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    • I feel that people are focusing too much on the OPs property being a council house and putting responsibility on the council to resolve this.   imagine for a moment that the OPs house is privately owned, now what powers would they have to take action on the trees? Pretty much none without taking the tree owner to court right. Well as the trees are privately owned, that is the same power that the council have right now.   the information with the £375 will be inline with high hedges legislation as this will be the only power the council will have and it is common for there to be a charge for this.   this is not a social housing issue, but a neighbor dispute with a private homeowner.   i used to work as a tree officer for a local authority and from experience have seen that people’s idea of dangerous and what is actually dangerous are two different issues. A councils power to enforce tree works are also limited and will usually only be where a private tree poses a risk to the highway, not to another property as that is a civil matter (even where the council own the 2nd property).    With regards to risk to underground pipes, this is something you will be unlikely to successfully argue as various studies have found that unless a tree is planted on top of the pipe and crush it, the roots will not cause damage, but rather only enter through already damaged areas as they are opportunistic, any tree roots in drains are usually a secondary issue where a pipe had existing damage and to resolve it will require a permanent repair to the pipe to prevent recurrence.   the only options i see here are to calculate the height allowed under high hedges legislation (it varies depending on what direction the property faces , the location of hedges etc) and try to enforce that which will involve the fee. Otherwise there is little you can do as the private homeowner has a right to have trees in their garden although they may be liable if they were to cause damage to your property (such as a shed) or the councils property in the future.
    • Served on 16 Feb.   On reviewing the MCOL website today for an updated, I noticed that 1) Hermes has aknowledged the claim, but not yet filed a defence, and 2) that I there was a glitch / error on the form. Essentially, it looks like I had accidentally left the "I will send detailed particulars of claim" box ticke (I thought I had unticked it), with the result that the claim section has been truncated, and some extra text has automatcially been added - in red below):   "...Claimant seeks £XXX, plus I will provide the defendant with separate detailed particulars within 14 days after service of the claim form. The claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of..."   This is obviously not ideal. Is it better to try to amend the claim somehow, or to just submit a brief POC that a) clarifies that I am seeking £XXX plus costs (which was automatically truncated), and b) sets out my calculation of the £XXX?  
    • Hi   It amazes me how they pass the buck as they don't want to deal with a private homeowner but if the shoe was on the other foot they would be hammering down on you for breach of tenancy.   As this is council housing you need to make a Formal Complaint in writing to the Council Housing about this (as a social housing landlord they have a complaints process they have to follow). you need to exhaust their complaints process. Make sure and title your letter Formal Complaint.   From what you have posted this tree is not just a nuisance but also a Health & Safety risk:   1. The tree being overgrown is now a danger to the occupants/Guest/Visitors to your property   2. The tree has overgrown into the Council Housings Boundaries your property causing damage/endangerment to the occupants/guest/visitors.   3. As the roots of the tree are also overgrown into your property you have concerns that these may be causing/damaging to any underground pipework that may be within the boundray of the property.   4. So far the Councils actions have been to treat their Council Housing tenant as a third class citizen with a private homeowner aloud to cause endangerment/possible damage due to these overgrown trees which are encroaching on your council house property/bounderies.   You also require clarification why you were sent the Healthy Neighbourhood Information which states I have to pay £375 to make a complaint. (make sure and attach a copy of the response that states this cost)   You also require copies of the following:   1. Complaints Policy (not the leaflet) 2. Customer Service Standard (not the leaflet) 3. Health & Safety Policy (not the leaflet) 4. Public Liability Insurance Policy. (not the leaflet) 5. Clarification from you if their is any underground pipeworks running through the bounderies within the garden area (you should have full knowledge of this it being your property/plans) 6. Compensation Policy (not the leaaflet) 7. Equality & Diversity Policy (not the leaflet)   When you get the above policies sit with a pen/pencil/highlighter and take you time reading them and just think to yourself 'DID THEY DO THAT' if not mark it then leave it for a while then do the same again this way you can basically throw/write back stating the haven't followed x policy with which part of that policy and your reason. (you are building evidence to use against them using their own policies. I would also like to refer you to The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1976: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1976/57/part/I/crossheading/dangerous-trees-and-excavations     You need to remember yes it is the Council but the Council Housing is a separate entity and is a Registered Social Landlord (RSL)   Is the Council Housing classed as a registered Charity? (what is their registration number whether charity or RSL?)   Also have a wee look at this CAG link:     
    • @rocky_sharma   Fame at last!!   Dunno how much help it would be in your case, but I could try digging out the txt of my defence if you think it might be relevant to your defence. We might hafta do this via PM, then e-mail though if ya wanna go down that route.   Good luck with yours anyway mate.
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Yet another ESA 3 (IBR)

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I'm currntly on ESA in the Support Group.

