The DWP is to continue to hound the carers of a severely disabled teenager who won their case against being forced to pay the bedroom tax in the Court of Appeal yesterday. The DWP have said they will not accept the court’s decision and instead will take the case to the Supreme Court.
Paul and Susan Rutherford – themselves disabled - look after their severely disabled grandson, Warren, in their specially adapted home.
They have an additional bedroom in their home for carers who stay overnight twice a week to give Paul and Susan some respite. By caring for their grandson at home the Rutherfords save the taxpayer the massive cost of residential care for Warren.
But, in spite of David Cameron insisting in July 2013 that:
“Anyone who needs to have a carer sleeping in another bedroom is exempt from the spare room subsidy.”
the Rutherford’s have been hit by the bedroom tax. This is because a spare room for carers is only permitted if it is the claimant or their partner who needs a carer, not if it is a disabled child.
When they applied to their local council for a discretionary housing payment the Rutherfords were initially refused that on the grounds that they should use Warren’s DLA to pay for the shortfall in their rent.
Yesterday the Court of Appeal held that the DWP had unlawfully discriminated against the Rutherfords and against another claimant who has a panic room installed in her home.
The decision by the DWP to appeal the case to the supreme court means many more months of worry and uncertainty for the Rutherfords.