Reply To: LHA Room Allowance and Carers


Very much the same issues arise here as those that affect foster children, which we have extensively discussed below. The policy intention relies on the assumption that only members of the claimant’s HB “family” (partner and children) plus other immediate “household” members (basically non-deps and, at a pinch, lodgers/subtenants) are covered by the definition of occupier. I think we have proved on here that that position is extremely vulnerable, and possibly based on a misreading of the Swale & Marchant case. If the reference to “household” in the definition of an occupier was supposed to exclude anyone other than joint tenants, well it doesn’t and the person who drafted it wants slapping with a big wet fish.

If you are satisfied that a carer, even one who is there as a paid worker, occupies the dwelling as his/her home, that carer is an occupier.

Where a claimant is supported by round-the-clock carers working in shifts, it is likely those people will have a home of their own to go back to and will not, therefore, be occupiers of the claimant’s dwelling. But a carer who actually lives with the claimant, paid or unpaid, would be an occupier in my view.