Extra room for a Carer: why is a disabled child apparently not eligible?

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    Clive Hayward

    Hello All,

    We’ve got a case where a lady (lone parent) had a premature baby last year. He wasn’t allowed out of hospital until he was 7 or 8 months old, and he has to have overnight care which is supplied every night by a non-resident carer. The baby is entitled to DLA high rate care component.

    The claimant would normally have a 3 bed need but on the face of it the carer situation means 4 are needed and that is what she is renting.

    We have notified the claimant that she can’t have LHA at the 4 bed rate because it is not her who has the need for care.

    I see that the DWP manual backs this up: Para 2.040 specifies that:

    * the overnight care is provided for the customer or partner (the provision does not extend to other members of the household and only one extra room is allowed)

    My problem is this: having read the definition of “person who requires overnight care” in HB Reg 2(1), I can’t see where it is limited to a claimant or partner.

    I’m sure I’m missing something (although I’d quite like it to be a gaping loophole!!). Can anybody please tell me why extra LHA is only payable if it’s the claimant or partner with the care need (and where the regulations say that?).


    Hi Clive

    I’m no expert on these things, so apologies if I’m wrong. However reg 2(1) is just the definition of a person requiring care, it’s regs 13D(2) & 13D(3) that specify the number of bedrooms allowed uder LHA. In this case it’s the final ‘and’ of 13D(3) that limits the provision to the claimant or their partner:

    “The claimant shall be entitled to one bedroom for each of the following categories of occupier (and each occupier shall come within the first category only which applies to him) –
    (a) a couple (within the meaning of Part 7 of the Act)
    (b) a person who is not a child
    (c) two children of the same sex
    (d) two children who are less than 10 years old
    (e) a child
    and one additional bedroom in any case where the claimant or the claimant’s partner is a person who requires overnight care (or in any case where both of them are)”

    Hope this helps (although, as you say, loophole sounds like it would have been useful in this instance!)

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