Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Upheld Council tax support 07-Jan-2019
Summary: The Ombudsman considers it fault that the Council has no clear policy for how it will decide the appropriateness of recovery, in cases of alleged official error in Council Tax Reduction decisions. The evidence indicates that this has caused an injustice in this case. However, there is no evidence of fault by the Council in how it set the rate of recovery.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 10-Dec-2018
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about council tax and council tax support. This is because the Council has already provided a fair remedy and there is not enough outstanding injustice to require an investigation.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 04-Dec-2018
Summary: Ms B complains that the Council's poor management of her housing benefit and council tax support resulted in overpayments which it recouped by deductions from her benefit causing her financial hardship. The Ombudsman finds the Council made repeated errors in calculating Ms B's claims because it failed to consider information she had previously provided concerning her weekly pay and childcare costs. Because of this Ms B's benefit payments were continually changing. This caused her a great deal of stress. She was constantly worried about whether she would have enough income to pay her rent. She was also put to considerable time and trouble in having to repeat information she had already provided and was forced to appeal and complain several times.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 12-Nov-2018
Summary: The Council failed to use its discretionary powers to consider whether to hold Miss D liable after its late discovery of a miscalculation in her council tax reduction entitlement. In doing so the Council denied Miss D the right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. The Council accepts this and has agreed to refund payment. We also recommend it apologises and pays Miss D £250 for the embarrassment of having to borrow money from family and friends to pay off the debt and for exacerbating her existing mental health condition.
Statement Not upheld Council tax support 25-Oct-2018
Summary: Mr X complains the Council has refused his request to appeal its housing benefit decision. The Council is not at fault. The Council tried to get as much information about Mr X's reasons for appeal and then passed the appeal to the Social Entitlement Chamber. The Chamber will now decide Mr X's entitlement to housing benefit.
Statement Not upheld Council tax support 31-Aug-2018
Summary: Ms X complained about decisions the Council made when she applied for financial assistance. The Council was not at fault in how it considered Ms X's application for Discretionary Housing Payment and Council Tax Discretionary Relief.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 31-Aug-2018
Summary: Mrs X complains that the Council is unfairly demanding that she repays an overpayment of council tax support. She says she was told she would not have to repay this. The Ombudsman does not find fault with the Council for this. Mrs X also complains that the Council did not properly deal with her complaint. The Ombudsman finds fault with the Council for this, and this fault caused Mrs X injustice. The Council says it has already undertaken staff training to address this. It has agreed to apologise to Mrs X, and will discuss this case and the importance of recognising a complaint at a team meeting.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 13-Aug-2018
Summary: Mr Y complains about the way the Council dealt with his housing benefit claim. We found fault because the Council sent a wrongly addressed letter to him about suspending his benefit so he did not receive it. But this fault did not cause Mr Y an injustice so we have completed our investigation.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 11-Jul-2018
Summary: Miss X complained about the way the Council dealt with her council tax support. The Council was at fault for not properly notifying Miss X her council tax support had been removed. During our investigation, the Council apologised and reassessed Miss X's council tax support. The Council has also agreed to pay Miss X £100 to remedy the unnecessary time and trouble caused by the Council's actions.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 07-Jun-2018
Summary: the Ombudsman considers there was unacceptable delay by the Council in dealing with a council tax support change in circumstances. The Council should have cancelled or suspended Mr K's council tax support earlier. I consider the Council has taken appropriate action to remedy this.