Galloway residents unfairly hit by the so-called “bedroom tax” are being urged to apply for discretionary payments.
Dumfries and Galloway Council is encouraging residents to contact its website to ask for extra money.
The council said: “In January 2014 the government announced that ‘bedroom tax’ cuts to housing benefit should not have been applied to some people.
“The loophole applies to people who have been claiming housing benefit continuously for the same home for the past 17 years.
“Our council, in conjunction with the housing associations, identified 70 customers in this situation who have now received an additional £34,000 in housing benefit.
“The loophole has now been closed and from March 4 these people will again have a Social Sector Size Criteria reduction applied to their housing benefit. We will be awarding a discretionary housing payment to all customers who have indicated they wish to claim this.”
Councillor Brian Collins, depute council leader, added: “As soon as the loophole was discovered, customers were identified through strong partnership working between our council’s revenue section and the registered social landlords. I would urge any customer who is struggling to afford any shortfall between their rent and their housing benefit award to make an application for a discretionary housing payment.”
Applications can be made online at www.dumgal.gov.uk/benefit.