Landmark bedroom tax ruling issued

Landmark bedroom tax ruling issued

A tribunal has overturned a decision on the bedroom tax, setting a precedent that could force some councils to rethink how they decide who needs a room for an overnight carer.
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Solicitor Giles Peaker said he would not be surprised if ‘a fair number of councils’ had calculated who needs a spare room for overnight care in the same way as Eastleigh Council did.

The ruling, the first by an upper tribunal to set a precedent, overturned a first-tier tribunal decision that had upheld a housing benefit cut by Eastleigh Borough Council.
The Hampshire local authority reduced the benefit of a woman who lives in a three-bedroom house with her daughter and was therefore deemed to have a spare room. The woman contended that she required a room for an overnight carer because she suffered from severe asthma and eczema.
The council said in a letter dated 18 October 2012 that because her disability living allowance was calculated on her day needs rather than night she did not have a regular need of carer. The housing benefit regulations allow a room for carers who ‘regularly’ stay overnight.

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