Reply To: Benefit on 2 Homes

Peter Barker

Normal revision and supersession rules apply. You made a superseding decision changing the rate of HB from R1 to R2 with effect from a date in 2019. The claimant now says the decision should have awarded him/her R1 + R2 for up to the first four weeks, before reducing to R2. S/he wants you to revise the superseding decision. This will only be possible if s/he can establish “any time” grounds for revision, such as official error. Failure to ask pertinent questions can be an official error: if the claimant was completely unaware of any possibility of covering two rents simultaneously, and you didn’t say anything that might have prompted them to raise the issue, there might be something there s/he could rely on.

If the claimant left your area and R2 is not your responsibility, the decision to be revised is the one that ended the HB award from Date 1, and the claimant wants it shifted forward to Date 2. Same issues around official error and any time revision.

For example, is there a conditional paragraph addressing notice periods that appears in a standard decision letter when someone has moved out of the address they were claiming for? Perhaps there should be. Perhaps it is an official error not to raise the matter on your own initiative and ask tailored questions … but then perhaps you did and the claimant didn’t pick up on it.