Can we pay HB on a date earlier than the claimant wants?

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    Can I have some advice please?

    New Pensioner HB claim received on 18/07/2023.

    The claimant reached pension age on 15/06/2023. He stated on the HB application that he only wanted HB from 10/07/2023.

    We would pay HB from the Monday following the date he became a pensioner if he didn’t state that he only wanted HB from 10/07/2023. Is it legal to just pay him from the Monday following 15/06/2023 as it is more advantageous to him even though he does not want it?


    You cannot force someone to have HB if they do not want it.

    I would call them and explain that you could consider making an award in line with when they became a pensioner. If you can’t get hold of them via phone but have all the info to pay the claim from 10/07/2023 then I would pay in line with this.

    You could then advise the customer that you can consider an award for the earlier period if they provide details and evidence of their circumstances.


    RPlace. Thank you for your response. I cannot find any legislation that supports that we cannot pay HB if the claimant does not want it?

    nick dearnley

    CH/0392/2009 concerned the date of claim and start date of entitlement in a pensioner CTB case; it’s the closest I can think of to your issue. It sets out how the date of claim is decided, at that time 12 months before the date the claim was made in certain circumstances, by reference to regs 53(1ZA), 56, and 48 CTB(SPC) Regs 2006. Admittedly it concerned an argument over whether February 2007 or July 2006 was the correct date to use.

    At para 33 Judge Jacobs said that the earliest date of entitlement is set by regs 53(1ZA) and 56, then in para 34 that the actual effective date is set by reg 48: “it is the first day in the benefit week following the first day in respect of which the claim was made. The claimant may specify a date from which the claim is made. If so, that is the effective date, provided the other conditions of entitlement are satisfied. If the claimant does not specify a date, the LA has two choices. It may ask the claimant to specify a date. Or it may take the most favourable date, which is the maximum of [12] months. In this case, we know that the claimant wanted to claim CTB from 2005.”

    Reg 48 CTB(SPC) Regs is, as far as I can see, more or less matched by reg 57 HB(SPC) Regs 2006, so I think the combined effect of that and the UT decision allows you to use the date the claimant asked for. Although the CTB(SPC) Regs have now been repealed I think reg 57 HB(SPC) Regs is similar, but I might be wrong.


    or maybe the customer had income between his pension birthday and the date he wants to claim from which would mean he wouldnt qualify

    you can use the 3 mont h date and do an adverse infersnce and advise him his income was too high to qualify from his birthday until 10 july, and Hb gas been awarded from mon after 10 Julty, and that if he provides details /proof of his income/ savings for the periosd priot to July, you;’ll look at it again

    Andy Thurman

    I would use the approach Nick sets out from the caselaw (apart from 12 months becoming 3, the only way in which the regs have changed is to remove the double bubble effect of the original version – that could take the date of claim back 12 mpnths to GC claim date then a further 12 months from that!)

    The whole point of the SPC date of claim rules is to give pensioners up to 3 months to make a claim. In this case, as he has stated a date within that 3 month period, he has just not used all of that 3 month provision!

    Pay as claimed/requested but do try to ensure he has put the correct date and/or that he knows you can pay from an earlier date if he corrects it.

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