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Repeat Healthcare Assessment While Waiting For ESA Tribunal

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Where was the house situated that the London borough council paid the housing for ?  Was this your previous address in London that you still had to pay rent for, after moving to the Bristol area ?

 

or was the London borough paying for the Housing in Bristol ?

 

Or did you have responsibility for Housing at 2 different addresses at the same time e.g Rent for London address and rent for Bristol address ?

 

Please provide a clear explanation of your Housing.

 

 


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Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

It was a flat in London, not a house. I would rather not disclose every single detail of my locations that I have resided in unless it is absolutely necessary. But I left this London address to be put on a waiting list for the second phase of my treatment which I could access quicker if I moved to the Bristol area, so I did that. When I left my previous flat in London the tenancy ended and no rent was liable anymore. The London borough council are the ones who have raised the invoice, because while I lived in Bristol they continued to pay my housing benefit. While I informed DWP immediately of my move I decided to wait until my new housing costs were sorted before telling the London borough council I had moved out as I didn't want to be left with no housing benefit.

 

However, due to the continued mess that the DWP and my new council, Bristol City Council, made of my housing costs I was stuck in this grey area in the system with neither wanting to pay housing benefit. So this went on for 6 months and when I was moved on to Universal Credit after failing a health assessment, which I eventually won the other day at the tribunal, the London borough council were informed and raised the invoice. 

 

James

Edited by JamesNeedsALittleSupport

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So a London Council paid you money towards Housing and you used this towards Housing in Bristol, while you were having problems getting either Bristol City Council or DWP to pay your Bristol Housing.  Now the London Council have registered a debt.

 

is this summary correct ?

 

Seems to me that the best way to resolve is a complaint via your local MP. Give them all of the information and ask them to help you resolve. That is going to be the quickest way.  Otherwise you risk having months without getting anywhere.

 

No point posting further information here, as too complicated. Depends on the exact information on your claims, which you probably don't want to add to a forum.


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Hi Unclebulgaria,

 

Yes your summary is absolutely correct. Sorry for any ambiguity, it has turned into a complex and convoluted case for sure. I will absolutely consider a letter to my MP. But in the meantime I still have to respond to the tribunal bundle, which is what I wanted some help with. Is there anything fundamental to my case, other than the obvious, I should put in my letter to the tribunal? 

 

James

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What decision are you appealing at tribunal ?

 

Reasons for decision ?

 

What are your reasons for appeal ?

 

Do you have a support worker ?  Bristol City Council may have details of welfare rights advisor.  

 

Main point is stressing health issues and vulnerability, struggling with the benefit system. Get your facts clear, so anyone can understand.


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Hi,

 

1) I'm appealing a UC decision not to award a backdated payment for the housing element of UC.

 

2) UC claim that they can not backdate for more than one month and only if specific criteria met, health is a valid reason as outlined in their reasons for appeal. However, they say that my reasons for claiming do not meet the relevant provisions. They also claim that they can not backdate for 6 months despite a DWP mistake. 

3) The reasons for my appeal:

 

(i) Health grounds - I am currently on the second stage of my treatment with another phase of treatment planned for later in the year

 

(ii) UC have found me not fit for work and increased my payments and gave me a backdated payment of £1500. I have also just won my ESA appeal with another backdated payment of £1000. Total amount of £2,500 to be paid to London borough council for alleged overpayment of housing.

 

(iii) DWP made error in writing to me at my new address advising me I will stay on ESA when they should have stopped my ESA and advised me to claim UC as I had moved to a UC area. As I was in receipt of ESA I had to claim for housing benefit with my new local council - Bristol City Council. However, the Council rejected housing benefit claim and advised me to claim UC. I phoned them and tried to explain to them that DWP were keeping me on ESA so the adviser told me to submit a new application for housing benefit, which I did. The second application for housing benefit was again rejected by Bristol City Council.

 

(iv) The reason this whole process went on for 6 months was due to my health deteriorating while I waited for treatment, and the grey area I had become trapped in between the Council saying to claim UC and the DWP saying they are keeping me on ESA and I have to claim housing benefit from the Council.

 

These are the main reasons why I am registering the appeal. It is grotesquely unfair that due to DWP errors and the system flaws which put me into this grey area, coupled with my continuing health issues which I am striving to keep on top of that no one in the whole system can apply some common sense and see exactly what's happened and that I should be fully entitled to the housing benefit to cover the period I'm claiming for, and that therefore I should be able to retain the backdated payments awarded to me in relation to my health issues.

