I realise everything here has slipped away but my life was destroyed by the council illegally witholding housing benefits I was entitled to in 2011, they illegally witheld them for 9 months, despite every attempt to get the situation resolved which includes visits to the local council offices, sending the proofs they requested, initiating a rapid re-sign for all benefits, filing 3 whole fresh benefits applications and numerous emails attempting to get due benefits paid all completely ignored by the council it resulted in my homelessness, now 6 months into that I received a letter which stated if I was to leave the property at any time the housing association could take possession of the property and change the locks and at that time someone had arrived and sat in a car outside the property all day every day which I could see from the window and clearly he was waiting for me to leave and take the property, I begged once more for the council to pay due benefits so I could attend jobseekers sessions however they did not and I was terrified to leave the house, not being able to attend jobseekers and having lost everything that mattered in my life and having attempted everything humanly possible to get due housing benefits paid I sank into a deep depression and cried all day every day for 3 months, barely existing only opening the door to 11pm food deliveries scared to do anything else.
3 months on I began attempting suicide repeatedly and in a variety of different forms I wont go into here, being unsuccessful in trying to find a painless death and months of attempts which undoubtedly caused lasting damage (I now get headaches I never had in my life and struggle with words a lot of the time which I should know) I attempted to avoid being evicted as it had taken too long and I’d expected to be thrown out on the streets to die long ago, of course it was far too late at that point and I was evicted the next day, after this I began complaints again and attempting desperately to get rehomed, the council ignored all attempts to start complaints and wouldn’t investigate and they wouldn’t accept responsibility or applications to be rehomed without a permanent address and not via email which was my only option being recently homeless with no permanent residence. I continued trying to get rehomed and complaints including 2 official complaints which were said to be fully completed however attempting to look up other organisations to investigate in 2014 the ICE required a “final response from the director general of operations” which I requested specifically from the council, they gave a “final response” from another party, the ICE wouldn’t accept it and investigate because the director general of operations didn’t give it, I requested this over again and the council completely ignored the request and created barriers to justice.
Desperate to get rehomed I involved mp’s who also didn’t assist in rehoming me or putting the situation right, the council just suggested means and methods which I tried and clearly didn’t result in me being rehomed and were never possible under the LHA rates they stated I would only be able to apply for, so were completely inappropriate suggestions, all the time tort law dictates they should have been returning me to situations as I had been in prior to their illegal witholding of benefits as soon as possible and compensating for the time and ways my life was different and everything I lost a law they completely ignore.
Frustrated I found another organisation the local government ombudsman (lgo) who again requested a final response which again the council did not provide despite requesting and the one they had given was deemed not to be a final response, I tried everything possible and eventually they suggested I visit an undisclosed office to fill in a homeless application, I requested where this was and where to go on multiple occasions all of which were completely ignored by the council, not knowing where to go and desperate to get rehomed I required a permanent address so I could send in an application as they had deemed was all I needed to do, having avoided worcester because I hate the town and can’t stand being there and stuck out in the middle of nowhere and hadn’t got on with my mom well and also that she was looking after my sisters kids as she had adopted them and there wasn’t room for me to stay I had only gone there to stay on the sofa as a last resort, expecting to be there weeks at most as the application would be sent and expecting to be immediately offered emergency accommodation as I had been requesting constantly so that I could get on with my life while waiting to be rehomed.
The council lost application after application despite immediately sending a completed application and chasing this up after months as I had been patient allowing time for it to process, I had to send application after application and it took 5 postal applications and one visit just to get anything done and this took years which unreasonably delayed me getting on with my life, and despite proof of severe maladministration and chasing this and having to resort to sending via recorded delivery as the council denied receiving applications that they had received (and they even deny that still even with proof of delivery and statements from royal mail they still suggest it was never delivered and the lgo ignore the evidence showing delivery and use this to excuse the entire council maladministration and only offer £150 which is utterly unacceptable) When they did finally begin processing an application they waited 6 months from the august they state they recieved it, where another was sent in december, and another handed in by hand in march, they took til april to process it which is conveniently when the maths of my application placed me outside of the singular local housing criteria of having spent longer than 2 years out of the past 5 outside of birmingham which they had deliberately waited for so they could reduce the housing points 90% and completely avoid rehoming me giving me such a terrible score I would never get rehomed and completely ignored all other criteria where I had still local area connections which were valid, but the council and the LGO still don’t compensate for these delays to rehoming me or apply tort where I still wasn’t in circumstances remotely as I had been prior to their illegal witholding of benefits, and how I was in my personal version of hell and had avoided being out there entirely and only went there as a last resort as nothing else was working to get rehomed, and this clearly wasn’t working either and left me feeling hopeless and suicidal much of the time too.
Eventually in april 2016 they rehomed me, but having no money I had no means to get anything to cook or store food or a bed and the gas was leaking so I could have no hot water and it took several months to resolve this, so I still suffered to a lesser extent at that point, but still my suffering for that entire period must be compensated and the government cannot be allowed to make savings as they are doing for austerity through such illegal means and for me to not get compensated for all of that suffering when at any time they could have provided emergency accommodation which was requested repeatedly and ignored and this would have allowed me to get on with my life and end my suffering even if it took longer to get rehomed, but they did not and I suffered this entire period and I’m not compensated for this, and this is completely unfair.
On top of this despite the council being shown to be at blame and that they caused me to fall into a depression that lead to my not being able to attend jobseekers the council are stealing £1,800 in rent arrears from the suggested compensation to cover the outstanding rent costs, and not paying benefits for the time I would have been able to claim benefits and continued to do so for the entire period to being rehomed which I would have done had they never illegally witheld benefits and created these circumstances in the first place.
This has entirely taken over my life and it eats away at me, I already suffered with manic depression but this haunts me constantly and I feel hopeless and like my life has entirely been destroyed, I need some legal help to get the compensation I deserve for all of those years I lost and I would rather have back and be able to live, and all the opportunities I’ve lost out as a result and the way those deeply hurt me and rip out part of my soul and heart. I need my voice to be heard and this injustice cannot be allowed to go unpunished, the government must face up to what it has done.
If you can share this it would be very appreciated and if you are a lawyer who can help me get some justice please get in touch.
There are obviously Many video’s across time on this subject with updates, along with some posts on this site on the matter.
To name and shame:
Cartwright king do judicial reviews but won’t even look at the case as I mentioned the council and tort (Did respond after twitter suggesting some other lawyers who haven’t responded)
Irwin Mitchell wont cover the case as they claim they don’t cover that area of law despite the fact that they were involved in a previous class action lawsuit revolving around benefits against the council and they should at least look at the case as it would be in their wheelhouse
www.richardbuxton.co.uk Claim they don’t work in this area of law
www.hja.net Claim they don’t work in benefits cases and I need a specialist in benefits.
mcgrath.co.uk Claim they don’t specialise in this area of law despite appearing on pages suggesting them for this area of law
jrblegal.co.uk Says he is retiring and doesn’t cover this area of law
tuckerssolicitors.com State they only work in criminal law not civil even though they were on a page of results for civil benefits judicial review lawyers in the uk.
kingsleynapley.co.uk Don’t undertake judicial reviews on legal aid (but maybe they do if I had the funds? Which I definitely lack)
dpglaw.co.uk say they are unable to help and I should contact shelter.
leighday.co.uk says to look on http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ where every lawyer on that list has some excuse not to take on the case.
bindmans.com “I have discussed your enquiry with the solicitors in the department and I am sorry, but we do not have the capacity to take on your case. We often face more demands for help than we can meet, and, as you will appreciate, we can only take on cases if we have the capacity to do so” So basically they could but they’re too busy, and then they suggest a number of lawyers listed above who claim outright they don’t cover this area of law, how horrible.
hickmanandrose.co.uk State it doesn’t fall within their area of law
simpsonmillar.co.uk State they don’t cover benefits cases, despite being on the page again and many of these other lawyers recommending them.
genesislaw.co.uk State it’s outside their area of competence.
And a variety of smaller lawyers and other lawfirms who have not responded to emails. No lawyer in the UK seems capable of doing this and the government gets away with this injustice.
hcbgroup.com Firmly don’t undertake legal aided work (but again perhaps do work in this area of law but won’t do it on legal aid)
hinesolicitors.com Claim that this is a housing related case and they don’t specialise in housing law. Seperately state they only offer legal aid for benefit fraud.
anthonycollins.com State they don’t operate in this area of law
centralenglandlc.org.uk State how they only work with welfare benefits and wont do this because there are housing issues involved despite this being a welfare benefits case, these really sound like they should take on the case but just look for excuses not to.
Essentially all of these lawyers http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/search/results?UmbrellaLegalIssue=LIUSWB&Location=birmingham&Pro=False none of them taking on this case, all contacted.