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Bedroom tax decision overturned in landmark ruling

Date online: 21/08/2014

Eastleigh Borough Council had reduced the benefit of a woman who lives in a three-bedroom house with her daughter and was therefore deemed to have a spare room. The woman contended that she required a room for an overnight carer because she suffered from severe asthma and eczema.
The local authority determined that she must pay the 14 per cent in respect of the third bedroom because her disability living allowance was calculated on her day needs rather than night, despite the appellant having informed them that the room was used sometimes by an overnight carer for her.
Her appeal to the First Tier Tribunal was supported by medical evidence that she required overnight care “often” or “frequently”, but unpredictably due to the nature of her condition.
In the ruling, upper tribunal Judge Mark Rowland said: “A bedroom may be required even if the help is required only on a minority of nights.”
A spokesperson for Eastleigh Council said the council will not appeal and instead will abide by the decision of the court.

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