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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 8267

Bedroom Tax

Request

I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for details of appeals made against the bedroom tax.  Please could you detail the following:

During 2012/13:
1. How many appeals against paying the spare room subsidy were submitted?
2. Please provide a summary of each, stating the reason for the appeal (or category of reason if categorised, for example but not limited too room is spare due to resident serving in Armed Forces, or resident abroad, or resident deceased, etc.), if the appeal was successful or unsuccessful, and the reason for this decision.
If my request is denied in whole, or in part, I request that you justify the reasons why, citing specific exemptions of the act.

Response

During 2012/13:

1. How many appeals against paying the spare room subsidy were submitted?

Zero for 2012/13– The Regulations regarding the Social Sector Size Criteria did not take effect until April 2013.

However, from April 2013, we have received a total of 6 Appeals against the Social Sector Size Criteria.

2. Please provide a summary of each, stating the reason for the appeal (or category of reason if categorised, for example but not limited too room is spare due to resident serving in Armed Forces, or resident abroad, or resident deceased, etc.), if the appeal was successful or unsuccessful, and the reason for this decision.

5 of the Appeals were against the restriction on the grounds that there was a disabled child in the household who could not share a bedroom with their sibling – each of these appeals were successful after the initial decision was reconsidered by a Senior Officer.

1 appeal is against the restriction on the grounds that the spare bedroom was being used to store medical equipment, including a dialysis machine. This appeal has been submitted to the First Tier Tribunal. No decision has been made as yet. The claimant in this case is having their Housing Benefit supplemented with a Discretionary Housing Payment.