Bedroom tax: No change as DWP appeals court case and issues guidance
Following yesterdays's successful bedroom tax court appeals the DWP have been given permission to appeal the decisions and has issued local authority guidance to do nothing until the appeal is heard.
An appeal against these decisions will be heard at the Supreme Court from Monday 29 February - Wednesday 2 March 2016.
The guidance states:
- No action needs to be taken by local authorities following this judgment. It has not changed the applicability of the maximum rent (social sector) provisions and no action should be taken to re-assess the Housing Benefit (HB) of claimants in the appellants’ situation.
- The Department remains of the view that Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are the appropriate means of protecting HB claimants in the appellants’ circumstances.
- Provided below are some Q&A to enable you to respond to any enquiries you might receive.
Q. Is the government going to appeal?
A. The Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal and it is the government’s intention to appeal.
Q. What does this mean for claimants with panic rooms or a disabled child who requires overnight care?
A. The maximum rent (social sector) must continue to be applied to all claimants as before yesterday’s judgment.
Q. As a local authority should we continue to apply the maximum rent (social sector) in these cases?
A. Yes, the legislation underpinning the size criteria remains in force. DHPs remain the appropriate mechanism for providing support where there is an under-occupancy deduction because of a panic room or a bedroom used to accommodate an overnight carer for a disabled child.
Disability Rights UK will be writing to the Secretary of State asking him to accept the Court of Appeal’s ruling and to bring forward, instead, regulations that will create a new exemption to the bedroom tax.