Disabled tenants get ok to fight bedroom tax in Court of Appeal

Adults and children with disabilities who are challenging the government’s bedroom tax have been granted permission to take their fight to the Court of Appeal after losing a High Court challenge earlier this year.

Giving his reasons for granting an appeal hearing, the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Aikens said that the cases "raise issues of public importance concerning the amended housing benefit scheme and the needs of disabled/ young people and so should be considered by the Court of Appeal. Further, the points raised in the grounds of appeal and the proposed ‘skeleton’ argument have a reasonable prospect of success.”

In July, 10 claimants argued that the bedroom tax discriminates against people with disabilities. Though the High Court accepted that the policy is discriminatory, it decided that the discrimination was justified and therefore lawful, apart from in cases of disabled children unable to share a bedroom because of their disabilities.

However, the court held that discrimination against adults with disabilities, even those in the same situation to children with disabilities who could not share a room, was justified. Lawyers for adults with disabilities today said that they believe this cannot be right, and that claimants should be entitled to full housing benefit for the accommodation they need.

And lawyers for disabled children and their families will also appeal the earlier ruling as they are now left in a position where they are currently not entitled to full housing benefit and do not know whether in fact they will be so entitled to full housing benefit in the future.

Ugo Hayter, a lawyer with legal firm Leigh Day, said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to take our fight to the Court of Appeal, we remain confident that this unfair, and we believe unlawful, bedroom tax will be repealed.”