Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 14-Jan-2019
Summary: Ms B complains that the Council recouped a significant amount of money from her in error and that the compensation it awarded for the distress and inconvenience she and her family suffered is insufficient. The Ombudsman upholds Ms B's complaint and the Council has agreed to make additional payments in recognition of the injustice Ms B suffered because of its actions.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 11-Jan-2019
Summary: Mr J complains the Council wrongly advised him he could move from universal credit to housing benefit. This led to him losing benefit. The Ombudsman upholds this complaint. The Council has agreed to meet Mr J's housing costs for the time until it told him he needed to claim universal credit.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 10-Jan-2019
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the way the Council handled an application for a Discretionary Housing Payment. This is because the Council has already provided a satisfactory remedy by awarding the maximum Discretionary Housing Payment. In addition, there is not enough injustice to warrant an investigation.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 08-Jan-2019
Summary: Mr X complains the Council wrongly advised him to claim housing benefit rather than universal credit. There is no evidence to confirm the Council gave wrong advice. However, there is evidence that information provided as part of the online housing benefit claim clearly showed Mr X should be claiming universal credit instead. While there was delay in determining the claim and telling Mr X he claimed the wrong benefit, Mr X could have acted sooner to protect his position.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 07-Jan-2019
Summary: The Council did not delay in deciding Ms Y's housing benefit application. But the Council is at fault as it delayed in deciding Ms Y's application for backdated housing benefit. However, this delay did not cause significant injustice to Mr X and Ms Y.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 21-Dec-2018
Summary: There was no fault in the way the Council processed Mr B's housing benefit claim. But it failed to respond to two emails from Mr B's mother about changes to his benefit entitlement and an overpayment of housing benefit. This caused Mr B frustration and put him to avoidable time and trouble. The Council has agreed to make a payment of £100 to Mr B and to take action to prevent similar failings in future.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 14-Dec-2018
Summary: Mr B complains on behalf of a registered social housing provider that the Council delayed in processing housing benefit claims he submitted on behalf of his tenants and in responding to his correspondence. The Ombudsman upholds Mr B's complaint and is satisfied the Council's apology represents a satisfactory remedy for the injustice caused.
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 13-Dec-2018
Summary: Mr B complains the Council wrongly calculated his housing benefit. During the investigation, the Council was given new evidence. The Council recalculated Mr B's housing benefit claim and found him to be in credit; this money will be refunded. The Ombudsman has not found the Council at fault.
Statement Upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 30-Nov-2018
Summary: Ms B complains about how the Council handled her housing benefit and council tax relief claims. The Council took too long to recalculate her entitlement, was confusing in its correspondence with her and failed to pass her case to the Tribunal when she requested this. This caused Ms B distress and frustration, and also added to her confusing claims, rent arrears and to her financial pressure. The Council has agreed to process Ms B's appeal requests and review its appeals process so that these are passed to the Tribunal without delay. The Council has already offset £148 as a gesture of good will.
Statement Not upheld Housing benefit and council tax benefit 30-Nov-2018
Summary: Ms X complains about the way the Council has dealt with her claim and its decision to recover an overpayment of housing benefit. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because the matters can be dealt with at an appeal.