Cashed in private pension to do home improvements

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    Can anyone help please.

    A working age customer was in receipt of CTS and claim came up for review 23/02/2023. It was established through this review that the customer had an undisclosed bank account with just over 12k in it since May 2019. It was identified that the customer had cashed in her private pension and received a lump sum in 2019. When the claim was recalculated to take account of the sum detailed in the bank account received in May 23, it created revised council tax bills in June 23 due to the tariff income.

    The customer has requested a reconsideration and stated that she had intended to make home improvements with the money but due to covid, it has delayed the work and that the money should not be included.

    The cts policy states the same as HB ‘any payments received within the past 26 weeks, soley for improvements on the home or longer if reasonable.

    We are correct in stating that this money was received in May 2019 and will need to be included in the calculation to cts from that date as it is past 26 weeks and taking account of covid delays it is reasonable that she would have had those improvements done before now if that is what the intention was in the first instance.


    I agree with you. It is a fact that the cash is still there and has not been spent in over 4 years. You could extend if you wanted to but I would only do so for a few months if that. After that to the valuation tribunal if the Person wants to and in my experience they will not be very interested. No appeal against any overpayment. Just an adjustment to the bill. You have applied the law correctly and the VT will not intervene in your discretion in a case like this.


    Thank you Peter

    Mike Hughes

    Hmm. Really depends when in 2019 surely? If it was say October to December I’d think the case for an extension would be straightforward albeit depending on the specifics of the work and availability of people to do it. Most people would put off major work in that period anyway because of the realities of workmen around Christmas. If the capital was acquired before that then there’s a very tenuous case at best but around then…

    I have had major leaks in our living room and was advised by a plumber in early February 2020 that the ceiling needed to come down. Putting aside that I thought that nonsense I moved money about to fund most of the work that would need doing but had to put it all aside because of Covid. The idea of three people in a house with no living room ceiling during the first lockdown… Had I been a benefit claimant I’d have argued the justification for that delay all the way as plain simple common sense.


    The money was received in MAy 2019 – some 9/10 months before 1st lockdown – and its now 2 years since the last one.

    Mike Hughes

    Missed that in the OP. Clear cut then.

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