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How to appeal against a reduction in your housing benefit (bedroom tax)

Monday, 22 September 2014 14:13
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Help for people hit by the bedroom tax

Are you a council or Housing Association tenant? Has your Housing Benefit been reduced because of the bedroom tax (under-occupancy charge)?

About 400 people in Stroud have been affected since April last year, losing up to a quarter of HB.

There’s a chance that you may be able to get your bedroom tax rent arrears wiped, reduced and/or capped, but to have the best chance, you need to act now (before mid October).

Act now - you’ve nothing to lose

Submit an official appeal on the 2-page form ‘GL24’ NOW (http://bit.ly/1wh6SrG) and give it to the council.

Need help?

We can help you get hold of the forms and fill them in. We will be arranging drop-in sessions at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud GL5 (dates & times to be confirmed). Or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call Cllr Caroline Molloy on 07931 302507.

Want to do it yourself?

It must be on this official form (even if you’ve already written). Reasons you can use in an appeal include:

·         The room is too small to count as a bedroom

·         I do not use the room as a bedroom, but for another purpose

·         I need the room because someone in my household has disability / health issues, because I have my kids or carer staying part-time, because I have experienced domestic violence.

Use these expert websites suggested wording on how to fill in each section of the form:

http://bit.ly/1owIiOk (NOTE - in Section 4, put in April 2014 as the date, not March 2013)

http://bit.ly/1tBiXpN (See p3 and 4 and pick the arguments that apply to your own situation)

 

There’s no guarantee of success, but tenants across the country have successfully overturned their bedroom tax using these arguments. If the council doesn’t agree your case, the next step is to go to a tribunal hearing. If that happens, the tribunal will pay your expenses and we will ensure you have someone to go with you. Judges have been sympathetic to tenants. There’s no charge for this, so you’ve nothing to lose by trying.

What else can you do?

In addition, you could ask the council for the application form for ‘Discretionary Housing Payment’ to make up the shortfall. So far, not enough people in Stroud have claimed this money. If you applied but were rejected, write to the council asking them to ‘reconsider the decision’- and let us know (using the contact details above).

What else are we doing?

The bedroom tax is a government policy. But Stroud Against the Cuts are working with Green Councillor Caroline Molloy to push Stroud Council to change their policy so that people falling into rent arrears due to the bedroom tax are not at risk of losing their homes. If you appeal it may help our wider campaigning against the bedroom tax.

 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:09
 

Disability Benefit Cuts Campaign

Thursday, 27 September 2012 09:57
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Stroud Against The Cuts campaigned over August and September against cuts to disability benefits. This was timed to coincide with the Paralympics starting on the 29th August. DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts)/UK Uncut organised the Atos Games at offices around the UK and Stroud was a part of this. SATC protested outside the Jobcentre on Wednesday 29th, despite foul weather, and again in the High Street on the 1st of September. There was coverage of these in the Stroud Life, Stroud News and Journal and The Citizen.

 

 

Thousands of copies of the SATC-produced leaflet, Tree of Rights, have been handed out locally. The group is now planning for how to take this campaign forward. Please contact us with your ideas. The Hardest Hit are working to support people with disabilities to join the TUC march on October 20th in London. You can also sign Pat's Petition before the 1st November.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:11
 

Stroud Against the Cuts leaflet on Disability Cuts:

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 10:30
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Stroud Against the Cuts leaflet on Disability Cuts:

 (first produced for leafletting during the Paralympics, which have been sponsored by ATOS, the company taking disability benefits away from people)

 

Rear Page - details

 

The ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS is inaccurate, dehumanising and humiliating, causing pain and distress to disabled people. Appeals via tribunals are costing us all £50m - about half the £100m being spent on reassessment. Assessments have been privatised - companies like Atos are making profits from government money and incentives to fail people. Atos have faced protests over their behaviour, yet are sponsoring the Paralympic games.
 
PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENT (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which will be phased out in 2013. PIP will be based on the flawed medical assessments mentioned above. It is estimated this process is designed to cut out at least 20% or 650,000 people who receive payments to pay for the extra costs of disability and help them stay in work. They are not scroungers. Without benefits their lives will be decimated.
 
AUTISM
Those on the autistic spectrum are particularly at risk as their impairments are “hidden”, and not included in the “tick box” assessments. See: www.autism.org.uk
 
DIRE CONSEQUENCES for disabled people include humiliation, heavier use of NHS services, social isolation, loss of the right to live as others do, and severe depression.
 