I received one of these ESA 3 (IBR) this morning, it says I am on CB based ESA but they need to look at my claim to decide if I should be getting IR ESA from Feb 2015.

So what is the significance of this date as I have always had CB ESA since they switched over from IB, and I'm sure it was earlier than 2015.

And now they want me to fill in a 44 page document to see if I may be entitled to extra money. Surely they only have to check their own records to see if I may be entitled to more money by switching over to IR related ESA.

Another point of concern by moving to IR ESA is that doesn't any IR related benefit now come under the dreaded UC umbrella ?

Is this form compulsory to fill out ?

What are the "Premiums" that they mention that I may get if I am on IR ESA ?

There are 3 options to tick if I don't want them to reassess me for IR ESA.

 

1. You had or have a partner and they were or they are working for more than 24 hours a week

 

2. You have or had more than £16k

 

 

3. You had or have a partner who had or have savings over £16k, or together you had or have savings over £16k

 

To be honest I'd rather eat grass than rely on UC, just tonight I was speaking to a friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, she is still on basic ESA and this month her UC hasn't been paid !! As if she doesn't have enough to worry about :(

But what the heck, it gets people back to work apparently.

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From what I understand, this has nothing to do with any changes to the benefit system e.g. Universal Credit.

 

Over a year ago, DWP were forced to look into ESA claims where the claimants should have been assessed to see whether they were entitled to more help e.g. Severe disability premium. There are extra elements that can be added to the income based (IB) ESA, that are apparently not available on CB ESA.

 

I am not totally aware of all of the issues with ESA, so you might be best to either contact ESA or contact an agency such as CAB about this.

 

In regard to the February 2015 date, this could be 365 days after you started the CB ESA claim ? ESA CB claims are initially for one year only and then if you are found to be in support group, the claim is continued. The Support group award is based on a health assessment. What should have happened at that point, is that the ESA claim was reviewed to see whether you were entitled to IB ESA which might have included extra amounts.

 

The 3 issues stated in the letter e.g. Savings over £16k, would have prevented any claim for IB ESA abd you would have stayed on CB ESA.

 

I don't think this ESA letter/form has anything to do with trying to reduce entitlement or trigger any move to UC. It is to see whether DWP owe you any backdated money, because DWP may have made a mistake back on February 2015. If you are entitled to extra money, it could be quite a lot. I have seen quoted in the media an average amount of several thousand being due.


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I read they are just looking at Arrears/Back-pay for IB © to ESA © transfers, because ESA (IR) was never considered at the time.

At the very least, many in the Support Group should have received EDP (£15 or so) along with their ESA © if they were entitled to income based ESA

There are other premiums linked to care issues etc. (hence some getting very large arrears!)

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The govt are trying to reduce what this screw up is costing them by limiting backdated claims to 3yrs. I had exactly the same thing even though my claim goes back just a little over 4yrs. I only got mine backdated to Dec 2014 when it was awarded in Jan/Feb of this year.

 

 

As I understand it, there's a judicial review going on regarding the way the govt are trying to use the rules... they're designed for 'new' claims and not screw ups of existing and ongoing ones. Once that's gone through the courts I expect the govt will have to backdate it for the entirety of the claims.

 

 

What was originally reported as up to 75,000 people last summer... is now apparently over 200,000 people and has so far cost the govt some 500 million and could double by the time it's done.

 

 

I was lucky, I got my claim in around Oct/Nov last year as soon as I found out what they'd done, and had help from a local community law service. I was switched to IRESA in late Dec and had it backdated to Dec 2014, but they still owe me another 15 months... Some people have been getting their backdated as far as 2010... but then as they realised what it was going to cost them, they started applying the 'new claims' rule on backdating to reduce the cost to govt... which is what they did in the first place to causes it... It wasn't an error, it was a deliberate policy to save the govt money, and it's now coming back to haunt them.

 

 

I also got awarded the PiP at the same time and because of my circumstances I was eligible for the SDP too.

 

 

They tried to limit the SDP to the Dec when I was finally switched to IRESA, instead of the date that the PIP was awarded from (Aug) and kept denying me that extra £1000... Until the local community law service stepped in on my behalf and they paid up.

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I just went through a Benefits Checker and according to that I would benefit by claiming IR ESA, my ESA payments would be an extra £4 per week and I would be entitled to Council Tax Discount.

