Saturday, 23 May 2015

Victory in shared care bedroom tax tribunal

A disabled man who spends two or three nights a week at his mother’s house occupies the property for bedroom tax purposes, a tribunal has found.

Margaret Rose, 60, had a bedroom in her property for her son Steven at her Holloway home, as well as a box room used to store equipment.

She was originally told she faced a benefits cut of £30-per-week because she under-occupied the property by two bedrooms.

But a judge at the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal ruled that one bedroom was occupied by Steven, who lives in full time care when he is not at his mother’s.

The tribunal also ruled the box room, which measured less than 50 square feet, should not be considered a bedroom as it was used to store equipment.

The case follows a number of first tier tribunal judgements on the bedroom tax which have found in favour of people with disabilities.

Lorna Reid, head of welfare at Islington law centre, said: ‘We think that this decision, even if it is not binding creates space for more challenges in shared caring cases.

‘We are delighted on behalf of the appellant and very, very pleased that we are starting to force the door open for further argument.’

Despite Ms Rose’s age she did not qualify for an exemption as she was not yet claiming a state pension.

It is understood Islington Council are not planning to appeal.

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