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Everyone Hit by the Bedroom Tax Should Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment

Everyone Hit by the Bedroom Tax Should Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment

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Published by ECAP
How to apply to your local council for a Discretionary Housing Payment if you have been hit by the Bedroom Tax
How to apply to your local council for a Discretionary Housing Payment if you have been hit by the Bedroom Tax

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Published by: ECAP on Apr 25, 2013
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04/25/2013

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Everyone hit by the Bedroom Tax should apply for aDiscretionary Housing Payment - the form can bedownloaded from the url below in the Council sitehttp://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloads/file/3839/discretionary_housing_payments_formDon’t be put off making a DHP application. As thehousing charity Shelter write:“Who can get a discretionary housing payment?Anyone can get a discretionary housing payment. It'sup to your housing benefit department to decide whoshould be given the payments.”http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/paying_for_a_home/housing_and_council_tax_benefit/discretionary_housing_paymentsSome tips for filling in the DHP form.Write down as much info as possible. If possible getletters of support, eg from your GP, CPN, consultant,any medical specialist, any other professional eg socialworker.If you are not used to filling in forms its good to getsomeone whose good at that, an advice/ supportagency, or ECAP to help.When you submit the form, either– deliver it personally,
and make sure you get a
 
receipt
 – if you post it, do so using the “signed for” service,about £1.50 extra, keep the receipt and check onlineits been picked up– or do it by e mail, making sure it is acknowledgedwith a “received” e mail (the council normally does thisautomatically.(this applies to all forms submitted to CEC or the DWP,they are notorious for “losing” forms…)Some pointers on the questions in the form…2. “Why did you move to this address?”Explain fully, including making it clear that you were notgiven the choice of somewhere with less bedrooms.3. “What, if anything, makes this address especiallysuitable for you?”If you have any health problems explain why your homeand/ or its location is especially suitable.Eg if it has been adapted for your disabilities. Or, ifyou have mental health issues, then you need a familiarenvironment and/or an environment where you have anetwork of friends, family, carers - this could equallyapply if you have physical health problems.If you have school age children explain how it would bereally disruptive to their education if you had to moveto another area. Explain if a move would disrupt childcare arrangements. DWP guidelines (no.53) state: with
 
“An individual or family who rely heavily on localsupport network ……it may be appropriate to use DHPto make up the shortfall in their rent.”4. “Please tell me about any health problems that youor any member of your family might have.”It is important to answer this very fully, and it is veryimportant to get letters from your GP or other medicalprofessionals to back you up. However don’t delayputting in the form to wait for letters – you can putthe form in, indicating that letters will follow, thensubmit them when you have them.DHP should be available for couples with long termmedical condition or disability that create difficulties insharing a bedroom, according to the government, alsofor people whose homes have had significant disabilityadaptationshttp://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/bedroom-tax6. “Do you have any relatives or friends who could helpyou?”Answer NO.Income/ expenditure formThey ask you to list all income and expenditure.Clearly it is important to show that you have no sparemoney, ie your expenditure is equal to, or slightlygreater than, your income.

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