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Thread: Interpretation of "regular" as in "bedroom allowance due to regular overnight care"?

  1. #1
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    Interpretation of "regular" as in "bedroom allowance due to regular overnight care"?

    Hello there

    Many thanks in advance for any clarity offered on my question.

    I am disabled and receive the higher rate mobility component of DLA.

    I live alone in a 3 "bedroom" flat: 1st room is my bedroom; 2nd room is for overnight carer use; 3rd room is for medical equipment and physiotherapy treatments.

    My Local Council have just sent me a form entitled: "Request for extra bedroom allowance due to regular overnight care".
    If I satisfy the 5 criteria listed on this form, I will be exempt from the bedroom tax. I can confidently say that I satisfy 4 of them.

    The one that I am unsure of is the following: "The carer provides the overnight care that the person needs and regularly stays overnight for this purpose". Specifically, I am unsure of the interpretation of the word "regularly".

    On different occasions, my sister, daughter and two different friends stay overnight when I am having difficulty with my heart problems or my mobility and pain issues. They do not stay regularly, as in - five days per week - for example. Collectively, I have overnight carer support about 32 nights per year. Can this be regarded as regular overnight care?

    Thank you so much for you time.

    All my best, AMac.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMac View Post
    Hello there

    Many thanks in advance for any clarity offered on my question.

    I am disabled and receive the higher rate mobility component of DLA.

    I live alone in a 3 "bedroom" flat: 1st room is my bedroom; 2nd room is for overnight carer use; 3rd room is for medical equipment and physiotherapy treatments.

    My Local Council have just sent me a form entitled: "Request for extra bedroom allowance due to regular overnight care".
    If I satisfy the 5 criteria listed on this form, I will be exempt from the bedroom tax. I can confidently say that I satisfy 4 of them.

    The one that I am unsure of is the following: "The carer provides the overnight care that the person needs and regularly stays overnight for this purpose". Specifically, I am unsure of the interpretation of the word "regularly".

    On different occasions, my sister, daughter and two different friends stay overnight when I am having difficulty with my heart problems or my mobility and pain issues. They do not stay regularly, as in - five days per week - for example. Collectively, I have overnight carer support about 32 nights per year. Can this be regarded as regular overnight care?

    Thank you so much for you time.

    All my best, AMac.
    "Regularly" can have different connotations, as you will see if you Google it.

    It can means evenly spaced, at "regular" intervals, it can mean "all the time".

    Whether 32 nights out of 365 days would be classed as "regularly", I don't know.

    Your only option is to fill in the form for exemption, and see what they come back with. You will have the right of appeal if they refuse exemption.

    It may seem a simple issue regarding the "Legal" definition of one particular word, but it's how it is supposed to be interpreted with respect to the context of wording it is associated with.

    There have been UT rulings with ESA where the word "Either" had to be defined within the context of the legislation.

    There might be further guidance on this, if I find anything, I'll post it here.
    Last edited by vikstar; 10-11-2013 at 12:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your insights, Vikstar. I really appreciate your taking the time to give me some information. AMac.

  4. #4
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    It's different in every area, but in my area 'regularly' is defined as needing someone to stay 3 times a week or more. As I don't need a carer that many times a week, I didn't qualify for an exemption.

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    I'm posting the following information in answer to my own question, so that others may also benefit from the very good information that I just discovered on the Carers UK site. Much good luck to everyone. AMac.

    The information below is from http://www.carersuk.org
    If a housing benefit claimant or the claimant’s partner needs care overnight from a carer or carers who do not usually live with them they will be allowed an extra room.

    Because the Bedroom Tax is a new piece of law there are some points that are not yet clear and Carers UK are seeking clarification from the Government as to what the legislation means. The actual legislation says that a claimant will be entitled to:

    ‘... one additional bedroom in any case where the claimant or the claimant’s partner is a person who requires overnight care (or in any case where each of them is).’

    This is important because what needs to be established is that the claimant or their partner needs overnight care from someone who does not usually live with them. As the law says nothing about who will provide the care, Carers UK believes that it is reasonable to argue that this can apply to a paid care worker or to a carer.

    In addition, the law does not say how often the claimant or their partner would require overnight care. So Carers UK believes it is arguable that the care would not need to be required every night or every week or even every month for the extra room to be allowed. What would matter is that given the persons specific care needs they do require the care. Therefore, someone who needs overnight care every night all of the time would obviously have an extra room allowed. However, arguably so would someone with a health problem who needs overnight care just on bad nights or every night for some of the time but not all of the time.

    The law also does not specify that it has to be the same carer or carers that provide the care. So, if different members of a family take turns to stay over with an older relative, or care is sometimes provided by family and friends and sometimes by paid care workers, this should not cause a problem.

    If you need an extra room for a carer and this has been refused always appeal the decision. Explain to Housing Benefit:

    Why the claimant or their partner need overnight care - what their health problems are.
    What is the care that they need in relation to their health problems at night.
    How often they need the care.
    Who provides this care.
    What would happen if the care was not provided.
    If you are appealing a decision not to allow you an extra bedroom for a carer, take a look at our toolkit which includes arguments and a standard letter to help you. Or contact the Carers UK Adviceline and we will advise you on how to argue your case.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sea queen's Avatar
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    Trying to think back to what I was told.
    I'm thinking it was at least some nights each week and care which is paid for - so proof of care via invoice or some other such means
    Sea Queen

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