Search

Council axes Camden disabled woman’s benefit over ‘bedroom tax’ form

12:33 21 February 2013

Claire Glasman has had her housing benefit suspended by Camden Council. Picture: Polly Hancock

Claire Glasman has had her housing benefit suspended by Camden Council. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A woman with cerebral palsy has hit out at Camden Council for suspending her benefits after she failed to complete a form confirming the number of bedrooms in her flat.

Claire Glasman, of Fleet Road, Hampstead, has had her housing benefits suspended this month in relation to new assessment rules – dubbed the “bedroom tax”.

The 52-year-old suffers from spinal curvature and relies on a wheelchair.

Ms Glasman says she found out her benefit had been halted only when she called the council to check if it was OK. This followed the discovery that her friend’s claim had been suspended after he failed to complete the form.

“When you claim housing benefit, you fill in a detailed form about the property,” she said.

“I declined to fill in the new form since the council already had the information and I didn’t see why I should help them implement the welfare reforms in Camden.

“I’m not even subject to the bedroom tax as I have a small flat. I was so furious because they cut me off and they should know that I only have one bedroom.

“They just don’t care what’s happening to people. They just want to implement the welfare reforms and see people go to the wall.”

Ms Glasman, a member of Kentish Town disability rights group Winvisible, believes the government’s benefits reforms will plunge Camden’s most vulnerable residents into crisis.

As part of the government changes, due to be introduced in April, tenants deemed to have one spare room in their council house will have their housing benefit cut by 14 per cent.

If they have two or more spare rooms, the cut will be 25 per cent.

The government says the move will help cut the £23billion annual bill for housing benefit, free up more living space for overcrowded families and encourage people to get jobs.

But Ms Glasman, who suffers constant pain and fatigue from muscle spasms, said: “Disabled people are in such a terrifying state because all our benefits are being threatened. This is a crisis for us – why are the poorest people having our benefits cut and our taxes increased?”

Camden’s finance boss Cllr Theo Blackwell said that the council had either sent a letter or visited the home of every resident it believed might be affected by the bedroom tax and asked them to fill in and return a form confirming their circumstances.

He said: “Both posted and hand-delivered letters stressed that failure to return the form within one month of the date of the letter could result in their benefit being suspended or cancelled.

“If contact with the council is made after benefits have been suspended, they will be reinstated.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

16:31
Christopher Atkins                Picture: HMRC

A film producer from Gospel Oak who was jailed for five years after spinning a “web of lies” to get taxpayer funding for a Bafta-nominated film has been ordered to repay more than £100,000.

14:07
The crash in Swiss Cottage happened this morning         Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

A driver has been freed from a car after it crashed into a parked lorry in Swiss Cottage.

12:55
Mandarin workshop at Highgate Primary School

A Highgate school which prides itself on being a pioneer in teaching Mandarin is pulling out all the stops to embrace Chinese culture.

Yesterday, 15:00
Lord Dubs      Picture: Katie Collins/PA

Dozens of politicians, religious leaders, charity heads and cultural groups in Camden have signed a letter pleading with Home Secretary Amber Rudd to change her mind on settling child refugees in Britain.

Yesterday, 10:48
Lara Casalotti

A year ago, Belsize Park student Lara Casalotti was in desperate need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Yesterday, 09:57
The crash in England's Lane                Picture: Francoise Lamouche

A car crashed and flipped over in Belsize Park last night – with the occupants mysteriously fleeing.

Mon, 17:49
Nazanin with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella

West Hampstead mum Nazanin has finally seen a specialist for her back and neck, who said that without urgent treatment she could run the risk of permanent impairment

Mon, 13:14
Gakleen Shahata

Police are increasingly concerned for the wellbeing of a deaf woman with learning difficulties after she went missing from a church in Golders Green.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now