Who is worse local or central Government………..

The council are discriminating against me so I have started to blog it and fight back.

Before I came out of work we was paying full council tax on the button every month and little did I know until I researched it after being made redundant that my wife was disregarded and entitled to a 25% discount going right back until 1992 when council tax started due to being a carer so suffix to say we claimed this back and got a refund of 7k

Now ever since being made redundant and claiming council tax benefit we have been hounded with at least 6 different amounts to pay due to constant re assessment indeed it has done my nut in as we never know how much to pay and thus stressed me out no end.

This has continued this year too and we originally had a bill for just over £300 which was inc my wifes 25% discount and the council tax benefit so was happy until 4 weeks later and they phoned up saying they want to reassess and thus requested proof of income when they know what are income is because they are linked to DWP and HMRC and can see everything on the screens in front of them.

Anyway I struggle with all this for reasons I have recently blogged about so I forgot about it all and thus a bill was sent again for the full amount so I emailed them the info they requested only to be sent this:

Dear Mr Carter,

Thank you for your email.

Your claim has been cancelled from 17 February 2013 due to the information not being received within the given time limit.

If you wish to have your claim reinstated, you will need to complete a new claim form and a request a Revision of the Decision to cancel your claim.

Please advise me if you would like a new claim form to be posted to you.

Regards,


Benefit Assessor
For and On Behalf of
Havant Borough Council

They know I struggle because of an SAH Stroke so why could they not just send the bloody form out as they know I am entitled to benefit and why could they not just reinstate it instead of pissing me about.

Anyway I have just read this:

The severely mentally impaired

2(1)A person shall be disregarded for the purposes of discount on a particular day if—
(a)on the day he is severely mentally impaired;

(b)as regards any period which includes the day he is stated in a certificate of a registered medical practitioner to have been or to be likely to be severely mentally impaired; and

(c)as regards the day he fulfils such conditions as may be prescribed by order made by the Secretary of State.

(2)For the purposes of this paragraph a person is severely mentally impaired if he has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent.

(3)The Secretary of State may by order substitute another definition for the definition in sub-paragraph (2) above as for the time being effective for the purposes of this paragraph.

This comes from the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and I think we are in fact entitled to a 50% discount due to my mental disability which would result in about 8k due back to me.

I was going to let this go as I could not be bothered fighting for it but they have wound me up so much these past few years I bloody well am going to claim it back because I have had enough.

SAH Stroke 7th April 1990 so going back to when council tax started in 1992 adds up to a tidy sum

 

‘Benefit cap’ Judicial review in the High Court

Four vulnerable families have today issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, challenging the ‘benefit cap.’  The benefit cap policy has been imposed in four local authority areas since 15 April 2013 (including Haringey, where one of these families live) and will be rolled out across the country over the summer.  All affected households across the country are due to be capped by 30 September 2013.

The policy involves the ‘capping’ of total household benefits payable to families who do not work sufficient hours to receive Working Tax Credits (usually 16 or 35 hours per week).  The cap is set at £500 per week per household for couples or lone parents (it is £350 per week for single adults).  The Government estimates that it will impact on 56,000 households in the first year alone.  Benefits which are counted towards the calculation of the cap include housing benefit, child benefit, bereavement allowance, carer’s allowance, maternity allowance, severe disablement allowance and widow’s pension. The cap applies regardless of the number of children/ dependents in the family, and so larger families are particularly affected.  Over 80% of households to be affected by the cap include three or more children, and children are nine times more likely to be affected than adults.  The Government accepts that most of those who will be affected are women; approximately half of those who will be affected are disabled; and 40% are ethnic minorities who are likely to have larger family units.

The policy will have devastating effects on these four families.  Two of the families will receive nil for basic subsistence (food, clothes, heating) as their rent exceeds the £500 per week cap.  They will immediately fall into arrears, face eviction and street homelessness.  Two of the families have fled domestic violence in circumstances where they were financially reliant upon their abusive partners, and they risk losing their homes and being unable to feed and clothe their children.

Rebekah Carrier, solicitor at Hopkin Murray Beskine, who acts for all of the Claimants said:

“This is a cruel and misguided policy.  It will have a catastrophic impact on our clients and many thousands more vulnerable children and adults.  They face street homelessness and starvation.

A year ago the Children’s Commissioner warned the Government that these changes would result in a sharp increase in child poverty and homelessness, with a disproportionate impact upon disabled children and children of disabled parents, and some BME groups.  The difficulties now faced by my clients were predictable and avoidable.

The reason for the policy is said to be to encourage people to obtain work but my clients face difficulties in securing employment because they are lone parents with caring responsibilities for babies and toddlers, and disabled adults who have already been recognised as unable to work due to their disabilities.” 

These claims are supported by the charity Women’s Aid.  They have submitted witness evidence in support of the claims, focusing upon the impact upon women and children who have fled domestic violence.

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS:
1. Any queries should be directed to Rebekah Carrier, Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors, rc@hmbsolicitors.co.uk, telephone 020 7272 1234.

2. The four families are being represented by Rebekah Carrier, solicitor, Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors, and barristers Ian Wise QC and Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Doughty Street Chambers.

3. There are eight claimants – one parent and one child from each of the four families.  As many of the claimants are children and two of the women are at risk from their abusive ex husbands their identities are protected and they are referred to by initials only.

4. The judicial review challenges Part 8A of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, which was inserted by the Benefit Cap (Housing Benefit) Regulations 2012, SI 2012/2994, pursuant to section 96 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.  The claimants argue that the Regulations are discriminatory and unreasonable.  They also argue that the Secretary of State did not take proper account of the impact of the policy on women, children, the disabled, racial and religious minorities, and carers when formulating the policy.

http://www.hmbsolicitors.co.uk/news/category/item/index.cfm?asset_id=1520