Room sizes criteria and the RO decision

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  • #23420
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Scenerio:

    Claimant gets DLA Care higher and DLA mobility higher, plus IB etc.
    He states he needs a two bedroomed place because he needs carers – but the carers live elsewhere and he has said he lives alone.
    The RO says he is over-accommodated (its also hugely expensive accommodation too) and provided a one bed valuation.
    I cant see anything in the regs that allows me (or the RO) to use a 2 bed valuation.
    Has anyone seen anything similar, got any ideas?
    We are awarding a DHP to help.

    Thanks

    #12434
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Why does he say he needs 2 bedrooms if the carers live elsewhere? Is it so they can stay over-night every now and then if necessary?

    #12435
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Article 2 of the RO(HB Functions) Order defines an “occupier” as:

    [quote:238b494f7f]a person (whether or not identified by name) who is stated in the application for the determination to occupy the dwelling as his home[/quote:238b494f7f]

    This makes it the LA’s call – the RO has no power to countermand it. It is interesting that the other occupier(s) need not be named: does this leave the way clear for the Council to say that the dwelling is occuopied by the claimant and A. N. Other, an adult who is not the claimant’s partner?

    The problem is the last bit – this other person must occupy the dwelling as his home. I think the Swale and Marchant case is still the binding authority on this issue – Reg 7 must be used in any circumstances where the concept of “occupation” is at issue, and not just in relation to the claimant satisfying the threshold eligibility conditions. Presumably carers work in rotation – this is their place of work rather than their home and they go back to their own homes when they clock off.

    So I think it is probably correct to fall back on DHP in such cases. I think the size criteria should be amended so that two bedrooms are allowed for any occupier who has Attendance Allowance or the higher rates of DLA Care – that would be an easy objective test to apply and would probably cover 99% of cases where live-in care is required, leaving the DHP budget to cover the more unusual cases where the LA is satisfied that for one reason or another the claimant needs an extra room.

    #12436
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    There is an argument that, because the claimant needs the additional room for a carer, he should be using the care component of the DLA care to make up the rent shortfall.

    Have a look at R(ex parte TURNER) v LB Barnet HBRB (2001).

    #12437
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Claimant states carers come every day and sometimes the carers stay overnight

    #12438
    Anonymous
    Guest

    In the past I have had cases where we considered it reasonable that the claimant required more rooms than would be allowed for by the Rent Officer. We informed the RO of this at the time of the referrals and consequently they did not apply a size-related rent. I guess it depends how accommodating your RO is!

    #12439
    markp
    Participant

    Andy,

    “Accommodating”!

    Any chance this was an unintentional pun?!

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................

    #12440
    Anonymous
    Guest

    when the annual re-referral was done and came back £10 lower the claimant complained to the RO and said he lived alone in a two bed flat. We had previously had a two-bed valuation but this complaint prompted a further redetermination for a one-bed and a further £35 reduction.

    #12441
    Anonymous
    Guest

    You could try an LA request for redetermination along the lines I suggested?

    (And not an intentional pun, it is far too late in the week for that.)

    #12442
    LindaL
    Participant

    I have received an appeal today on exactly the same subject as this. Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy of R (ex parte TURNER) v LB Barnet.

    Many thanks.

    #12443
    Kevin D
    Participant

    Courtesy of Rightsnet:

    [b:5c9946efbd]R (oao Turner) v LB Barnet HBRB 2001 EWHC Admin 204[/b:5c9946efbd] can be found on the link below:

    http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/pdfs/Turner_v_Barnet.pdf

    Regards

    #12444
    LindaL
    Participant

    Thanks Kevin 😀

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