A WOMAN who depends upon carers to help her in every aspect of her daily life has fallen into arrears because of the bedroom tax.

Quadriplegic Claire Hilton, aged 32, has a team of six carers dedicated to her, with two on shift at any one time to help her move about, eat and sleep.

For 12 years she has lived in a bungalow in Prodesse Court, Hindley and, although the two carers stay overnight seven days a week, she falls into the ‘under occupied’ category of the tax because the legislation only allows for one carer to stay.

Claire now has £50 a month taken out of her housing benefit and her parents, Margaret and Nigel, are outraged and frustrated no one will listen to them.

Margaret said: “Claire had leukaemia when she was three and contracted encephalitis, which just took everything apart from hearing, when she was seven.

“She is not ‘under-occupied’. The bungalow is three bedrooms and there are three people sleeping there every night. We don’t blame the council because it is law, but it just seems the Government has overlooked a whole category of people when they created it.

“Others seem to have won court cases against the tax but it is a long process and Claire is now in arrears because I refuse to pay the shortfall.

“I won’t pay because we have to make a stand.”

Claire’s bungalow has been specially adapted to cater to her needs so moving is not an option and the safety aspect of the care she requires means two carers are essential, especially overnight.

The family applied for a discretionary payment but were rejected.

Nigel said: “Claire is a happy and caring person and very considerate, especially with family and friends.

“I would defy anybody to manage Claire on their own, it is just not possible and it wouldn’t be safe.

“We are adamant that an injustice is occurring and we want to highlight this.”