 

James

 

 

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Hi,

 

1) I'm appealing a UC decision not to award a backdated payment for the housing element of UC.

 

2) UC claim that they can not backdate for more than one month and only if specific criteria met, health is a valid reason as outlined in their reasons for appeal. However, they say that my reasons for claiming do not meet the relevant provisions. They also claim that they can not backdate for 6 months despite a DWP mistake. 

 

3) The reasons for my appeal:

(i) Health grounds - I am currently on the second stage of my treatment with another phase of treatment planned for later in the year.

 

(ii) UC have found me not fit for work and increased my payments and gave me a backdated payment of £1500. I have also just won my ESA appeal with another backdated payment of £1000. Total amount of £2,500 to be paid to London borough council for alleged overpayment of housing.

 

(iii) DWP made error in writing to me at my new address advising me I will stay on ESA when they should have stopped my ESA and advised me to claim UC as I had moved to a UC area. As I was in receipt of ESA I had to claim for housing benefit with my new local council - Bristol City Council. However, the Council rejected housing benefit claim and advised me to claim UC. I phoned them and tried to explain to them that DWP were keeping me on ESA so the adviser told me to submit a new application for housing benefit, which I did. The second application for housing benefit was again rejected by Bristol City Council.

 

(iv) The reason this whole process went on for 6 months was due to my health deteriorating while I waited for treatment, and the grey area I had become trapped in between the Council saying to claim UC and the DWP saying they are keeping me on ESA and I have to claim housing benefit from the Council.

 

These are the main reasons why I am registering the appeal. It is grotesquely unfair that due to DWP errors and the system flaws which put me into this grey area, coupled with my continuing health issues which I am striving to keep on top of that no one in the whole system can apply some common sense and see exactly what's happened and that I should be fully entitled to the housing benefit to cover the period I'm claiming for, and that therefore I should be able to retain the backdated payments awarded to me in relation to my health issues.

 

James

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The problem is that Universal Credit legislation is against you. Parliament decided on a 1 month backdating limit. 

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/380/regulation/26

 

You have more chance of a complaint through your MP, gaining a resolution, where Bristol City Council are asked to cover your Housing costs.  This is because you did apply to Bristol Council originally and the ESA claim was subject to challenge, now backdated.

 

 

 

 


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Hi,

 

Yes I think you might be right.

 

The more I think about this claim the more it seems that my claim might be against Bristol City Council and not Universal Credit.

 

For the whole period I am claiming the backdated housing payment for I was in receipt of ESA, surely that means a claim to my local authority for housing benefit and not to UC.

 

It would be strange to be in receipt of ESA, despite the DWP making an error, and then claiming the housing costs element of UC, that would be like fusing two benefits into one which the DWP don't do.

 

It does appear that Bristol City Council would be the ones liable to cover my housing costs throughout the 6 month period I am claiming for. I have been to their website and they say they can look at claims again up to 13 months after a final decision letter.

 

The last decision letter I received from them informing me my claim for housing benefit is rejected and that I needed to claim UC was last January. So it looks like I could be just in time to get them to look at the claim again. Interestingly they also say that they can backdate housing benefit up to 6 months, but I'm not sure from when.

 

It's almost as if the tribunal for claiming this money from UC could be a complete waste of time and it might be that the panel will simply turn round and say to me you need to claim against Bristol City Council not UC. I will therefore go back again to Bristol City Council and ask them again to look at my claim and I will suggest to them they have made an error. If they stick to their same decision then it's almost certain that I will have to appeal to a tribunal for a housing benefit claim. 

 

James

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It should be straightforward with Bristol City Council, that you orginally applied to them for the Housing, that you have had ESA backdated and Housing should be through them, because you were not eligible for the time period through Universal Credit. 

 

It might be easier if you took all relevant documents to an appointment with a benefits advisor at Bristol City Council. Then you can talk through the situation with the advisor and it will be clear why the decision to provide Housing benefit for the relevant period is logical. 

 

The point you are making with Bristol council, is that it is not a backdating decision. It is simply correcting the benefit situation, so you receive the entitlement from the date you originally applied.


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Hi Unclebulgaria,

 

I have now finally had it confirmed in writing that Bristol City Council were not liable to pay my housing costs when I moved to Bristol in September 2018, despite being in receipt of ESA, as the gateway for housing benefit closed in my post code area in June 2018. From that point on all claimants were directed to Universal Credit.

