Intention to Claim emails

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  • #287614
    Alistair Costelloe
    Participant

    Hi all,

    Increasingly, HB claims are being made by tenants who have come from hospital/prison or have had chaotic backgrounds, lack their ID, proof of benefits etc, do not manage their money, and either do not have a bank account or access to one (and thus do not know how much money they have). Some have their money managed by Corporate Financial Appointees, but they have heavy workloads and despite best intentions, cannot always act as quickly as they are needed.

    My understanding was that by sending an emailed intention to claim, the awards date could be preserved whilst the claim was being completed. This was under the old Reg 85 which was repealed in 2008. Under the amended Reg 83, the claimant can make a defective claim by providing an incomplete form or by emailing some information pursuant to making a claim, and then remedying the defect and providing the information required within one month.

    We have been told by some authorities that they no longer accept an emailed intention to claim and require a completed form, or an intention to claim to be made by the claimant’s appointee for it to be valid.

    I’d be grateful for comments on the validity of an emailed intention to claim by the landlord.

    #287615
    helevans
    Participant

    Hello – I don’t think there is any validity in an intention to claim being made by a landlord – unless it falls under a provision within Reg 82 (i.e. claimant’s appointee), which is unlikely.

    #287616
    Andrew Plant
    Participant

    Hello AListair,

    Reg Hb reg 82 (5) (d)

    The intention to claim paragraphs include a very general catch all of “by whatever means” regarding how the Council is notified of the intention.

    I have always taken this as giving a lot of flexibility including the landlord notifying the Council of the intention of the claimant.

    Thanks

    Andrew

    #287617
    Alistair Costelloe
    Participant

    Thanks, that’s the issue we have, in that the old Reg 85 was clear that the intention to claim could be made by somebody acting on behalf of the claimant (not specifically an appointee), but the retained and slightly amended Reg 83 is specific that the claim must be made by the claimant, appointee, deputy, or a person appointed by the local authority upon application, who if a natural person, must be older than 18. The ambiguity around whether the landlord can be the person appointed is what presents issues, particularly for claimants who cannot handle these matters themselves. The nuance is slight but potentially significant.

    #287619
    Andrew Plant
    Participant

    Specific to intention to claim.

    I have had a look at the commentary in CPAG and it does seem to give “by whatever means” a very wide meaning in relation to both the reg 82 (5) (d) (older CPAG) or reg 83 (5) (d).

    I would think that “by whatever means” cuts through the made by the “claimant, appointee, deputy…” question as long as you are happy that the landlord is lodging the claimant’s intention to claim rather than their own.

    #287625
    Peter Barker
    Keymaster

    I agree with Andrew. While it is the person named in Reg 82 who must ultimately make the claim itself, I would say Reg 83(5)(d) allows that person to notify his/her intention to claim via an intermediary. The Council will need to be satisfied that the notice of intention to claim has been conveyed with the knowledge and approval of the person referred to in Reg 82.

    In supported living, which is Ali’s area, it is not unusual for family deputies to leave everything in the hands of the landlord and their approval to notify an intention to claim may be implicit. Likewise corporate deputies who are aware that the tenancy exists and HB needs to be claimed, but haven’t got round to doing anything about it themselves – I think implicit consent to notify the intention to claim can exist there as well.

    There will also be cases where the claimant lacks capacity to claim but does not as yet have a deputy – in such a case the local authority could appoint the landlord under Reg 82 at least in the interim.

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