Amendment 9 – Oh what fun!

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    [quote:01e00f2f4b][i:01e00f2f4b]Originally posted by Julian Hobson[/i:01e00f2f4b]
    A colleague has just reminded me of that old buddhist saying that “when a butterfly flaps its wings in the Adelphi it causes a thunderstorm in Huddersfield” soon they will realise that tinkering with bits of the Regs just doesn’t work, its the whole thing thats broken. [/quote:01e00f2f4b]

    [b:01e00f2f4b]Isn’t there something people in Huddersfield could do to a butterfly to get revenge on the people in the Adelphi?[/b:01e00f2f4b]



    Nobody has pointed out the errors in case study C yet. This case is for a part year TC award from 6/5/03 to 5/4/04.

    The example correctly uses 336 days for this period and the calculation shows :-

    CTC £5553.08 / 336 X 7 = £106.21
    WTC £3349.92 / 336 X 7 = £64.07

    But these should calc as

    CTC = £115.69 & WTC = £69.79

    The examples have clearly been calculated using [b:5d79099fcd]366[/b:5d79099fcd] days and not 336.

    So case studies A, B & C are all incorrect – so much for clarification!


    I agree, that A,B,C are wrong. I’ve just spotted the “C” errors.

    They all give an incorrect award period length for the calcs.

    I’ve been trying to use the case studies to test a new version of my quickcalc tool. Makes it a bit difficult.

    How have all these errors got through?

    Another error is in Case study B – just underneath the working out for the CTC award of £115.35 pw it says

    “£39.20 is the amount you should take into account……”

    That’s the amount from case study A!

    I think these people need about 20 visits from the auditors.

    Julian Hobson

    “Tax Credits” is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. “Pension Credits” is the triumph of hope over experience
    –Oscar Wilde


    now on the dwp site @ [url=][/url]


    Mark – case studies a & b

    I realise that this is a bit late but it has only just dawned on me.

    [b:7503cfacd1]Case study A: Arthur Spratt.[/b:7503cfacd1]

    As discussed the period length in this case study is wrong. It quotes 340 days as the period from the award letter date to the end of the award. It is actually 350 days.

    This we already knew because several people have mentioned and confirmed that.

    However, I have just spotted that the arrears amount (which caused some controversy) IS based on a 350 day period. It is 16 days arrears – it should be 26 days arrears.

    Once you adjust the case study example by increasing the arrears to the correct amount it works the way we would expect.

    Seemingly there was some debate at the DWP about what period to use for the Case Study. They obviously changed their minds part way through from 350 days to 340 days – but then failed to get all the elements of the calc into order.

    My guess about the way the example should read is:

    Award letter date: 02/05/2003
    Whole award: £1991.04
    Arrears: £141.44

    £1991.04 – £141.44 = £1849.60 Div by 340 X 7 = £38.08


    Award letter date: 22/04/2003
    Whole award: £1991.04
    Arrears: £87.04

    £1991.04 – £87.04 = £1904 Div by 350 X 7 = £38.08

    Either way the result comes out with £38.08 pw assessed TC income. (i.e. the standard weekly rate – 1991.04 div by 366 X 7)

    martin walmsley

    Thanks Peter – I’ve just been looking through my (amended) Amendment 9, and agree the calculation tallies in both the ways you have stated.



    Sorry folks but this one ain’t over yet! I strongly suggest that everyone ignores the examples in Amendment 9. They are clearly unreliable and, although they alerted me to the problem that started this thread, they are not a safe way of proving that there is a problem. So how about this instead (from a real award notice in front of me right now):

    Award from 6/4/03 – 5/4/04

    Total award (CTC only) = £3249.15

    Award notice dated 4 June 2003

    First payment of £478.98 to be made 4/6/03

    Further payments of £254.37 to be paid

    Payments then change to £251.58 every 4 weeks (but it doesn’t say when)

    Now lets first consider the change from £254.37 to £251.58. I have seen loads of changes like this now and NONE of them are because of a real change in the claimants circumstances. Instead, they appear to be simply the IR tinkling with the ongoing payments mid year for no apparent reason. Therefore I have concuded that it is reasonable to see these cases as full year awards (i.e. the /366 X 7 variety) and not mid year change cases where (for example) kids hit certain ages. I would be interested in what anyone else thinks about these types of cases and what your LA is doing with them.

