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EAST DEVON CRITICISED OVER BOSNIAN REFUGEE'S BENEFIT CLAIM

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East Devon DC has been found guilty of maladministration when dealing with a housing benefit claim made by a Bosnia...
East Devon DC has been found guilty of maladministration when dealing with a housing benefit claim made by a Bosnian refugee in October 1992, a report issued by the Local Government Ombudsman said today.

The social services department had arranged emergency accommodation for the refugee who was brought to the area from the former Yugoslavia by local volunteers. Along with 32 other refugees (23 of whom were children), she and her children lived in accommodation suitable only for 12 people.

The next month the woman moved to private housing but was refused housing benefit because she had moved out of 'adequate' accommodation. Devon DC later paid the benefit but the Ombudsman criticised the council's initial decision based on inaccurate information.

In conclusion the Ombudsman does praise the council on the 'speed' and 'ingenuity' it provided for the refugees.
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