CTR schemes with Fixed Periods

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  • #286923
    John Smith
    Participant

    Hi,

    May I ask if anyone is aware of any Council Tax Reduction schemes that make a fixed award for a fixed period – for example 6 months – (much like the old Working Family Tax Credit award) and so obviate the need for any changes in circumstances, particularly for those customers in receipt of Universal Credit?

    Thanks,
    John

    #286929
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    I think there is a question as to where such a power might come from ? I can’t see anything actually which permits any review of entitlement that isn’t triggered by a CoC ? I’m not 100% sure but it would appear that an entitlement persists until a CoC ends it. and given the prescribed requirements and appeal rights it looks as though this wouldn’t work ?

    #286932
    petedavies
    Participant

    We have gone part way but I think a fixed period award would be problematic and discounted it , not because it cannot be done (which I think it can for W/A) but because of the potential problems associated with introducing such a scheme.

    What we have done is introduce a discretion to ‘ignore’ changes in income for U.C. recipients for a period of up to six months which does reduce the number of changes we process. I am not aware of any instances where we have failed to make a change if requested by an applicant and, tbh, would be loathe to take such a case to the V.T.

    #286935
    John Smith
    Participant

    Thanks Pete.

    Would you be prepared to explain how exactly you “introduced a discretion to ‘ignore’ changes in income for U.C. recipients for a period of up to six months”?

    Does this mean that you only look at UC changes if specifically requested to do so by the applicant?

    We too are desperately looking to change our scheme to stop the necessity of looking at the increasingly infinite number of UC change notifs that the DWP bombard us with.

    Thanks a lot,

    John

    #286936
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    We do something similar as set out below:

    Universal Credit income

    All CTR awards where UC is in payment will be fixed for 3 months. This will support effective administration of the scheme and also means customers do not need to report minor income changes during this period. However, their CTR award will be reviewed within this period if either;

    o The customer moves;
    o The customer dies;
    o A partner leaves/joins the household;
    o The customer moves into or out of work

    This means that when, for a UC customer, we are notified of a change to the amount of their UC award, we will either:

    1. Take no action, if the change is not one of the specific type of changes mentioned above, and the current CTR award has been in payment for less than 3 months.

    OR

    2. Review the CTR award from the UC change date, if the current CTR award has been in payment for more than 3 months or if the change type is one of those specified above.

    #286937
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    We are currently exploring further changes to automate more changes within a set of parameters

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Julian Hobson.
    #286939
    John Smith
    Participant

    Thanks Julian, that makes a lot of sense.

    John

    #286942
    John Smith
    Participant

    Thanks Julian, is it possible to post a link to your council’s scheme so that I can see how you’ve done this in the actual regs?

    #286999
    Jon__Blackwell
    Participant

    Other LAs with fixed periods for UC claimants include

    Boston
    Chelmsford
    Sefton
    West Lindsey

    #287002
    John Smith
    Participant

    Thanks a lot, Jon.

    #287021
    petedavies
    Participant

    Sorry John, only just seen your post:

    A When a person has their income calculated under the provisions of Section 3, the authority may use either;
    i An average income amount calculated using previous income or,
    ii An estimate of how much income will be received in the future.
    B When income is calculated in accordance with paragraph 1 the authority may;
    i revise the average,
    ii revise its estimate or
    iii use the income figure calculated in accordance with Section 3
    at any time.
    C When income is calculated under the provisions of paragraph 1 or, as the case may be, recalculated under the provisions of paragraph 2 (i) or (ii), the income amount shall be used for no longer than six months.

    Section 3 basically sets out that we use U.C. figures for income purposes (although we retain a discretion not to do so).

    We will always recalculate if asked to do so by an applicant and usually do if we com across a ‘significant’ change

    #287253
    John Smith
    Participant

    Thanks a lot, Mark (been in Corfu for the last two weeks)!

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