Council’s ‘rape clause’ blunder leaves family with disabled child homeless

This is what happens when you give too little cash to the poor – and too much power to bureaucrats.

A single-parent family were thrown out of their home after the London Borough of Haringey wrongly told their private landlord they owed more than £8,000 in overpaid housing benefits.

The council had failed to properly apply the rules which limit benefits to a family’s first two children (two-child limit).

The so-called “rape clause” demands that a family can only claim benefits for more than two children if the mother can prove the additional child or children were the result of non-consensual sex.

It has been attacked as an extra humiliation for women who would already have suffered enough.

And in this case, it was irrelevant: the mother should have always had the allowance for her third child because her youngest son was born before April 2017.

Worse still, the council failed to handle the families homelessness applicatoin properly, failing to refer the case to the appeal tribunal – as it was obliged to do by law.

Why so many errors?

Well, we may find out. The council has agreed to investigate why it made calculation errors, audit cases where it calculated overpayments applying the two-child restriction and, if necessary, consider how to detect and remedy any systemic problems.

This Writer’s guess is that we’ll find the mistake happened because the Tory government has piled too many overlapping penalties on the poor, overcomplicating the system and creating injustice.

Source: Young family with disabled child left homeless after benefits blunder

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2 Thoughts to “Council’s ‘rape clause’ blunder leaves family with disabled child homeless”

  1. Neville

    The government isn’t at fault in this case, it was Haringey Council’s maladministration that was responsible. The compensation she was awarded, is in my opinion, derisory. They should’ve been pursued and sued for more financial compensation. There have been claims that this isn’t an isolated case in the borough.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Are you saying the Tory government didn’t legislate the ‘rape clause’ into existence, heaping unnecessary bureaucracy onto local authorities? Please explain why you think the Tories didn’t do that.

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