What is the Bedroom Tax?
Read our Welfare Reform Factsheet 1 - The Bedroom Tax for more information
You may have heard in the media that the Bedroom Tax has been abolished in Scotland, or is ‘as good as abolished’.
In fact, the Bedroom Tax has not been abolished – it is still happening.
If you’re affected by the Bedroom Tax your housing benefit will continue to be reduced. But extra help has been made available.
So what has changed?
The Scottish Parliament voted to allocate extra money to local authorities to help social housing tenants cope with the Bedroom Tax.
The UK Government has given the Scottish Government new powers to allow them to spend the money on this. The extra money has been allocated to the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) scheme.
How do you apply for a DHP?
DHP forms are available from your local Council Tax and Housing Benefit Office, 1 Gairbraid Avenue, Maryhill G20 8YA (open Monday – Friday, 9am to 4.30pm).
Or you can get a DHP form fromQueens Cross Housing Association. Your area housing team can help you to fill in the form.
The DHP form is also available to download from the Glasgow City Council websitewww.glasgow.gov.uk
Or you can write, asking to apply for a DHP, to: Glasgow City Council, PO Box 36, Glasgow G1 1JE
What else can be done about the Bedroom Tax?
The decision to apply the Bedroom Tax is a housing benefit decision. It is sent to you in a letter telling you that an “under occupancy reduction” applies to your housing benefit. As with any housing benefit decision, there is a right to appeal to an independent tribunal. In some cases it can be argued that the reduction should not be applied at all. Some of these cases have been successful at Tribunal.
Not yet appealed against the Bedroom Tax?
An appeal has to be in writing, and has to reach the Housing Benefit office within one month of the date on the housing benefit decision letter. If your appeal arrives later, you have to give reasons why your appeal was late, and a decision will be taken on whether to extend the time limit. The time limit cannot be extended to any date later than 13 months after the date of the decision.
If your Bedroom Tax decision was issued less than 13 months ago, our welfare rights team may still be able to help you to appeal.
Already appealed about the Bedroom Tax?
Our welfare rights team can help with the ongoing appeal process, and can represent you at a tribunal if there is a reasonable case to argue.
What if I’ve been awarded a DHP to cover the Bedroom Tax – does that mean I’ve won my appeal?
No – the DHP and the appeal process are completely separate. While a DHP might cover the Bedroom Tax amount, it is not an entitlement. The DHP is awarded for a limited period (usually 6 months). If you want the DHP award to continue, then you have to re-apply when it runs out. There is no guarantee that the same DHP will be awarded when you re-apply. So it may be worth continuing with an appeal no matter what has happened with your DHP application.
Where to get information
For further information and advice about Bedroom Tax appeals, or any Welfare Reform issues, contact the Association office on 0808 143 2002 and ask for the Welfare Rights team.
For further information about the Bedroom Tax or DHP, contact your area housing team, or the Financial Inclusion Team on 0808 143 2002.