Reply To: Amendment 9 – Oh what fun!


Sorry folks but this one ain’t over yet! I strongly suggest that everyone ignores the examples in Amendment 9. They are clearly unreliable and, although they alerted me to the problem that started this thread, they are not a safe way of proving that there is a problem. So how about this instead (from a real award notice in front of me right now):

Award from 6/4/03 – 5/4/04

Total award (CTC only) = £3249.15

Award notice dated 4 June 2003

First payment of £478.98 to be made 4/6/03

Further payments of £254.37 to be paid

Payments then change to £251.58 every 4 weeks (but it doesn’t say when)

Now lets first consider the change from £254.37 to £251.58. I have seen loads of changes like this now and NONE of them are because of a real change in the claimants circumstances. Instead, they appear to be simply the IR tinkling with the ongoing payments mid year for no apparent reason. Therefore I have concuded that it is reasonable to see these cases as full year awards (i.e. the /366 X 7 variety) and not mid year change cases where (for example) kids hit certain ages. I would be interested in what anyone else thinks about these types of cases and what your LA is doing with them.

Anyway – back to the real issue – people who get a Tax Credit arrears sum can be worse of in their ongoing HB/CTB because of the calc method in amendment 9.

In the case I have here the maths is as follows:

£3249.15 / 366 X 7 = £62.14 p/w

Under normal circumstances we would use this figure but because this award contains arrears we have been advised instead to do:

£3249.15 – £478.98 = £2770.17

4th June – 5th April = 307 days

£2770.17 / 307 = £63.16

Now then,

£63.16 – £62.14 = £1.02 p/w more to be taken into account in ongoing HB/CTB BECAUSE arrears are payable.

If you’re still not convinced consider this – the date the award notice is issued affects the number of days in the assesment period – but the IR could issue the letter on any day they like between weekly or 4 weekly payment cycles and this would clearly affect how much we treat the ongoing Tax Credit award as being worth.

Interesting to note by the way that in this case the arrears do seem to be paid via lump sum but I have seen another real case where it looks suspiciously like arrears are included in the ongoing entitlement.

I maintain that this is all still a complete mess.