London Borough of Hillingdon (17 016 682)

Category : Benefits and tax > Housing benefit and council tax benefit

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 05 Apr 2019

Summary: Ms X complains the Council did not make reasonable adjustments for her disability. She says the Council did not act on information she gave, did not provide information she asked for and did not deal properly with her review request.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

The Council has agreed to:

  • apologise to Ms X for not considering and providing what reasonable adjustments she needed, not dealing with information she provided, not dealing properly with her appeal, failing to deal with a request for a statement of reasons, not providing information she asked for, and asking her repeatedly for information she did not need to provide;
  • pay Ms X £1,000 for the distress, time and trouble these faults caused her;
  • put details of its policy for using the Restricted Persons Register on its website and put its policy for dealing with unreasonably persistent  complainants on its complaints page; and
  • provide an equality refresher course for all frontline staff. It has already discussed equalities at a Housing Benefit Manager’s meeting and given staff more information about recording needs including preferred method of contact.

We welcome the Council’s constructive response in agreeing to our recommendations, both to remedy the personal injustice and taking positive action to avoid recurrence of similar issues.

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