I have always paid full Council Tax as I get CB ESA, and according to the checker I would have paid between £70 - £80 per month less over the last 3 years.

So is this repayable, I know councils will usually only go back 12 months for overpayments whether it's their fault or not (been there before). If the figures are correct then it would certainly be worth filling the form in.

 

One statement I read on the Disability Rights UK Site is that:

 

It can be paid on its own (if you are not entitled to contributory ESA) or as a top-up to contributory ESA (if you are).

 

I'm no expert, but I would have thought you could only get one or the other either CB or IR.

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I got the form filled it out and sent it it's really simple i think it takes 8-12 weeks to a reply and average payout is between £5k to £20K depending on your circumstances.

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It's only the difference between CESA and irESA that's backdated, so if you were on cESA + the support group to top it up to the same as you were getting on Incap Ben, then for 2017 it's roughly £13 a week, and the gap gets smaller with each year you go back, and because they're limiting it to 3yrs at the moment.. that works out to around £2200.

 

 

Current rates are

£73.10 for ESA in work related activity group

£110.75 for support group.

 

 

Then if you're in the support group and qualify for the enhanced disability premium, it's another £16.40 ... Which is £127.15.

 

 

So if you should have been on irESA but were on cESA and were placed in the work group instead of the support group... that's a difference of roughly £54 @ 3yrs = £8424

 

 

Most of the people were placed in the support group and denied being correctly placed on irESA... this meant that their benefits stayed static for over 4yrs if they were getting the same rate as they got on IB. In my cases I was on £112 a week for over 4yrs and it never changed from late 2013 until Dec 2017

 

 

Each case will be different of course depending on what you should have been getting and what you were... But the min should be £2000... and if they lose their case regarding them limiting it to 3yrs, then that changes again... I'd be entitled to another 15 months which is another £500-600 or so.

 

 

and that's before factoring if you were entitled to the severe disability premium, which if you are on PIP and live alone and have no carer, entitles you to another £64.30 a week if on the first rate of pip (inc mobility) or£128.60 if on the higher rate for both.

 

 

 

 

So there could be another £10030 to £20060 on top of that... and that's just over the limited 3yr period.... if they lose and have to backdate it further... it's roughly £3340 to £6680 for each year.

 

 

 

 

 

For those who have been denied everything... it could prove to be very good... but does it make up for making them suffer all those years, for leaving them in poverty and struggling to get by... as I was for over 4yrs.

 

 

 

 

Mine came at a fortunate time... as not long after I got all mine (it was between £5-6000 in total).. I discovered a serious issue with the roof that wasn't covered by the insurance, and required a brand new roof and extra rafters fitting.... that cost £5500, and if not for that backdated money... there was no way to do those repairs and the roof wouldn't have lasted another winter.

 

 

 

 

 

I just hope that every gets back the money they were denied for so many years.

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Very well explained Heckler, thank you.

Bit of a bugger about my Council Tax though, as due to not being on IR benefits of any kind I've been paying full rate for the last 3 years :(

Oh well.

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Very well explained Heckler, thank you.

Bit of a bugger about my Council Tax though, as due to not being on IR benefits of any kind I've been paying full rate for the last 3 years :(

Oh well.

 

Didn't think the type of ESA had any relevance to Council Tax Benefit though it is restricted to 80% or so. (therefore most people pay something towards their Council Tax)

 

The Council would assess you on your income with a PA versus Council Tax, less scheme restrictions (like 20%)

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Council tax varies from area to area... In some even taking into account a person getting full benefit... district to district can vary between 10-25%.. So in town A with equal council tax rates.. one person will pay say £20 a month and another on identical benefits will have to pay £35. There doesn't appear to be a set rule with each council being allowed to set what that contributory rate is.

 

 

Where I live, one year it was 8% and the next it was 15% whilst the next town over it was 22%.

 

 

What bugs me is that with all of my benefits, I can get CT relief whilst my mum who has less coming in each month and has been retired for 9yrs... doesn't get any at all because her income is 'too high and she owns her home'... we're in different councils.

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Hi

yes CT is a strange thing, last year i paid £10 towards my council tax for the first time since I have been on benefits but

this year I pay nothing.

 

 

Regards to all

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One statement I read on the Disability Rights UK Site is that:

 

It can be paid on its own (if you are not entitled to contributory ESA) or as a top-up to contributory ESA (if you are).

 

I'm no expert, but I would have thought you could only get one or the other either CB or IR.

