Reply To: Change of address…..again!

#2123
Mark
Participant

In my previous post I argued that an advantageous change of circumstances is one where the amount of HB or CTB payable is higher at the new address than the old. I also pointed out, as many of us have come to realise, that this creates some bizarre administrative nightmares. I have now started to wonder whether it is even worse than I had thought.

Is my definition of an advantageous change correct? Well – in any case where there is no change of address I am quite happy with it. We are all used to dealing with various advantageous change scenarios and despite the anomalies the rules are workable.

But now I am having some doubts about Change of address cases. D&A Reg 8(3)(c) is where the “decision is advantageous to the claimant” bit comes from when dealing with supersessions – but there is no definition in that regulation as to what this means. D&A Reg 17(2) does contain a definition of an advantageous change but only for the purposes of appeals and revisions. It does not directly apply to reg 8 too.

So here’s the problem. Look back at the example I gave in my earlier posting. At the old address the claimant has to pay £20 per week on top of his HB to pay his full rent (i.e. £120 actual rent minus £100 HB). But when he moves to the new address he has to pay £55 per week on top of his HB to pay his full rent (i.e. £150 actual rent minus £95 HB).

So isn’t it a bit odd to say that the change of address was “advantageous” and that D&A Reg 8(3)(c) kicks in. Overall, the claimant is worse off by £35 p/w than they were before. I don’t think it would be reasonable to look at “non-financial” factors in deciding whether something is advantageous or not (e.g. his new home is gorgeous and the old one was crumbling) – so where does this leave us? Do we have to rethink what advantageous means?