Bedroom Tax - YOU still need to take action
You may have heard that the ‘Bedroom Tax’ no longer applies in Scotland or that you don’t need to do anything and the Government will cover it.
This is NOT the case. The ‘Bedroom Tax’ still applies in Scotland. There is help available through the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) scheme, but tenants still need to APPLY for this.
Our Welfare Rights Assistant, Leigh Marinelli, has helped a lot of our tenants fill in applications for this to cover the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and ensure their full rent is covered.
If you are confident in completing an application for DHP yourself, you can do it in the following ways:
- DHP forms are available from your local Council Tax and Housing Benefit Office.
- The DHP form is also available to download from the Glasgow City Council website www.glasgow.gov.uk
- Or you can write, asking to apply for a DHP, to: Glasgow City Council, PO Box 36, Glasgow G1 1JE
It is important to note that there is usually a time limit on DHP payments. If it is being claimed to cover ‘Bedroom Tax’ then it will usually be paid from claim date to the following April (start of the next financial year). After this you may need to re-apply.
Housing Benefit make the decision about whether or not the ‘Bedroom Tax’ applies to each case and send out letters to those affected stating that an“under occupancy reduction” applies to your housing benefit. If you feel that the ‘Bedroom Tax’ should not apply to you, you can appeal to an independent tribunal as with any housing benefit decision. Some appeals have been successful at Tribunal.
If you have not yet appealed but want to:
There is a time limit of one month from the date on your housing benefit decision letter to appeal. If yours is late then you must provide reasons for this and housing benefit will decide whether or not to extend this time limit. The absolute maximum time limit is 13 months from the date of the decision letter. If you wish to appeal you must do so in writing. This is also something which our Welfare Rights Service can assist with.
If you have already appealed but would like some help:
Our Welfare Rights Assistant can assist you with any ongoing housing benefit appeals and can also arrange representation for you at Tribunals.