The UK 'situation' regarding BT & benefits

I'm wondering how many of us are been hit by this new Bedroom Tax in UK?

Having to pay some of council tax also and DLA been scrapped?

Are you paying BT? planning to appeal? waiting or expecting to be moved?

With the NHS also been privatised how many of us are going to be able to afford to keep up physio, buy Assistive tech, wheelchairs?, pay for our help whether thats just needing a cleaner/gardener or a full time PA?

I have been told I won't get funding for another communication aid when my Lightwriter breaks down (funded in 2008). I have iPad but Apple are not interested in allowing third party hardware so will only be a cheaper viable option for those who retain the ability to use their hands well.

One main issue for us even if we are not interested in computers that much is been able to use a phone to call for help (if we fell etc) or even just been able to get on here or FB to talk to someone if you're on your own all day. ..hard to do if you can't use hands well or afford to pay £200+ for adapted joysticks etc.

I will be researching more affordable options over the next few months and things like appealing the Bedroom Tax, your legal rights etc if people think this will be helpful?


Hi Kati, I live in the US, so, sorry, I can't be helpful. Just wanted to say "hi"! Rose ;o)

Hiya Kati

I am paying BT, my rent has gone from £37 a month to £130 a month and there is the extra Council Tax to pay as well. I am stuck like so may between a rock and hard place! I am in a 3 bed roomed semi, I have lived here, where I was placed, by the council, for over 30 years, I live on my own now as my children have grown and have 2 spare rooms. they ask you to consider moving but where to! there are no properties available for us to move into. I am only in this situation because of my Ataxia up until I retired 2 years ago be cause of my health I had worked for the last 20 years! Had I not become ill then I would still be working full time and paying full rent. Now David Cameron is punishing the sick for being sick!!!!!! Bt applies to people who have rent rebates and are of working age so how come if you are of working age and cant work the same applies!!! Its BARBARIC!!!


I haven't had a bill yet telling me how much I have to pay for my room, maybe cos HB is paid in arrears..maybe they'll contact me in May?

But I was told I would have to when man from Housing visited he suggested I could go to work or they put in a lodger who needed to move out of another 2 bed place..I don't want total stranger in my house, my second room isn't even set up as a bedroom.

If I took someone as carer and paid them it would cost me more to employ them than it would to just pay for the room, it's stupid! I will try and appeal but I have emailed my council twice and no replies at all. I'll have to try housing but I reported a repair and nothing back. I only just found out that cos Yahoo taken over Sky mail when people are trying to reply their replies to me are been rejected by yahoo server so maybe why I'm not getting reply though I am getting some mail through. It's not helping things as I have to contact everyone via email cos I can't phone.

My bungalow was built for me as nowhere else for me to go and was assessed as needing the space in 2006 now they are charging me for the same space!

If it was just one thing like maybe £14 extra outgoings a week it might not be too bad but then they're hitting us with council tax, privatising the NHS so what other treatments will we have to start paying for? Then on top of that they are cutting loads of people's benefits via the changeover from DLA to PIP, IB to ESA. Not sure how they are expecting us to pay for all this extra stuff...then they complain about us not going to work.. if we got no money for taxi's no DLA to pay for adapted cars how do they expect us to get to work everyday if we could???

Then there's rumours they're offering people £20,000 to move abroad to free up houses for other people to move into?? if they got that kind of money why don't they use it to build more houses!! The country is been run by a bunch of friggin numpties!! (apply imagination for alternative vocabulary here!) :0)

I am so sorry to hear, Katie .

Sadly its a story that is repeated many times (not that that is any comfort)

Many people (even the eople dealing with this issue) do NOT know the full extent of the changes !!!

Definately appeal, get advice from CAB, or some sort of advocacy/advice line

Keep us posted with any progress


Hi Alan, Kati and all

We have a member in our support group who lives alone - he is worrying about losing second bedroom which contains gym equipment - he cant afford to go to gym or indeed BT.

He has been to CAB, Ataxia UK, Independent Living Group and even attended Suffolk Coalition Road show which was designed to help with these concerns.

None of them could help him - he just has to attend an interview for work and deal with appeal. He is almost due for retirement and has been unable to work for many years. He has completed many forms and even had to notify council of form sent in error.

There are others in our group with similar concerns but none have found anyone who can explain what will actually happen to them.

Personally, I have worked up to retirement and all though we were made bankrupt in 2006, the only benefit I receive is attendance allowance so I will not be affected. My husband is 72 and works from home doing bookkeeping and heir hunting which supplements our standard of living.

However, as a support group coordinator, I am mindful of the concerns of those less fortunate than me and therefore try to keep myself informed.

I am not in a position to give advice but can signpost when asked - the trouble is someone has removed the signposts and left me without a satnav.



As you are both of pension age you would not have had to pay it anyway even if you were in social housing.

If a person is of pension age or shares a joint tenancy with someone who is I don't think you have to pay.

I also do not use my spare room as a bedroom it has a big computer desk in, JJ's crate and a load of junk piled up basically as no-where else for it to go. My powerchair was in there to transfer to and from but it won't fit in at minute with the junk and JJ's crate. I was given the extra space as storage space needed for equipment do it's not like they didn't know before they moved me here. Though did have an helper at the time and my sofabed was meant to be going in there but wouldn't fit.

There are several groups on FB for Bedroom Tax some who upload appeal letters for people to download and send off. There is also one requesting information about how they will handle certain situations which may not all be relevant to yourself but idea is to clog up the system as by law they have to reply!

Some councils have abandoned charging it as a result or just refusing to evict even if people can't pay, so people are now mentioning that and asking why their council isn't one of them or some housing associations are re-classifying properties to help tenants out.

I was told I had to pay, someone told me I should be exempt so hopefully emailed the cuncil then a neighbour told me that my immediate neighbour (also wheelchair bungalow) has been told by our HA she also has to pay. Her husband is terminally ill their bedroom has ventilators in etc so she's sleeping in her own spare room and they have Macmillan Nurses in with him all day and night so she can get some sleep. The lady is disabled herself with health issues and a crumbling spine. so if they can't get it I really have no hope that I will be exempt when I'm not even actually using mine as a bedroom!

I guess it will depend WHO your friends HA or council is?


Hi Kati - my friends are members of my group 'Ataxia UK Ipswich & Colchester Local Support Group' and therefore split between Suffolk and Essex.

That's the only answer I can give you - I wish I had more answers but it is a minefield. If I were in you position, I would contact the media to highlight this position - probably BBC.

Take care, Patsy xx

This situation is very very worrying.

There is so much conflicting information out there, adding to the confustion and worry.

Appeal, go to the media, local authority, your MP anything and everything you can.