Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 01-Apr-2020
Summary: Ms X complains about the Council's handling of her housing benefit overpayment recovery. She also complains about the Council's handling of her homelessness application. The Ombudsman finds no fault with the Council's actions.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 19-Mar-2020
Summary: Mr X complained on behalf of his friend Ms Y about the Council's decision to evict and discharge its housing duty to Ms Y in November 2018. He also complained the Council failed to respond to his appeals about decisions around Ms Y's housing benefit. Ms Y had a statutory right of review around the Council's decision to discharge its housing duty and it was open to her to use that right. Therefore, I have not investigated that matter any further. The Council was at fault for failing to formally respond to Mr X's appeals on behalf of Ms Y and for failing to pass them to the tribunal. The Council has now reconsidered the appeals and has formally written to Ms Y explaining its decisions which is an appropriate remedy.
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 11-Mar-2020
Summary: Miss X complains about the way the Council has handled recovering a housing benefit overpayment from 2013. She says this has caused inconvenience, cost her time and trouble, and affected her wellbeing and mental state. The Ombudsman does not find fault with the Council.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 04-Mar-2020
Summary: There was fault by the Council. It did not review Mrs B's care plan or advise her, or her family that she was not entitled to housing benefit (HB) to pay the rent of her flat while she was in residential care. The Council's shortcomings mean Mrs B incurred a debt she may have otherwise avoided. The Council has made improvements to how it handles these situations. It agreed to refund the amount of overpaid HB to Mrs B's estate.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 03-Mar-2020
Summary: Mr X complains about the way the Council dealt with his complaint about a refund. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because the Council's proposed remedy is satisfactory.
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 02-Mar-2020
Summary: Mrs X complained about the Council's decision to pay part of her housing benefit direct to her landlord in 2015, and to recover overpaid housing benefit in 2016. Mrs X said the Council refused her request for it to reconsider its overpayment decision. The Council was not at fault. It considered Mrs X's request for reconsideration in line with the relevant regulations and decided her request was late. I have not investigated the Council's decision to pay the landlord directly, or the circumstances around the overpayment as those matters are late.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 26-Feb-2020
Summary: There were faults in the way the Council handled Miss B's housing benefit claim. The Council should apologise and make a payment to her.
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 26-Feb-2020
Summary: Mr X complains the Council was at fault in the way it dealt with his applications for a Discretionary Housing Payment. The Ombudsman has found no evidence of fault in the way the Council considered these matters.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 24-Feb-2020
Summary: Mrs X complained the large bill from an overpayment of benefits was unreasonable and the Council should have allowed her case to go to a late appeal. The Council advised Mrs X of her appeal rights at the outset giving her a chance to make an appeal against the calculation of the overpayment. However, when Mrs X wanted to make a late appeal the Council did not clearly explain what action it would take. It has agreed to pass a late appeal to a Tribunal if Mrs X provides clear and specific reasons for her concerns about the calculation of the overpayments. This resolves any injustice from this element of the complaint.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 19-Feb-2020
Summary: the Council failed to tell Miss C about her right of appeal when refusing her application for a four-week extension to housing benefit. That delayed the Council referring the appeal to tribunal. An apology and agreement to put in a late appeal for Miss C is satisfactory remedy for the injustice caused.