Abolition of benefit periods

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    When a claimant changes address within a local authority area, authorities currently have a choice; they can bring the HB/CTB award to an end, or they can treat it as a change of circumstances and suspend payments pending new tenancy details etc. My LA currently chooses to end the award.

    We always thought we were doing this under HB Reg 67, CTB Reg 58 (in other words, ending the benefit period). These regulations are abolished for pensioners from 6 October and for working age customers from next April.

    Am I right in thinking that when benefit periods are abolished, LAs will no longer have a choice and will be required to treat a change of address within their area as a change of circumstances?

    If not, under what regulation can we still end the award?

    And if I am right, under what regulations do we end the award when a claimant moves outside our area, or becomes nil entitled for some other reason?


    Question 283 of the external Q log refers.
    The normal change in circs regs apply 68(1), so if the change results in no entitlement the claim ends.


    So are we saying that HB Reg 67(1)(c) served no purpose at all and therefore won’t be missed?

    Julian Hobson

    I don’t agree with the answer in Q283 and have today raised with DWP again.

    I don’t see how 68(1) does anything to end BP’s where there is no BP ! and therefore Jans question is perfectly reasonable. Reg 69(4)(c) and (5)(c) are relevant but don’t say what happens in subsequent weeks in the absence of reg 67.

    The only termination provision for pensioners is now reg 14 of the DMA regs and it is unlikely to apply in the cases we are referring to.

    I think the current position is that the BP persists and so there will be no need to reclaim if you are a pensioner, all future interaction with a pensioner once HB is awarded will be change of circs, and none of those will end the BP (not even death).

    waiting to be proved wrong now !!!

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