Benefit period extensions

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    What are your thoughts on whether it is worth extending benefit periods until 6/10/03?

    I realise we are probably behind the game here but certain problems in house existed, honest guv’nr.

    It occurs that we may (read likely) have a large number of people who will need to have new claims submitted come october when the exceptions come to light in addition to the people who have either not claimed or the DWP have not done the assessment etc. It could have been made a whole lot simplier if all benefit periods were scrapped at the same time I suppose.

    Have I missed something? What are you doing?


    We only managed to prevent three weeks worth of reviews going out, because we review 13 weeks in advance instead of the usual 8. We’ve added a benefit period to them so they don’t expire before 5/10/03. We are continuing to pull pensioner reviews on a weekly basis i.e. those with expiry dates after 5/10/03. We will be able to extend their BP’s if necessary in October in the event that the software to add Pensioner Periods isn’t ready.
    Hope this is useful


    Although a claim can be treated as a renewal up to 13 weeks before end of the Benefit Period. A renewal claim should not be issued more than 8 weeks before the end of a Benefit Period.

    CTBR 62 (15)(b),HBR 72(14)(b).


    I guess more simply what I am asking is

    Do you think it is worth removing ben periods if the numbers of cases notified as being pen cr from october is fairly low etc?

    Has anyone seen estimates on the % of cases where we will be able to remove benefit periods?

    Additionally does anyone have a copy of the email around 12/6/03 entitled HB/CTB scan layout which I believe has a test version of the proposed pen cr file.

    Julian Hobson

    I stand to be corrected but don’t confuse entitlement to Pension Credit with abolition of BP’s for pensioners.

    All PC age customers will have BP abolished unless they elect to stay on IS as opposed to moving to PC.

    Don’t confuse IS with MIG all pensioner MIG customers will move to PC it is only those pensioners on IS at the moment who chose not to move to PC that will be treated as working age.

    The upshot is that the majority 99.9% of pensioners will have benefit periods abolished and so yes it certainly is worthwhile.

    Those issuing forms too early are likely to be issuing renewals for cases where the BP is due to end after 06/10/03 I would say that the transitory provisions do not apply to those cases and hence you don’t have a choice. You should not be issuing forms.

    If I’m wrong l apologise I’m sure other members will let me know ?


    I have phoned the Adelphi with the following:

    I.S (over 60) claims were due to be renewed after June 2003 and as a result of the transitional arrangements we pushed the claims to a maximum of 85 weeks. The 85 weeks run out before April 2004 when all benefit periods are abolished. My worry is that the claimants may opt to stay on I.S or that Pension Credit is not assessed by ‘A day’ 2003 and as a result may be subject to a further review.

    Could we face subsidy penalties for paying these claims over 60 weeks in the first instance ?.

    No reply as yet.


    I see this differently from Julian so maybe someone else can step in and settle it.

    I agree with the general thrust that it is definitely worthwhile to extend periods and avoid pensioner renewal claims from now onwards.

    I don’t go along with Julian’s analysis of the IS/MIG issue. The way I understood it is that anyone on MIG will be moved automatically onto Pension Credits – they have no choice in this. However, MIG is simply another name for Income Support for pensioners. The only “pensioners getting income support/JSA(IB)” (as opposed to MIG) are those where either:

    a) the pensioner is the partner on an Income Support claim of someone under 60, or

    b) the pensioner has chosen to continue to sign on for JSA(IB) up to the age of 65 instead of claiming MIG. As far as I know it would only be sensible to do this if you have a deficient NI contributions record.

    Is this correct?


    Mark, this is the exact reponse which the DWP gave in one of their “FAQs” for the October changes.

    These FAQ’s are now on the DWP website under the “Pension Credit” section (dated 21/7/03). I also spoke to our local Pension Service and they confimed that all existing MIG customers would be moved automatically to PC – there was no choice !!!


    Ah ha. I see the “what’s new” button on the DWP HB pages isn’t quite up to speed then. Do you mean the external questions log? If so which question number is it?


    Sorry – just found it – 111 and 113.


    Further clarification is given in the answers to questions 134 and 138.

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