'Postcode lottery' for disabled people hit by bedroom tax seeking discretionary payments to help cover rent

Darlington and Stockton Times: Study into discretionary payments uncovers postcode lottery Study into discretionary payments uncovers postcode lottery

Almost a third of disabled people hit by the bedroom tax have been refused discretionary payments to help them cover the shortfall in their rent,  research has found.

Demand for the support has tripled this year but applicants face a postcode lottery when it comes to being accepted, according to the National Housing Federation.

Overall, seven in ten people affected who applied for a discretionary housing payment in the first six months of the policy received one, the study found.

In parts of Kent, the success rate was just one in ten and in parts of North Yorkshire the rate fell to just two in ten. In Sunderland, Wandsworth and Wokingham, only three in ten were successful.

The level rose to nearly three in North East Derbyshire, Basildon, Rotherham and parts of Lancashire.

Overall, the study found that 29 per cent of disabled residents - more than 3,800 people from the 98 local authorities who responded to Freedom of Information requests - in England who asked for help following the reforms were rejected. 

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: ''Whenever ministers are challenged on the bedroom tax, they tell us vulnerable people are not at risk because of these discretionary housing payments.

''Now we know the truth: this so-called bedroom tax protection is starting to look like a postcode lottery, with many disabled people and vulnerable families facing miserable odds of getting help.

''Even those who are lucky enough to get support will have to reapply time and time again, each time facing the stress and worry that the funds will be withdrawn, while councils are being inundated with applications.

''This support fund is ineffective and deeply unfair - just like the bedroom tax itself. The only real solution is to repeal it.''

The Department for Work and Pensions spokesman insisted the money available to councils to make discretionary payments had gone up significantly.

A spokesman said: ''We more than tripled the money we give to local authorities to £190m this year to ensure that help was available to those who need it most.

''The cash was given to local authorities to distribute because they deal with their customers on a day-to-day basis and are best placed to see to it that the money reaches those who have the greatest need.

''We will continue to monitor progress closely while our reforms bed down.''

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:17pm Thu 19 Dec 13

punkrocker says...

lacey will at least be happy at this misery heaped upon the weak and poor.
shameful but not surprising from the nasty party.
lacey will at least be happy at this misery heaped upon the weak and poor. shameful but not surprising from the nasty party. punkrocker

2:42pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Taxpaying Homeowner says...

Councils have got to be forced to use the discretionary payments instead of halting and playing politics with people's lives.
Councils have got to be forced to use the discretionary payments instead of halting and playing politics with people's lives. Taxpaying Homeowner

3:42pm Mon 23 Dec 13

hullgodfreyshire says...

EVERYONE EFFECTED BY THIS BEDROOM TAX SHOULD QUOTE cAMORONS ANSWER IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS "NOBODY THAT IS DISABLED WILL HAVE TO PAY THIS BEDROOM TAX", , BUT THERE AGAIN THESE TORIES CANNOT STOP TELLING LIES.AND THE COUNCILS JUST GO ALONG WITH WHAT EVER THEY ARE TOLD TO DO.
EVERYONE EFFECTED BY THIS BEDROOM TAX SHOULD QUOTE cAMORONS ANSWER IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS "NOBODY THAT IS DISABLED WILL HAVE TO PAY THIS BEDROOM TAX", , BUT THERE AGAIN THESE TORIES CANNOT STOP TELLING LIES.AND THE COUNCILS JUST GO ALONG WITH WHAT EVER THEY ARE TOLD TO DO. hullgodfreyshire

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree