Benefit prior to occupation

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    Lady flees her property with her 6 year old daughter due to fear of violence with no possesions other then the clothes she is wearing and goes to a womens refuge on the 20.06.06. She was a HB claimant whilst living at the property.

    She is then offered a HA property with a tenancy start date of the 11.09.06 but can’t move in until 15.09.06.

    She was not awaiting the outcome of a social fund loan or disablement adaptions or in hospital or a nursing home prior to moving in.

    She was only able to move in after the HA offices had a whip round and were able to provide some basic amenities for her i.e. bed etc.

    Can we pay the period of the 11.09.06 – 15.09.06 in any way under the HB regs and if not could we award a DHP for this period?

    Any help much appreciated,



    I had a very similar scenario last week and came to the conclusion that unfortunately we could not pay before the claimant had moved in because the two homes regs only apply where the second home is a previous address or a temporary address, not the new address. She could not be treated as ‘occupying the dwelling as her home’ so we could not pay.

    I also came to the conclusion that there was no possibility of a DHP because there was no entitlement on top of which a shortfall could be paid. As I understand it DHP cannot replace a benefit entitlement but exists only to top it up where it exists in the first place.

    I searched high and low in the regs but couldn’t find any way to pay the claimant, who like you I felt was deserving.


    DHP can be used to pay up to the full amount of the rent. As it is seperate from HB, you do not have to take the amount of HB into account. So, if someone is getting full HB, you can still pay a DHP of the full rent liabiliy, if you see what I mean.

    I’m sure that I’ve explained this better in this thread

    Hope this helps


    I agree with Emma’s posting – you can’t pay HB prior to occupation in this case & as there is no HB entitlement, a DHP can’t be awarded (SI 2001 no 1167, para 2(1a).

    Perhaps you could persuade the HA to have another whip round…


    Or perhaps the local authority should have a whip round……


    We did – she now owes us £5.90 😆


    I was suggesting that whilst a DHP couldn’t be paid for the period 11.09.06 – 15.09.06, one could be paid for the full amount of the rent (or HB entilement, whichever you like) for the period 15/09/06 to 19/09/2006, covering the same number of days. This would give the same effect as if it had been paid for the earlier period.

    Its a bit of a fudged workaround, but I’m sure that its legal, and allows you to pay for the period, abit as a DHP. 😀

    Hope this is more helpful

    Julian Hobson

    I think you can pay.

    There are two sorts of DHP:

    1. Rent = £100 Hb=£80.00 (either because of income or Ro restriction etc) DHP = upto £20.00. This maximum is dictated by reg4 of the DFA regs 2001.

    2. A lump sum one off payment calculated in any way you wish as long as you accept that there is a need under reg 2(1)(b).

    Don’t confuse the need and the period in which the need originally arose, with the entitled to HB/CTB requirement.

    All you need is to be currently entitled to HB/CTB in order to satisfy reg 2(1)(a) and have a need under reg 2(1)(b). The two don’t have to be linked.

    Someone is going to say “what about reg 3(f) it says you can’y pay for arrears” I say it doesn’t. Reg 3(f) says that where rent is increased to cover arrears (see analysis to old reg 8(2A) in CPAG) you can’t top up the payment that was restricted under 8(2A). In otherwords if reg 8(2A) of the old HB regs doesn’t apply to your case, neither does 3(f) of the DFA regs.

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