 

Correct on all parts except ESA is a single benefit made up of 2 components Income and Contribution. The DWP split them for administrative purposes only and then tried to tell people that they were separate and exclusive with zero legal or regulatory basis.

 

They were told this in 2013 2014 ..15... 18 and refused to accept this fact until they lost a Judicial Review brought by CPAG earlier this year.

 

Read this https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/5928/

 

You can be awarded Conts ESA but also be entitled to the Income top ups EDP and SDP. Well if the DWP bother to assess you for them..... which they didn't! Having the Income top ups then opens up free prescriptions, housing benefit etc.

 

 

 

Edit:

On the Council Tax thing for a zero bill you have to satisfy the Severe Mental Impalement rules with most Councils

 

I use to pay 10% Council tax but currently have a zero bill so full Council Tax Support or whatever it's called.

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I had never heard about the SDP top up to ESA until after I was awarded PIP in Feb, the very helpful solicitor with the local welfare service suggested I apply for it. I

 

There's no form to fill in, I just had to call the DWP and ask about it, they then ask a few questions about your case.. IE, if you live alone, if you have anyone to help you with things and so forth... and it was sorted within a few days.

 

I got it backdated to when pip was awarded (Feb 2018).

But refused to backdate it to the previous Aug which was when I applied for pip, and they backdated pip payments to then... It took the local community law services intervention to get them to do that and that happened in May.

 

So don't expect the DWP to actually tell you there are other benefits you may be entitled to... Speak to a welfare rights service if you have one locally... They are a great source of help and advice.

Edited by dx100uk
Quote..spacing

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Didn't think the type of ESA had any relevance to Council Tax Benefit though it is restricted to 80% or so. (therefore most people pay something towards their Council Tax)

 

The Council would assess you on your income with a PA versus Council Tax, less scheme restrictions (like 20%)

 

 

In my area it does.

 

I was originally on CB ESA and I had to pay about £13 a month to council tax after council tax reductions.

When I applied for the IR topup in 2016, I noticed my council tax was recalculated and the council tax reduction was increased and now I only pay £6 a month council tax.

 

Each council has their own rules in how they apply CTR, it seems my council give you more help on IRESA than CBESA, even if in both situations you have the same financial circumstances.

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Well, I've just had a reply to my form and according to the DWP I am not entitled to ESA(IR) from 2015.

However, the sheet showing how it was worked out has got me a little confused although Having gone through it again I can now see how it has been worked out.

 

Starting with the very first line:

 

' Your living expenses based on your NI Contributions in the years ending 04/05 and 05/06 ? '

 

It then has 2 columns one labeled Cont (Contribution I presume) and the other IB (Income Based) ?

 

It also keeps referring to Notes for further information on the next page, yet there is no next page or notes included.

 

Anyway the decision is that Contributions exceed Income Related

 

To be honest it seems to have been a total waste of form filling in time seeing as they had all the information required on their systems.

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Well, I've just had a reply to my form and according to the DWP I am not entitled to ESA(IR) from 2015.

However, the sheet showing how it was worked out has got me a little confused although Having gone through it again I can now see how it has been worked out.

 

Starting with the very first line:

 

' Your living expenses based on your NI Contributions in the years ending 04/05 and 05/06 ? '

 

It then has 2 columns one labeled Cont (Contribution I presume) and the other IB (Income Based) ?

 

It also keeps referring to Notes for further information on the next page, yet there is no next page or notes included.

 

Anyway the decision is that Contributions exceed Income Related

 

To be honest it seems to have been a total waste of form filling in time seeing as they had all the information required on their systems.

 

I couldn't find an option to edit the previous post, so just to add a little more to the previous post I had to reply.

 

The decision letter says that I am not entitled to ESA(IR) and there will be no change to my benefit.

So I decided to dig out my latest Housing benefit Award letter, which used the same figures given in the ESA3 Form.

 

On that it states that the

Income used for the calculation is £xxx.xx

Less how much you need to live on £yyy.yy

 

Where y is £59.50 more than x

 

It also says that because I get maximum entitlement (rent only, still pay full Council Tax) I may be entitled to Income Support/Income Based Jobseekers Allowance/Guarantee Credit.

 

So if the Housing benefit office reckon there is a deficit of £59.50 how come DWP reckon I'm not entitled to Income Related ESA ?

 

I'm probably misunderstanding the reasoning behind the 2 different ways of working things out, maybe someone could shed some light on it for me.

 

Surely if one department is saying you need x amount to live on, then that amount has to be used by all departments.

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