Jan 262013

Frances Ryan of the New Statesman is asking for disabled people’s experiences/fears/thoughts stories on the bedroom tax. Please send your stories direct to Frances at frances.ryan18@btinternet.com also on twitter @frances__ryan

Also please see http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/01/bedroom-tax-and-discretionary-housing-payments/ for possible help


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  23 Responses to “Experiences/stories on bedroom tax needed by journalist”

  1. I have a spare bedroom converted by council via my Occupational Therepist into a shower room, as i have mobility issues & a heart problem. However, yesterday a council official told me i STILL have to pay for the shower room as they class it as a bedroom still?!! Even tho’, if i were to take a lodger in, the shower room has no electrical points for a tv, lamp ect; for obvious reasons! I feel as if i’m been made to suffer even tho’ i have medical problems & use the shower room . Liz with regards.

  2. Hi, my sister is affected by the new bedroom tax,however she is prepared to downsize but since her daughter has reached eighteen and is still at college, they are only eligeble for a two bedroom flat not a house.They have been tenants for over 20years but its is our local councils (Newcastle-Under-Lyme) policy that says its to enable young familys in a house,.My sister is age is 49 and her husband is 61 in April.

    How can this be fair when they are prepared to move to a two bedroomed house!

  3. i am a full time carer for my 24 yr old son who is on dla he has learning disabilities he has a mind of a 7 yr old i am in a 3 bedroomed house and is being hit by the bedroom tax my spare box room is actually being used for when my 3 yr old grandson come to stay , but my peiblem is if i move i would have to leave the area im in now as there are no 2 bedroomed available as theres should a high demand for them my son will lose all his network support and his funding for his disability day care centre which would leave me with no support alt all everything is placed in the town we live in now ,he would even have to change hospitals too my son also has asbergus he hates change and cant cope with change ,my mp hasnt writen to lord freud twice no and hes not interested he says as i only get £71 awk to live on my self i would have to take the bedroom tax money out of my sons dla thats not wot dla is for , lord frued lives in a mansion and has no clue how we live ive tried to se a solicitor but becouse the legal aid bugdet has been cut i cant get legal aid so basically we are stuffed !!

  4. Surely the time has now come to force those who are paid vey handsomely to work on our behalf to actually do that. They WORK for us they do not RULE us!

    • Remember the Poll Tax and FORCE the government and local authorities to change the so called bedroom tax rules. This reply will not be moderated.

  5. We have recently been informed by the Housing Association that we will have to find the funds for having a spare room, My husband and I care full time for our 22 yr old Severely Disabled Son, our spare bedroom which is a small box room has our son’s specialist equipment in, his 3 monthly supply of nappies and also when we have his carer stop over night (waking carer) she/he stays in there as it is next to our son’s bedroom, I mentioned we had a carer that can either support him during day or night flexible for us and was told by the Housing Association that to be exempt the carer would have to be asleep, I have found this ruling unbelievable when our son has a serious medical condition (born with) that requires 24 hr care which my husband and myself has done free of charge all these years saving the government a fortune, to be again robbed, our son already pays towards our rent as when he turned 18 he became a non dependent and because he is on EMA (support group) it stopped me from getting my full rent rebate so we are now going to have to find approx 30 pound a week rent, the only solution I can see is to go and find a job which I would be willing to do if the council is willing to provide the full care needed for my son so I can do this, but when you can only get 11 hrs care a week we have got no chance of changing life for the better, and are left in a no win situation, I feel so frustrated and can see a lot of the disabled people we care for ending up in care home’s as us carer’s will sticking our fingers up to the government and telling them to do it all.

