Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 19-Aug-2019
Summary: Mr X complains that the Council paid housing benefit directly to his tenant after it agreed not to do this, and then gave him incorrect email addresses to raise the issue. He says he lost £3500 in unpaid rent and has spent time and trouble chasing the Council to address the issue. The Ombudsman finds fault with the Council for giving Mr X incorrect email addresses. This fault caused Mr X injustice. The Council has apologised to Mr X and undertaken staff training. The Ombudsman is satisfied that this is a suitable remedy for the injustice caused by the fault. The Ombudsman does not uphold the part of Mr X's complaint about housing benefit payments to his tenant. This is because we have found no evidence of fault.
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 15-Aug-2019
Summary: Ms B complains about the way the Council has dealt with her claims for housing benefit and council tax support. She says it has asked for unreasonable amounts of information and suspended her benefit without good cause. We cannot find fault with Council's actions.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 02-Aug-2019
Summary: Mr B complains about the way the Council dealt with a housing benefit overpayment. The Ombudsman finds the Council was at fault in failing to send a letter before action before issuing a direct earnings attachment to Mr B's employer. It was also at fault in deleting recordings of telephone conversations which were the subject of a complaint by Mr B. The Council has agreed to apologise to Mr B and make a payment to him.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 25-Jul-2019
Summary: Miss B complains the Council deducted money from her earnings without notice. She says this left her in financial hardship and the Council did not properly consider her circumstances. The Ombudsman finds fault in how the Council managed the recovery of housing benefit overpayments from Miss B. This caused injustice to Miss B and we recommend the Council apologise, pay Miss B for distress and time and trouble and remind its officers of guidance on use of direct earnings attachments.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 22-Jul-2019
Summary: The Council made a serious error when it calculated a Housing Benefit overpayment and issued a notice requiring Mrs X to repay more than £20,000. It did not carry out appropriate checks. That was fault. The Council apologised and rectified the error one month later. It has agreed to make a payment to Mrs X to recognise her distress and anxiety.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 19-Jul-2019
Summary: Miss X complained about the Council's handling of her housing benefit payments. The Council was at fault. It took three months to process her change of circumstances between November 2017 and February 2018. The Council was not at fault for how it cancelled Miss X's housing benefit in June 2018. I recommend the Council pays Miss X £150 to remedy the avoidable financial hardship, stress, uncertainty and time and trouble caused by the Council's fault.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 02-Jul-2019
Summary: Ms Y complained about Council errors in her benefits payments, which it then asked her to repay. She also complained about the Council's poor communication about the issue. We uphold Ms Y's complaint. The Council made errors in handling her council tax support and housing benefit claims. These caused Ms Y upset, confusion and inconvenience. To remedy this the Council have agreed to give Ms Y a clear statement of where her situation now stands and confirm it will not seek to recover the discretionary housing payment of £200.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 01-Jul-2019
Summary: Mr X complains about the way the Council handled a housing benefit overpayment. He says this caused him financial hardship and stress. The Ombudsman is not able to investigate complaints where there is a right to appeal to a tribunal. However, we can investigate how a council administers the process. The Ombudsman finds the Council at fault for giving Mr X incorrect information about the reason it decided there had been an overpayment. This caused Mr X injustice. The Council has issued a fresh decision notice meaning Mr X has fresh appeal rights. The Council has also apologised to Mr X. The Ombudsman is satisfied that this remedies the injustice to Mr X.
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 28-Jun-2019
Summary: Mr B says the Council misled him about the checks it had undertaken on a tenant referred to him, failed to pay him a two-year rent guarantee and failed to check the property for damages. There is no fault in how the Council handled this case.
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 11-Jun-2019
Summary: Miss B complained about the actions of the Council in recovering a housing benefit overpayment by an attachment of earnings. She says this is causing her financial hardship and is unfair. We find no fault with the actions of the Council.