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Veronica Kenning- Wheelchair User, Dying Of Cancer, And Facing #BedroomTax Eviction

October 11, 2013




A wheelchair-bound mum dying of cancer is facing eviction from her council house in a bedroom tax row .

Veronica Kenning could lose the only home she has ever known after refusing to pay the £23.57-a-week demanded by Birmingham City Council .

The 57-year-old said she would fight her case in court – but admitted any hearing would have to be quick as she was given a year to live last August.

Veronica, who has also suffered from ME for 26 years, said: “I told the council I was never going to pay because I’m dying.

“They shouldn’t be asking for it. It’s disgraceful.

“I told them they could take me to court – but they would have to be quick.”

Veronica was told in February that she faced paying out under the bedroom tax after her daughter moved out of their three-bedroom home in Brook Meadow Road, Shard End.

The controversial benefits shake-up, which cuts payouts for those with spare rooms, came into force on April 1.

It was blamed for causing the death of Solihull grandmother Stephanie Bottrill, who was hit by a lorry on the M6 on May 4.

Veronica, who has cancer of the oesophagus, has already received a letter warning the council intended to seek possession of the home where she has spent her entire life.

The document told her: “Your rent debt is now at an unacceptable level and we are serving you with a notice of seeking possession. This is a legal notice and should not be ignored.”

Veronica admitted she had rebuffed the council’s attempts to encourage her to apply for cash to help her pay her way.

She said: “I haven’t got enough time left to waste it filling out forms.

“I might not even qualify. I’m making a stand.”

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said: “We have been in regular contact with Mrs Kenning, urging her to apply for discretionary housing payment, which we feel, in her circumstances, she would qualify for.

“Indeed, we have told her we will take a telephone application to make things easier for her.

“Unfortunately she has refused on every occasion to make a claim.

“We are deeply sympathetic to Mrs Kenning’s plight and have written, phoned and visited her property in order to try to help her get the assistance available to her.

“However, her consistent refusal to allow us to help her has left us with little option as she has made it clear to us that she does not want to apply for discretionary housing payment.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. christina evans permalink
    October 11, 2013 12:02 pm

    The dhp forms the local authority expect you to fill out are insulting and humiliating. why should people (who through no fault of thier own )have to put down there life story and more to apply for this dhp,wheras before people did not have to . we had a dhp form,wife substantially disabled as well as 2 daughters,I felt low filling it in,like I am a criminal,like I am scum.did fill it in ,the authority took the disability benefit into account and said we had to much income to qualify,now we have had cut of £17 a week.

  2. October 11, 2013 1:09 pm

    Such a disgusting story. That the council are taking this course of action.

    If they believe she would qualify for a DHP. Then WHY don’t they just pay her full Housing Benefit anyway!!
    They expect her to go through the indignity of actually filling in the forms which are a total invasion of your dignity and privacy.
    Then we have some councils using DLA as income. Which they should NOT do. (Refer to BURNIP case).
    DLA is for mobility and care. NOT for paying rent!!
    She probably also qualifies for exemption for an overnight carer as well.
    They should just leave her alone to die in peace. Without all this added stress.

  3. October 11, 2013 1:19 pm

    like most people reading this! I’m appalled at the Government*, but I must say Veronica your courage is to be commended! and your decision to make a stand applauded by all in the disabled community
    we must all make sure this article is published to the press by whatever means!
    be strong* Babes! Xxx

  4. Marian56 permalink
    October 11, 2013 1:23 pm

    Wait and see. Those who have filled in the DHP application forms have given them the information they will be able to use to argue what they can afford to go without next time they apply. Its a farce, Whoever heard of having to apply for financial relief, to pay for a benefit reduction you cannot afford.

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