  6. i have only just learnt about this bedroom tax today as my sister is talking about moving out and im shocked by how much housing benefit i will lose im a disabledsingle woman of 26 yrs old with 2 children 1 who lives with me and one who visits in the holidays how can i be expected to pay so much no one in there right mind will employ me trust me ive tried due to my contact with my son during the holidays and cant afford childcare for 2 children plus time off for regular hospital appointments and the regular medication i take i must take at a certain time and no employer is happy to employ me because of this so basically if my sister moves out the money i recieve from d.l.a will end up going on my rent instead of things tht matter like taxis to appointments and my mobility scooter payments which means this will come out of my daughters money instead so what am i meant to feed my family with shirt buttons i would downsize but need this size house due to disability for storage of my disability equiptment my family will in effect starve

  7. I am disabled with Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, C Spine Damage, with a metal rod inserted from C2 downwards. Fusion of both ankles and both wrists, Both hips replaced and Heart problems. I spent 20 years on a housing list to find a suitable property for myself, My wife (also my full time carer) and my daughter. After waiting for a property it was decided that my situation had become critical and a Disabled Facilaties Grant was applied for to build a groundfloor room an external lift, a wet room/ walk in bath and a number of ramps. Even though a property was not available we are now being told as we have a spare room we must find the extra money. As normal a government with big ideas leaving the people who can least deal with the worry to take the brunt of things. All in it together. What a joke.

    • Hi there,

      My name is Lauren Layfield, I work on The One Show at the BBC.

      I wonder if you can help me? We’re desperately after families, single mums or single people who are going to be affected by the bedroom tax.

      I wondered if you knew of anyone who’d be willing to speak to us about their situation?

      We’re tried a few options now, but we’ve had a lot of bad luck…namely case studies falling poorly! We’re worried, unless we find someone soon, we won’t be able to do the story. Which would be a terrible shame as we get around 5m viewers every night and we want to bring it to people’s attention – one massive concern from housing associations is that many people don’t know it’s happening, or even BELIEVE it’s going to take effect, which is worrying.

      I very much hope you might be able to help!

      Best wishes,

      Lauren Layfield

      4th Floor | Quay House | BBC MediaCityUK
      Salford Quays | M50 2BH

      ( 0161 335 7558
      ) 07584 687775
      * lauren.layfield@bbc.co.uk

    • Hi David. Sorry, as above, I’ve had trouble replying to this. Would you be okay to email me on frances.ryan18@btinternet.com please? Thank you, Frances.

  8. DWP jobcentreplus HMRC are data matching your bank accounts with the records they hold on you

    My advice is clear out your bank accounts and close them otherwise the Gov will find your savings and take it ALL and take your benefits as punishment

    This Government are systematically RAPING (dictionary definition: To seize and carry off by force(i.e.USE THE LAW) To plunder or pillage) the working class and benefit claimants of all you have!!

  9. I work 16 hours a week not through choice, I work for a large company that would rather employ part time staff, I have asked several times for more hours and the answer is always no, despite them recruiting before christmas. My wage is £106.00 per week I live in a two bed flat, I put in for a move as soon as I was made aware of the housing benefit changes. Two collegues I work with got high priority and both moved in October 2012 they both gave up three bed houses. I have been given general needs, as a two bed flat is apparentely not a desirable let, I have now bid on seventeen properties with not so much as a word back. Nine weeks ago I got in touch with an MP I was sent an email to say they were waiting for the housing to get back to them, I waited eight weeks and got in touch again to be told the housing had been sent a reminder ( I DOUBT THE COUNCIL WILL BE AS SLOW WHEN I CANT MAKE UP THE SHORTFALL IN RENT ). The MP then suggested there are not enough council properties available for all the people this change makes and that had I thought about renting from a private landlord. It’s an absolute mystery to me I worry where I will get the money from to move in the first place removal carpets etc, and now I’m supposed to wave a wand and make a deposit and one months rent up front appear from no where. It will cost twice as much in housing benefit were I to rent from a private landlord how is this saving any money do they not see it will cost more, so it seems I am destined to be homeless. I had a kidney tumour removed last year along with part of my kidney I also have COPD, MP suggested trying to get my priority changed on medical grounds, but I feel that as I am not on my death bed that will be a waste of time too. Hope Cameron & Co are happy!

