to the LA for HB to be awarded for the first two weeks of her tenancy before she takes up occupation. The LA refuses her request as, although the delay in moving is reasonable, there is no connection between her disability and the works which are being carried out. 


    Example 3

    Miss C suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and has anxiety problems. She has been allocated a property by her LA, which is being thoroughly repainted and having its carpets replaced with tiling so that it is easier for Miss C to keep clean. Miss C requests HB for the first two weeks of her tenancy whilst she is waiting for the redecorations to be completed. The LA allows her claim as there is a direct connection between the work being carried out and her disability. The Upper Tribunal has ruled that 'disablement' includes mental as well as physical conditions and it is necessary for the works to be carried out before she moves in to prevent Miss C from suffering distress.

    What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions

Related articles

  • Read More

    THE ONS PLANS TO CHANGE THEIR DECISION TO MAKE HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS PUBLIC BODIES

    According to reports by 24 Housing, the ONS said the following:Gavin Smart, Chartered Institute of Housing's deputy chief executive also said:"Although we have been expecting this decision for some...

  • Read More

    RECENT ANALYSIS FINDS THAT THE HELP TO BUY SCHEME HAS ADDED TO THE INFLATION OF HOUSE PRICES

    The analysis of the Help to Buy Scheme revealed the following:The chief executive of Paradigm Housing Group, Matthew Bailes, said:" ... clearly, it worked well for developers, and for providers, it...

  • Read More

    A NORTH WALES COUNCIL REVEALED THEIR WAITING LIST FOR NEW HOMES HAS REACHED BREAKING POINT

    The north Wales Council revealed their waiting list for new homes has reached "breaking point".According to Clare Budden, Flintshire Council's community enterprise chief officer said:"There are...

  • Read More

    HOMELESSNESS POLICY IS UNDER REVIEW IN A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNCIL

    Kettering Borough Council has amended its letters to homeless residents to let them know of their right to request a temporary accommodation review.According to an ombudsman, Michael King:"People in...

  • Read More

    FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS HAVE CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF MANY CHILDREN AND YOUTH CENTRES

    Local Government Association (LGA) made the following findings:Chair of the LGA's children and young people board, Richard Watts, said: "The reality is that services for the care and protection of...

  • Read More

    RESIDENTS OF BUILDINGS IN LEDBURY ESTATE, SOUTHWARK, SOUTH LONDON WILL BE MOVED OUT TEMPORARILY

    The buildings in Ledbury Estate in Southwark have been constructed in a similar way to Ronan Point, a tower block in Newham which collapsed in 1968 as a result of a gas explosion, killing three. An...

  • Read More

    THERE IS A DECLINE IN THE HOUSING MARKET IN LONDON AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND

    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) made the following findings:Chief Economist at Rics, Simon Rubinsohn:"Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent month...

  • Read More

    REPORT FINDS THAT PEOPLE ARE INTENSELY SUFFERING FROM LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SCOTLAND

    According to the report by "Shelter":Shelter's deputy director, Alison Watson, said:"This report shows the disproportionate impact of Scotland's housing crisis on young people and private renters who...

  • Read More

    NEW REPORT BY THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITTEE IN WALES COMMENDS HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

    The report which was put together after nine months of inquiries stated the following:Nick Ramsey, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:"Generally, we found governance and regulation within...

  • Read More

    LONDON COUNCIL URGES THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MEASURES TO END LETTING FEES FOR PRIVATE RENTERS

     The London council say urgent action is needed because the government has not provided "a clear timescale to introduce its own measure", Letting Agent Today, reports.Last year, the government had...

Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I found the event informative and timely it helped me to complete our response to DWP without which I would have struggled." S.S. - Safe House

 

Briefing Signup