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Bedroom for overnight carer

 

Sue Holman
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Hi

Wondering if anyone can point me to something I have missed regarding refusal of local authority to allow an additional bedroom for overnight carer on the basis that Carers Allowance is paid to the partner who lives in the household. They have awarded additional bedroom to the client due to his disability needs as they can’t sleep in the same bedroom but refused the carer. The partner also works part-time and needs to get a decent nights sleep before the days she is due to work so has other family members staying overnight 3 nights a week to support her with this.

I am waiting for the decision to be issued and intend to lodge an appeal but can’t find anything in the caselaw etc. to support/not support my argument. I think it is totally unreasonable that because the partner has CA on the basis of minimum 35 hours care provided to the client that the LA are stating she has to provide all the care he requires.

Thanks

     
HB Anorak
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It is possible they are misreading the regs and they believe that you can only have one extra bedroom in total for both overnight care and/or unable to share room with partner.  If so they are mistaken: there are two stages to the application of the size criteria:-

- first, rooms are allowed for occupiers.  A member of a couple who cannot share is an occupier who is entitled to a bedroom; so is the other member of the couple

- next, one extra room is allowed for overnight care and another for foster carers - this is an extra room for the whole household, in addition to the rooms for the individual occupiers.

Alternatively, it may be that the Council is saying the claimant does not “reasonably require” overnight care from someone who does not live with them, because in their view there is someone in the household who has got it covered.  That is a factual view they are entitled to take on the evidence, but it can of course be challenged on appeal.  But if the Council thinks there is some legal reason why the Carers Allowance award makes it technically impossible to allow a room for an overnight carer, they are wrong about that.  There is any number of reasons why a person might need more overnight care than a single CA claimant is able to provide - most obviously, if the CA claimant sleeps during the night as people tend to do.

     
Sue Holman
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Thanks HB Anorak, I have contacted HB and informed them I want them to be very specific in their decision letter as why they are refusing the room for the carer as currently their verbal response has been that it is due to the partner having Carers Allowance.

     
Ruth Knox
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RAISE Benefits Advice Team, 286 London Road, Liverpool L5 5AE

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We have had numerous cases in Liverpool with awarding a room for an additional overnight carer as well as a member of the household (partner or adult child) who is the main carer.  So as HB Anorak says, there is nothing at all in the legislation which means that if one person is claiming CA no-one else can be an overnight carer.  On the “reasonable” grounds - assuming that a claimant reasonably needs overnight care in the first place,  it is totally reasonable that a partner, working or not, would need a break from providing it. I would be very surprised if a tribunal did not uphold any appeal on this basis.
Ruth