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Non-Disabled Tenants Prioritised For DHPs Finds Survey #BedroomTax

February 12, 2014

Councils are ignoring government guidance and failing to prioritise disabled people for payments to help cope with the bedroom tax, a study has claimed.

Freedom of information requests issued by the Papworth Trust reveal 67 per cent (10,656 out of 15,938) of applications from non-disabled people are successful when applying for discretionary housing payment, compared with 59 per cent (3,670 out of 6,200) of applications from disabled people.

David Martin, the charity’s strategy director, said councils were ignoring government guidance not to take disability living allowance into account when means testing DHP, meaning disabled people were appearing to have higher incomes than non-disabled people.

The discretionary housing payments guidance manual issued in April by the government states: ‘You [the council] may decide to disregard income from disability-related benefits as they are intended to be used to help pay for the extra costs of disability.

‘Where the claimant or someone in their household has a disability which requires them to have a larger property than would usually be the case for the size of their household due to, for example, a medical condition that might mean they are unable to share a bedroom.’

The charity’s ongoing research also shows nearly 90 per cent of disabled people refused a DHP are cutting back on essentials like food and drink or household bills.

Mr Martin said: ‘This policy is penalising disabled people living in adapted homes. We are calling on the government to immediately ban councils from taking disability living allowance into account when assessing income, as they have already done for other mean- tested benefits such as housing benefit.’

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 13, 2014 12:40 am

    Reblogged this on Benefit tales.

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