Local Council Housing Officer - Interviewed re. Housing Benefit Reform

I was 'Identified as a vulnerable person likely to be affected by the changes coming 6th April 2013'.

This council is assessing the cost of moving people who are over-accommodated (i've seen larger airing cupboards but still...). People who have a 'spare room' will find housing benefit reduction of 14%. However there is a discretionary fund for people who have FIXED ADAPTATIONS, in which case it's cheaper for them to pay the top-up and keep us where we are. Grab rails alone are unlikely to account for much.

A very nice lady, she said I was very likely to receive the top-up (no guarantees mind), but I wonder how many people would find they're not so fortunate?

15 Replies

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  • Hi tulips i have fibro recently diagnosed and my partner claims job seekers for both of us plus we have a child of 9.. as you no it is so difficult to receive dla/esa and to be honest reading peoples blogs on here i realise my fibro is at the moment not very bad (but still a horrible illness) so at the moment we live on the bare minimum the law allows SO HOW THE HELL DO THEY HOPE TO GET AN EXTRA 14% TOP UP MONEY FROM US? as we fall in to the catagory of living in a 3 bed house but as a cohabiting couple we only need 2 but we do actually use all 3 due to the fibro keeping me awake at night :-( im at my whits end thinking of this because i really cant see how we will afford to pay ..I NOW NO WHY SOME PEOPLE JUST GIVE UP AND COMMIT SUICIDE (it makes you feel so low that no one listens or even cares) no wonder depression is one of the biggest medical conditions around today.. hOPE THINGS WORK OUT FOR YOU hugs x

  • This is the sort of thing that worries me. You probably dont look particularly unwell, but although this horrible condition is starting to be talked about more it is impossible for people to understand just awful it is to live with, and how it can impact on your life as well as the lives of your nearest and dearest, who have to watch you struggle and pick up the slack when you have the really bad days. Not much fun for a 9 year old either.

    It would seem that different councils will be causing yet another 'postcode lottery' by the chaotic, disorganised muddle that seems to be the norm now following any reforms. As if life isn't tough enough! All I can suggest is wait and see what is offered to you when your Council get in touch. I'm afraid that Party politics will once again come into play, in which case I'm guessing that as we have Tory government those of us lucky enough to have Tory-led local council will maybe have an advantage. I really hope things work out for you too! xx

  • i too have had 1 of the meetings regarding this i was advised to take in a lodger BUt with health issues for both of us it was no viable as we both need 24/7 use of bathroom & Toilet etc...we have decided that we may like to live in a cosy little 1 x bed bungalow and will see what they offer us and when but in the meantime (as there is a 3 yr wait) we will pay for the extra bedroom on a suck it and see basis..good luck 1 and all.

  • Good luck!

  • I had a visit and was told that the things I have here wiould be put into a bunglaow if I moved cos I need them as the estate manager said, I asked about help, she said there is none!!!!

    Where can I find out about this?

  • If you are in council accommodation they should be in touch sometime, but if you are worried perhaps phone and ask to speak to someone. If you are in private rented with a 'spare room', perhaps try Citizens Advice Bureau or even google Housing Benefit Reform April 2013. I did read somewhere that many of these changes will take possibly up to 2017 to cover the whole country, and they will be starting with new claimants 1st. I wish you the best of luck.

  • I live alone in a 2 bedroom council house. I have had a wet room installed, by the council, for my disabilities. Will I be affected?

  • Possibly. If your local council are short on suitable homes for people in your position I think that might help you, as might a Tory-led council 'cause of course they will try to support Tory government reforms whilst keeping people from causing trouble!

    The lady I saw just said top-ups were in some cases easier & cheaper than trying to move people who would need adaptations put in again. I also told her that at times I needed 24/7 care provided by family & friends working things out between them, which she also wrote down. This discretionary funding that has been made available is a fixed amount, so the more people accepted the smaller the top-ups will be!

    This reminds me of Lord of the Manor throwing handful of coins at the starving hordes gathered about the gates of a large estate. Just tip the forelock and say thank you kind sir! lol

    Hope it works out for you.

  • I can understand this for people not having any health problems. But like you we have three bedrooms but would only qulaify for two. Luckily we own our home so no housing benefit comes our way, but for others it does and is very much needed. At times we find, because of me, that the sprae room is needed and is often in use xxxxxx

  • Meant to add an example here but fibrofog has crept in again. We have a couple close by that have a four bedroomed house. All their children have left home which means they only need one room for them. They are both in good health(they can both run extremely well when they need to chase someone in order to cause yet more trouble in the street) but the woman swings the lead very well to keep their benefits, plus they have a car, one of those big ones, a people carrier. Yet they are managing to keep that house! These councils target the wrong people xxxxx

  • I quite agree with you Ozzy.

  • annoying thing is, public perception is that almost everyone claiming sickness/disability benefits are fraudulent. 'sick' really is a 4 letter word! xx

  • You never heard of us being treated like this until the real fraudsters started making mistakes and getting caught on camera, like the guy so bad with his back he could not walk, yet was filmed enjoying a wonderful round of golf!!!!!! And then that hits the papres and tv news and we are all immediately labelled as scroungers. The only real scroungers in the UK(apart from the system players) are the MPs, milking the disabled to keep the wallets full, the freezers overflowing, posh cars on the drive and their kids in good schools. Sorry I am having a rant after recieving my statement of reason from the courts xxxxx

  • i dont blame you. have you noticed how quiet politicians are generally whilst 'one of their own' are being outed in the media, and then in comparison how loud their outrage becomes when anyone else is caught out being anything less than honest? the hypocracy is just staggering! If they can divert attention from themselves and direct public frustrations onto people like us, easy target, they will do so without conscience. the greedy idiots in the minority who are providing the ammunition by defrauding DWP/taxman should be strung up, but for heaven sake that doesn't make us all frauds. whereas when the scandal about m.p.s and their expenses first hit the headlines it was clear that only a handful were not actually screwing the system for every penny they could! And they really didn't get it! it was nothing to do with Joe Public! I have to say i'm pretty fed up too! take care oz. xx

  • We don't yet know if we are affected by the bedroom tax. We are in a 2 bed house and will need to move because I struggle so much with the stairs. I am terrified of putting in the form to transfer because a one bed place around here would be too small for us.

    We don't claim housing benefit at all but my dla claim was just rejected and I have to appeal this now. More stress!!!