  10. I am a full time lone carer I for my two grandchildren they both have complex needs are on the Autistic spectrum can present as challenging , They are both in pads and and I have an 8 yr old son I am battling SS for a care package to meet our needs. I moved to a private rented bungalow in Aug 2010 As although I had been offered a DFG grant I was told I would have to wait two years and could no longer carry the chilldren safely up a the stairs to change them it was very dangerous and I could not expect my carers to either …So I moved to a 3 bed bungalow assuming the HB would meet the difference in the rent ..It did not we were £250 short and had to pay the difference and have been doing so ever since. I did apply for social housing but that has not been successfull as yet and My grandson who had a full spinal fusion in Sept has not had a shower since then as he now needs a wetroom we have to stripwash him in front of the radiator .Six weeks ago I was given 8 weeks to find a new property

    • Wendy you must go to ot go back to your local authority and make them treat you as a priority for urgent re-housing. Can you email us at mail@dpac.uk.net about where you are living please and we will see if there are any people in that area who may be able to support you at all.

  11. I have been married for almost 11 years and in all that time my husband and I have never shared a room. We both have illnesses that have made sleeping apart necessary. I have peripheral vascular disease, chronic depression with anxiety and inter cranial hypertension. I need my own space as my sleep is constantly disturbed due to various reason. My circulation is poor and need room to move my legs as they get sore through the night. My anxiety levels tend to be more extreme at night and often leaves me crying and irritated which – despite sleeping in my own room – wakes my husband from sleep which leads to him having sleep disruption and as a result of that, leaves him tired during the day. My husband has arthritis in his knee joints, sharing a bed leaves him in a great deal of pain. We decided that sleeping apart was the only solution. I suffer from terrible headaches, too, and need a quiet space to sleep in. It is complex, but it is our life. To be told by this Government that we do not need that extra room makes me angry. They have not allowed for any such situations with bedroom tax. Instead, they are making far too many assumptions which are very damaging to people like my husband and I. We cannot down size as we receive valuable support from family who live locally. Our housing officer has said that there are no appropriately sized houses, but as far as our needs are concerned, we have an appropriately sized home. It has two rooms which are in full use. This tax is an absolute disgrace and is completely against those that need that extra space. The Government is in no position to determine what we need and do not as they are unwilling to be flexible. They said that we can apply for this discretionary housing payment, but the reality is only the most severely disabled of people will receive that help. Assuming that severely disabled people are the only ones that need extra space is very short sighted on the Governments behalf. It is never as black and white as that. This has to be a fundamental breach of human rights. Changing allocation policy makes for a much fairer system and restoring protection for those that need some basic understanding in regards to how we each live, is the only truly fair policy. My husband and I are trapped and as a result will need to pay this tax for a room that is very much needed. What a terrible society David Cameron is hell bent on creating. It makes me very sad.

  12. My brother and I have now flown the nest to study at university and my mother has been left very unstable from this. She has had a history of mental health problems but having children was her stability, saviour, routine and purpose. On finding herself in the house on her own, even though she knew it would happen, she faced a period of depression and very uncomfortable time, she pulled herself through this. Yet upon the looming news of bedroom tax, her health deteriorated and she is now very unstable again, on the verge of a breakdown. Resulting in being diagnosed as unfit for work. She wants to keep a family home for us to be able to come back to as university accommodation is temporary. I fear that if she was told she had to move, as is unable to afford the tax, she would not be able to cope.

    • Hi Isabel. Sorry, I’ve had trouble replying to this. Would you mind emailing me on frances.ryan18@btinternet (as above). It would be great to possibly feature this in the New Statesman piece. Thank you, Frances

  13. you might also like to explore how this affects foster carers …i am a foster carer getting help with housing benefit as what i recieve is a care allowence and is not considered when making a benifit assesment ,i am liable to pay the 14% as they say the young person i care for is ‘invisable’ so dispite having every bedroom full i am under occupied ????

    • Hi Sarah. Thanks, that’s definitely an area that needs covering I agree. The piece I’m writing right now is on disability specifically but I’m certainly intending to look at other areas soon. Would you be happy to email me – frances.ryan18@btinternet.com (as above) – your experience? Thanks, Frances.

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