A GULF war veteran and his disabled wife who were facing eviction because of the bedroom tax have had a council decision against them overturned.
The couple from Ryedale, who live with their daughter in a three bedroom house, could have been kicked out of the home because the bedroom tax policy said they did not need the third bedroom and Ryedale District Council decided did not qualify for extra cash to help them cover the rent, even though the couple's disabilities mean they cannot share a room.
The husband, a Gulf war veteran left with nerve damage and PTSD by his days in the armed forces, and his wife who has MS, cannot work so had no way of paying the rent shortfall created by the bedroom tax.
They applied for discretionary housing payments (DHP) from Ryedale District Council to cover the extra rent needed, but were turned down and saw the council suggest they move to smaller home, take in a lodger, or earn an income to find the money.
But now lawyers have successfully challenged that decision, arguing the local authority did not apply the DHP policies properly, hadn't taken the family's needs into account, and discriminated against them.
Fiona McGhie, the specialist solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s Public Law department who represented the family, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to help this vulnerable family get the payments they deserve, after the original refusal placed a huge strain on them.
“Ryedale District Council rejected the application on grounds which were simply not viable for this family – a clear reminder that local authorities need to give proper consideration to applications and apply policies to the individual circumstances of each case.
“This family, which already faced so much hardship due to disability, was confronted with the prospect of potentially being evicted from their home as a result of an application rejection that should not have happened in the first place.”