Reply To: A18 2005 & A8 2006 Council Tenant Change of Address


I have been thinking about this and looking carefully at Regs 79 and 80.

Reg 79(2A) says:

“Subject to paragraphs (8) and (9), … where the change of circumstances is (a) that a person moves into a new dwelling occupied as the home… that change of circumstances shall take effect on the day on which it actually occurs”

Paragraphs (8) and (9), to which the above is subject, say:

“(8) Subject to paragraph (9), where a change of circumstances occurs which has the effect of bringing entitlement to an end it shall take effect on the first day of the benefit week following the benefit week in which that change actually occurs …
(9) Where the change of circumstances is that a person moves to a new dwelling and immediately after the move he is treated as occupying his former dwelling as his home in accordance with regulation 7(7) or (10) then that change of circumstances shall take effect on the day after the last day for which he is treated as liable to make payments in respect of the former dwelling in accordance with whichever of those regulations applies in his case.”

At first sight, there is circularity here (but see comments on para(9) below). On the one hand the change only takes effect from the exact day of the move if there is continuing entitlement – so you cannot end entitlement under para (2A) as some people have suggested above. On the other hand, if the change ends entitlement then it doesn’t take effect until next week under para (8) … but in this case, the claimant would be entitled at the new address by then so entitlement wouldn’t end after all! I don’t agree with the DWP view that entitlement stops and then immediately starts again without a break – that doesn’t make sense to me at all, if there is no break how can entitlement stop?

I am strongly persuaded by Kevin’s argument that we are still dealing with a whole week’s entitlement in a case like this, albeit with rent, income and applicable amount broken down pro rata under Reg 80, and that entitlement would only truly come to an end if there is a whole week in which the claimant is entitled to nothing.

As a second argument, I would turn to para (9) of Reg 79. At first sight, it looks like this qualifies para (8) and only applies in a case where the claimant will no longer be entitled to HB when the Reg 7(7)/7(10) period runs out. But it isn’t drafted to apply exclusively in those circumstances. Para (9) is drafted as a free-standing effective date rule for any case in which Reg 7(7) applies, and acts to override not just para (8) but para (2A) as well. I therefore think that Andy_U_Illingworth’s boffins have come up with a valid idea: use Reg 7(7) for the last few days of the week, implement the change of circs under para (9) and, hey presto, continuous entitlement!