 

Bristol City Council have also confirmed in the letter that the mistake lies firmly at the doors of the DWP who should have closed my ESA claim instead of keeping me on it.

 

It is incredible that only last week staff at Bristol City Council were saying to me on the phone to request a review of the December 2018 application I submitted for housing benefit as at that time the policy was to pay housing benefit to anyone in receipt of ESA. They were giving out wrong information to me last week on the phone. There is so much disinformation flying around councils it's a joke. 

 

at least I now know who should have been paying my housing costs and it should have been DWP, and I should have been migrated over to Universal Credit.

 

I will now respond to the bundle I have received from Universal Credit and I will explain everything, include all the medical letters and the judgement letter from my ESA tribunal appeal which I won.

 

I will obviously include the DWP letter I received back in October 2018 at my new address informing me of the decision to keep me on ESA, which was an error. 

 

The problem I have, which you have outlined, is that the legislation does not work in my favour, even if the DWP have made the error. So I have no idea how this will all go. I can only try and do my best.

 

My whole situation demonstrates the huge problems of introducing a whole new benefit system and how people like me can get trapped in a grey area.

 

And despite there being a clear error by DWP they can just turn around and say mistakes by DWP are not a valid reason within the regulations to correct the error and cover costs they should have originally covered. This simply piles more unfairness on top of more unfairness.

 

It makes me quite angry actually. I'm just hoping a judge at my Universal Credit tribunal hearing will inject some reasonableness and justice into the whole situation.

 

I am about to start the process of writing my letter to the tribunal. I just wanted to check with you to see if there is anything you want to say or add before I sent my letter and documents to the tribunal.

 

Thanks again for your help with this issue, you have been great.

 

James

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Hi,

 

Is anyone around? Does anyone actually know who is supposed to pay the 3 month period Universal Credit don't pay out if they find you unfit for work when it comes to the backdated payment? I was told just before my ESA tribunal that UC had found me unfit for work and generated a backdated payment bar the first 3 months of the claim, as they have a policy of not paying out the first 3 months, which is very convenient for them I must say. Anyway I have just won my ESA tribunal and I was told the only purpose of the tribunal is to claim the 3 months that UC don't pay out for. 

 

I have contacted ESA now who advised I should be paid the 3 months and they will write to UC. I waited 10 days and contacted ESA again today and I have been told very conflicting information. Anyway no one seems to know if or who should pay the 3 months. Does anyone on here know for sure if I am entitled to the 3 months. The reason I was forced onto UC was that I failed my health capability assessment and was deemed not to be able to claim the full support of ESA, which has now been decided by the tribunal was an error. I was barred from claiming ESA as I was living in a Universal Credit area.

 

No one has responded to my post above yet either, is anyone there?

 

James

Edited by JamesNeedsALittleSupport

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Hi.

 

Yes we're here but you have a complicated query. Hopefully Uncle Bulgaria or others will be  along to advise on what you can do next.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Provide copy of Court Tribunal letter to Job Centre and request that the service centre removes the 3 month relevant period from UC claim, as decided by the Court.  Job Centre should take a copy and uploaded onto your UC claim for the service centre to deal with.

 

Once the service centre action this, you will have an underpayment, but if there are debts with Debt Management, it could be referred to them.

 

In regard to Bristol City Council, not paying Housing, you will have to follow the appeals process.  If you had a valid ESA claim at the time, it will be Housing Benefit through Council and not UC.


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Hi Unclebulgaria,

 

Thanks for the response. I will get a copy or the original, depending on what they want, of the ESA tribunal decision to my work coach at UC, thanks. In relation to the housing benefit dispute it appears from the tribunal that I did have a valid claim for ESA as they found in my favour. However, when you say follow the appeals process do you mean the tribunal I am waiting for? I'm pursuing my housing costs for the said period down the UC tribunal avenue. And what Bristol City Council are telling me is that they are not liable for my housing costs and UC are, the DWP made a mistake keeping me on ESA. Do you think I am in the correct channel for resolving this dispute, with the UC tribunal, or not?

 

James

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Court Tribunal unlikely to ask UC to backdate Housing for reasons given previously.

 

Suggest you also appeal Bristol City Councils decision to not pay you Housing.  ESA claim means legacy benefit regime, which means Council Housing Benefit for Housing, not UC.  You may need to seek advice from a benefits expert in Bristol area. Bristol City Council have welfare rights contacts. Also Shelter Housing charity. 


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