September 25th, 2016

Outrage as severely disabled Bromsgrove man has housing benefit cut by Worcestershire County Council

Outrage as severely disabled Bromsgrove man has housing benefit cut by Worcestershire County Council Outrage as severely disabled Bromsgrove man has housing benefit cut by Worcestershire County Council
Updated: 1:34 pm, Jul 22, 2016

A BROMSGROVE man is fighting for the rights of his mentally disabled brother who could soon face paying out more money than he receives in disability allowances after learning Worcestershire County Council will no longer pay his rent.

John Crean, 66 from Cofton Hackett, is appointed a deputy by the Court of Protection to take care of his brother Richard’s finances.

Richard, 60, lives in supported-living premises leased by private company, Inclusion Care.

John said: “I received electronic invoices to pay the rent so my solicitor contacted Inclusion Care who confirmed the county council had made a decision to withdraw the rental fund.”

A letter sent last month, following a financial review by social workers and the county council, deemed Richard was ‘no longer entitled to have his rent paid as part of his care funding’.

John said: “If I had not instructed my solicitor, we would not have found out this decision had been made.

“We also had a meeting with Richard’s social worker Claire Thomas in April and she never mentioned this either.”

The letter stated John was responsible for making a housing benefit claim to cover his brother’s £430.08 monthly rent but there is concern he will not be eligible.

John said the review took place in April 2016, just months after he received a letter from Liz Staples – the county council’s learning and disability service lead manager, confirming his brother’s ‘care costs were paid in full by the authority as was his brother’s rent.

John said: “We’ve had no feedback from Worcestershire County Council’s review so we have no idea why they’ve stopped paying Richard’s rent because his situation has not changed and under Section 117, he is entitled to this fund.”

The rent funding withdrawal will see Richard’s monthly cost of living increase to £1,258.88 and as a result will outweigh the disability allowances he receives by £357.68 per month.

A county council spokesperson told the Standard: “Where people have their own tenancy they may be entitled to

Housing Benefit and we can support people to claim this and other benefits that they may be entitled to.

“The council has a duty to regularly review the support people receive and this is an opportunity to ensure support arrangements are working well but we also respond to concerns raised with us at any time.”

The Creans’ solicitor said she was currenty awaiting a response from the county council.

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