Reply To: When change of circumstances take effect

#2051
Mark
Participant

OK – here is the answer to my original questions to the Adelphi….and my reply…..

“Mark,

Your first question – timeously means the same as it always has done for HB/CTB. The rules contained in the HB/CTB (Decisions and Appeals) Regs 2001, SI 2001/1002 apply.

Your second question – I think that this is a question of semantics. The purpose of 68B(3)(a) is quite clear, if the Pension Credit is reduced and the claimant was late in reporting it any consequent HB reduction will be effective from the same week as the reduction in Pension Credit.”

“Thank you for your reply. I suspect you guessed already that I would want to ask some follow up questions! I am prepared to admit that HB Reg 68B has pretty much got me stumped so I would very much appreciate some help. Perhaps it is easiest for me to list my comments and questions:

1) I struggle to see that the notification time limits in SI2001/1002 can possibly apply to awards of Pension Credit. Surely, those regs apply to changes in HB/CTB not changes in Pension Credit. If it is the policy intention that the “1 month extendable to 13 months in special circumstances” rules apply to notifying things to the Pension Service for HB/CTB recipients I would expect the regs to say this explicitly.

2) Semantics? Maybe – but I’m not sure all tribunal chairs will be so sure. Wouldn’t it just be a lot easier to change the wording so that no-one ever needs to decide whether it is semantics or not?

3) I have read and re-read the amended answers to questions 291, 293 and 317 in the external questions log but I am still very confused. I understand that you are asking us to use Reg 68 to deal with changes in the AIF but reg 68B to deal with changes in a Pension Credit award. What I don’t understand is whether these things are TOTALLY separate. In other words, when considering whether there has been an increase or decrease in HB/CTB as a result of a Pension Credit award changing does this mean that we consider the impact of the AIF at that point or not? For example:

Savings Credit only award changes from £10 to £5 because the claimant has £12.50 p/w increase in their income and they already had income over their appropriate amount

AIF changes from £80 to £92.50

Do we say that HB has increased because the Savings Credit has gone down – or do we say that HB has decreased because the combined effect of the Pension Credit and AIF change is that HB will increase? In other words, does 68B(4) apply or is it 68B(3) instead. I hope you will tell me that the answer is 68B(3) because if not then the special rules to stop people benefiting from reporting late changes won’t apply!