of the Upper Tribunal
(Administrative Appeals Chamber)
As the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (made on 10 September 2009 at Wolverhampton under reference 053/09/00455) involved the making of an error in point of law, it is SET ASIDE under section 12(2)(a) and (b)(ii) of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and the decision is RE-MADE.
The decision is to confirm the local authority’s decision of 19 December 2008 on the claimant’s entitlement to housing benefit.
Reasons for Decision
1. This case concerns the housing benefit for a young lady who has significant disabilities. She moved to her own accommodation in order to allow her to live more independently. She required assistance to do so and that involved providing overnight accommodation for a carer. However, regulation 13D of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 restricted the number of bedrooms that could be taken into account in assessing the amount of housing benefit to which she was entitled. Under that provision, only one bedroom could be taken into account. The First-tier Tribunal decided in the claimant’s favour on the ground that the provision was discriminatory. The Upper Tribunal has now decided that the legislation is not discriminatory: IB v Birmingham City Council, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the EHRC  UKUT 23 (AAC).
2. In those circumstances, two courses are open to me. One is to stay this case until IB has been considered by the Court of Appeal. The other is to give the local authority the decision to which it is entitled, leaving it open to the claimant to apply for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against my decision. The claimant’s representative has opted for the latter and I have accordingly given this decision in the local authority’s favour following and applying the reasoning in IB.
Signed on original