WHO ARE THE REAL SCROUNGERS?
The government’s own figures found fraud at 0.5% of all those claiming DLA, with disability benefits having the lowest fraud rates of all benefits. Yet they and the media continually focus on “fraud” and “scroungers”.
The use of these words has tripled in the tabloid press during the last year.
 
Why are we seeing disabled people picked on? Is it because it is easy?
Where is the focus on the £120 billion tax gap? £25 billion is lost annually in tax avoidance, £70 billion in tax evasion by large companies and wealthy individuals, and £26 billion is going uncollected.
 
THE EQUALITY ACT places a duty on public authorities to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people. The Welfare Reform
Act contravenes these aims. The principle of equality and the duty of promotion of equality of opportunity as regards disabled people
are all general principles of EU law and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, the Welfare Reform Act pushes disabled people into poverty and loss of equality. Is it legal?
 
We live in one of the richest countries in the world but it seems we cannot secure basic human rights for all. What reflection is it on our society when disabled people are having their rights and benefits taken away whilst £120 billion in tax is avoided and evaded each year?
 
What we call for:
Scrap the Welfare Reform Act - Full Rights for Disabled People
No cuts to Disability Benefits - No change to PIPs
Keep the private sector and financial incentives out of assessments
For more information on funding cuts and changes that affect people with disabilities, see Disabled People Against Cuts:
www.dpac.uk.net and the Hardest Hit campaign:
 
The government’s cuts disproportionately affect disabled people, but they affect us all. To find out how you can get active locally to defend our rights, and for a version of this leaflet with references and more links, see: www.stroudagainstcuts.co.uk
 

Front page - headings

The Tree of RIGHTS!

under attack from the Government axe
 
BROKEN PROMISES
The Government promised to look after the most vulnerable.
 
FLAWED ASSESSMENT PROCESSES
Humiliating and dehumanising – with 50% of decisions overturned at appeal.
 
PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
At highest risk in assessments.
 
BENEFIT CUTS
To people with physical disabilities.
 
BENEFIT CUTS
To people with learning disabilities.
 
DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE
Cut by £2.17 billion - to be taken away from those for whom it is a lifeline to
normal living
 
SCROUNGERS?
The truth? 0.5% of claimants are fraudulent
 
WELFARE REFORM ACT
Whose welfare?
Why are all disability groups up in arms?
 
HUMAN RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABITIES
Where are they?
 
ATOS
French IT company profiting from harmful assessment process
 
REMPLOY
1700 workers axed
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 10:43
 

Press Release: Campaigners join protests against Paralympic sponsor and disability benefit cuts

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 10:26
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Press Release:

Campaigners join protests against Paralympic sponsor and disability benefit cuts

Members of Stroud Against the Cuts (1) will stages protests to coincide with the Paralympics in protest at the involvement of Atos as a sponsor (2). The protests will coincide with a nationwide week of protest organized by Disabled People Against Cuts and UKUncut (3), as French multinational Atos is targeted over criticisms of its treatment of people living with disabilities.

 

For the rest of this article click 'read more' below:

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:12 Read more...
 

SATC campaigning on cuts to disability benefits

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 10:12
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Stroud Against the Cuts is beginning to campaign on cuts to benefits for people living with disabilities, and the flaws of Work Capability Assessments.

 

If you are interested in helping inform and develop this campaign, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or attend one of our meetings (these happen on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month, at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud, GL5 1LE, from 7-9pm).

 

For more information on cuts to disability benefits and campaigns against them see:

 

Disabled People Against Cuts: www.dpac.uk.net "DPAC is Disabled People Against Cuts, fighting for justice and human rights for all disabled people at a time of austerity and welfare cuts"

 

The Hardest Hit campaign: www.hardesthit.org.uk "Disabled people, those with long-term conditions and their families are being hit hard by cuts to the benefits and services they need to live their lives"

 

The Black Triangle: blacktrianglecampaign.org "The Black Triangle campaign has been set up to help defend ALL disabled people from the constant media and government portrayal of disabled people as “scroungers” and thieves for claiming benefits that they are not entitled to"

 

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/ "A site to share information on Welfare cuts, illness, disability and general, current, political thought" by blogger Sue Marsh who was involved in producing the Responsible Reform Report – also known as the Spartacus Report – a detailed investigation into the Government’s consultation on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reform.