    Anyway – back to the real issue – people who get a Tax Credit arrears sum can be worse of in their ongoing HB/CTB because of the calc method in amendment 9.

    In the case I have here the maths is as follows:

    £3249.15 / 366 X 7 = £62.14 p/w

    Under normal circumstances we would use this figure but because this award contains arrears we have been advised instead to do:

    £3249.15 – £478.98 = £2770.17

    4th June – 5th April = 307 days

    £2770.17 / 307 = £63.16

    Now then,

    £63.16 – £62.14 = £1.02 p/w more to be taken into account in ongoing HB/CTB BECAUSE arrears are payable.

    If you’re still not convinced consider this – the date the award notice is issued affects the number of days in the assesment period – but the IR could issue the letter on any day they like between weekly or 4 weekly payment cycles and this would clearly affect how much we treat the ongoing Tax Credit award as being worth.

    Interesting to note by the way that in this case the arrears do seem to be paid via lump sum but I have seen another real case where it looks suspiciously like arrears are included in the ongoing entitlement.

    I maintain that this is all still a complete mess.


    I agree that Amendment 9 has no legislative basis. I also agree that the sensible method is just to take the annual award, divide by 366 and multiply by 7 to get the weekly amount. If this were to be the approach would TAS disagree with the calculation?

    By doing this you are applying an actual weekly income to an actual benefit week – surely that is sensible, fair and most importantly, the customers will understand the calculation.

    martin walmsley

    Sorry – I didn’t mean to imply everything was sorted out now, just that the examples highlighted by Peter made sense with the revised dates/figures.

    I agree, that in reality the way Amendment 9 says we should be assessing the awards throws up anomalies. For example, we have recieved a NTC award letter where the rate of payment changes “in-year” – INcreasing the amount of NTC being paid to the customer. However, when assessing the 2 periods of NTC rates for HB/CTB purposes – (i.e. deducting the arrears from the first period and working out the number of days from the date of the award letter etc) – the amount of NTC rate actually DEcreases for our purposes.

    I agree – further clarification is still required.


    Read Amendment 9 today – wondered if I was going mad – glad to see its not just me!!


    Maybe it would be helpful if we all just made it up as we went along (that is, follow the DWP method), encouraged everybody to appeal and then got a case to Commissioners as soon as possible. Since the Court of Appeal shot Commissioner Jacobs’ desert island decision down in flames, I’m sure he’d love to have a crack at another contentious issue…


    I agree – bring on the appeal decisions.

    Let the tribunals try and find a legislative basis for the decision.

    I assume no-one has had one yet? (a decision that is). We’ve got at least one where the customer wants to go to appeal but no hearing dates yet.

    Diane Eusoof

    Due to the lack of guidance in plain English which can explain the various anomolies we have come across , we intend to instruct staff to calculate the weekly amount as per instructions , apply that from the date of the award notice and ignore any arrears payments . At least this should mean that the calc. for benefits purposes will be the same as the NTC payments rather than £15 pw more as in some cases .What instructions are others giving to processing staff ?????

    martin walmsley

    For the moment, we’re going with the Amendment 9 method (take off arrears, divide by no. of days from date of letter etc). I have also received an “aide memoire” issued from the DWP to Benefit Managers today, clarifying that this is the method we should be using.

    However, if there is ever any comeback on this we have been using system admin codes when a NTC award is input/amended – so we can always pick these cases up, and putting file notes in DIP confirming a calculation is “As per Amendment 9”.


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