delays in actions savings credit notifications

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    One of those questions you are sure you know the answer to until someone puts a doubt in your mind…

    We have a number of Savings Credit notifications that for various reasons got sat on for a few weeks. When we do them, the period from when we got them to when we do them will be LA error. Because the claimants knew they were getting the credit they should have also known that they should have notified HB, so it will be a recoverable overpayment.

    BUT someone tells me that in a leaflet that goes out with the savings credit letter to the claimant, they are told that they do not have to tell us about the savings credit because the Pensions Service will do that.

    If that is not the case (I haven’t seen the leaflet), is it right that such overpayments be recoverable?

    If that is the case, does anyone know the exact wording of the leaflet?


    In a SC case, the claimant is not required to notify you about the commencement of that SC or the AIF: see Reg 75 paras (5), (6) and especuially (7):

    [i:58758b3727]”A person who is on housing benefit and on state pension credit need only report to the designated office the changes specified in paragraphs (5) and (6)”.[/i:58758b3727]

    This means that the claimant is excluded the general duty to report set out in para (1): it’s a closed list. From the moment you had the information, any payment subsequently issued was inescapably an official error overpayment I think, so the recovery test is the “reasonably expected to know” one. The advice given in the leaflet may well be relevant in deciding whether such cases are recoverable: if you’ve been told that you don’t have to be concerned about something, you are less likely to pay close attention to it. You’d be inclined to think that the council and DWP will sort it out between them. Only after months or years go by would you start to wonder.


    Peter is quite right – these OP’s cannot be recoverable and I cannot see any possible grounds.

    I think this is a good example of HB Services needing to get to grips (or trying to understand) that the Pension Service is the contact point and the front office for HB claims. Pensioners are no longer required to duplicate passing information from official to official. But I wonder how many HB staff really understand this.

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