Audit request on ‘Old Scheme’ case

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  • #39570
    ben steventon
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I wonder if anybody can give me a glimmer of hope on this. I have posted in the subsidy forum also but it seems nobody is viewing that at present.

    I have just had a query raised by our auditor regarding an old scheme pre 1996 case. Basically they are looking to confirm continuous HB prior to Jan ’96.

    This is impossible for us to prove as our migrated system data from when we changed to IBS (now Civica) went back as far as 2001; no claims excepted to this even the pre ’96 cases.

    I can’t prove this by way of documents either as they are 15+ years old and will have been destroyed. It seems they want to qualify this issue stating expenditure in cell 098 is inaccurate, given the lack of evidence.

    Is it realistic to ask for evidence that is efectively 15+ years old? Any arguments in my favour would be fantastic, I fear they won’t let this one go.

    Thoughts/opinions greatly appreciated.

    #112555
    Anonymous
    Guest

    All I can suggest is that the claimant might be able help you out by retrieving entitlement letters prdating your currenmt system, or evidence that s/he has had an income that is consistent with never having dropped out of HB throughout that time. If the claimant is a pensioner with a stable income and was already overt pension age by the start of 1996 it would be reasonable to infer unbroken entitlement.

    #112562
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    Another from of proof I’ve used in similar scenarios is ctax records – can you show benefit received on the account throughout?

    This is particularly effective if it shows posting dates at each year end.

    The other thing with old “old scheme” cases (as opposed to exempt) is that the rent is often very reasonable – I note your post is talking cell 098 and not 096/097. If ROD’s show “LRR equal/higher than CRR” you can argue that any movement (to 099) would have no net financial impact.

    #112586
    ben steventon
    Participant

    [quote=Andy Thurman]Another from of proof I’ve used in similar scenarios is ctax records – can you show benefit received on the account throughout?

    This is particularly effective if it shows posting dates at each year end.

    The other thing with old “old scheme” cases (as opposed to exempt) is that the rent is often very reasonable – I note your post is talking cell 098 and not 096/097. If ROD’s show “LRR equal/higher than CRR” you can argue that any movement (to 099) would have no net financial impact.[/quote]

    That would have been a great one Andy, but unfortunately the C/Tax account for anything between 1996 & 2000 shows any benefit, payments or account adjustments as ‘Other’. Fortunately they are cell 98 cases as you say so if qualified, we would quite rightly argue wrong cell, but no financial impact.

    Thanks for your responses.

    #112599
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    [quote=ben steventon]That would have been a great one Andy, but unfortunately the C/Tax account for anything between 1996 & 2000 shows any benefit, payments or account adjustments as ‘Other’. [/quote]

    Any “other” postings at year-end might still be reasonably accepted as proof?
    The only problem with accepting the non-financial qualification is that you may be being forced ongoing to amend cases that compromise the claimant’s rights to be assessed under these rules. I would be tempted to ask the auditor if they felt that was appropriate!

    #112604
    Kevin D
    Participant

    I’m just amazed at how arbitrarily the DWP and many LAs dispose of live records. In the past few days, someone has sent me a FtTD relating to a DWP case where it was argued for the clmt that she had never been notified of a superseding decision that resulted in an overpayment. The DWP couldn’t provide evidence of what notifications, if any, had ever been sent and admitted to the Tribunal this was down to its policy on destroying documents.

    Unsurprisingly, the Tribunal found (emphatically) that the DWP had failed to carry the burden of showing a legally effective decision had been made and, in turn, that there was any overpayment let alone a recoverable overpayment. The basis of the decision was that the absence of a notification meant the DWP’s decision was of no legal effect – “Anufrijeva” cited for the clmt and positively accepted by the FtTJ. The alleged associated overpayment was ┬úthousands.

    If Tribunals are sceptical of what was / wasn’t done, it would be a bit surprising if auditors didn’t want more than verbal assurances.

    #112609
    jmembery
    Participant

    I suppose it depends upon your Auditor.

    We had a similar issue a couple of years ago and I successfully argued that unless the Auditor was saying they failed to do their job properly last year, the claim, including that case, had been passed as correct by them last year so I therefore only had to show continuous entitlement since last year as all previous year had been covered by previous audits.

    #112610
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    That’s a fair point Kevin but, in this sort of case, I reckon it backs up what I was saying i.e. without evidence to the contrary, how can a case assessed as “old scheme” be revised to “new” without proof it is wrong!
    I forgot to add that a further measure taken in such circs has been to get statements from claimants – I recall this worked fine with establishing “regulated” cases but the principle also applies here. “I can confirm that I have lived in this address since {some pre 96 date) and that I have been claiming HB continuously since…”

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