Birmingham City Council’s Housing Benefit department have advised Central England Law Centre that they have made some mistakes in applying the 2 child restriction to some families who should not have had their Housing Benefit restricted. The two child restriction was introduced in April 2017 and affects families who have a third or subsequent child born on or after 6th April 2017 with some limited exceptions. Birmingham council have applied the restriction in some cases to children who were born before 6th April 2017. This can lead to either all Housing Benefit stopping or to a reduced award.
The council have told us that they have now sorted out the problem and that those affected should have had corrected decisions. We have come across cases where the mistakes had not been corrected.
We would advise all claimants living in Birmingham who have more than 2 children and who are not receiving Income Support, Income Based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit to check that their award notices include amounts for all of their children and to seek advice if they feel there is a problem.
More information about this can be found on our Two Child restriction article.