Reply To: Break in entitlement

Michelle Howley

Contacted DWP regarding breaks in claims and breaks in entitlement (particularly to do with LHA), and received the following guidance:-

‘A break in a claim and a break in entitlement are one and the same thing’.

I disagreed with this and gave the example where a customer received HB to Wed 23/04/08 based on I.S. being in payment. Gap in I.S. for Thursday 24/04/08. I.S. and HB reclaimed on Friday 25/08/08. No income details provided for the missing day.

Customer would be required to provide a new benefit claim form as there is a gap in the benefit claim, however, as the benefit ended on 23/04, the customer would be entitled to the end of the week, Sunday 27/04, and the new claim would be paid from Monday 28/04. There is therefore no break in entitlement, but there is a break in the benefit claim.

The reply I got was ‘a break in a claim and a break in entitlement are one and the same thing. In your example this would be classed as a change of circumstance, their termination of IS/JSA does not mean that the claim, or entitlement ends. Assessment is needed for the benefit week in total to decide entitlement’.

I don’t know how this could be a change of circumstance when there isn’t a benefit claim, or how a break in a claim or a break in entitlement can be one and the same thing.

What does everybody else think?