Bedroom tax for daughter at university

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    Hi, I am on UC and my daughter moved to Uni in Sept. I have a younger son at home and we live in a 3 bed council house. The course is a 5 year course, she will return home during holidays and when she can financially afford to at weekends, most of her stuff is still here, she is still registered at the same GP surgery & her bank statements & post come here and she will return after the course because this is her home. I was honest with UC, told them the day she moved – unfortunately that happened to be the last day of my assessment period & I didn’t realise they would backdate it for the whole period. They also deducted an amount saying I now have a spare bedroom. I was basically £310 down that month, with less than a weeks notice.

    I asked them if they could manually adjust because of the dates & queried the rent deduction – all they keep saying is the spare bedroom charge applies & the system cannot be changed re the child element. I have grudgingly accepted (& learnt a lesson) about the child element, I knew it was going to stop, but hadn’t expected until the following month, but I have looked into the ‘bedroom tax’ and feel that deduction is unjustified. I have had numerous chat discussions about it via my UC journal, to no avail, I have even been told her student grant could affect my UC payment so I put it in for mandatory reconsideration. Over a month later I hear nothing, so chased it up. The original case worker told me it had been reconsidered and it still stands. I never received an official notification, just a journal entry so I put it in for complaint. Somebody else called me this week to apologise that it hadn’t been referred to a different decision maker at all, and that it had been going on too long so he was going to get it referred & would chase up an answer, but I might want to collect any additional evidence to support my side. Yesterday I received a journal entry from the original case worker asking me how long the course is & which Uni she is at.

    Has anybody else been in this situation, if so, what was the outcome & does it matter how long the course is? I have sent them a case law that went in favour of the claimants, copies of CAB & other benefit advisors information plus the GOV doc that clearly states soare bedroom charge does not apply when students are at uni if they are to return to the family home after the course. What other evidence can I give? It has been deducted for 2 months the now & another payment due soon…its really stressing me out. Also, if it has been referred to a different decision maker, why is the original person contacting me, its clear he has been giving me false information so I honestly don’t trust him. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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