DHP – ARE THERE ANY NEW GUIDELINES?

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  • #19609
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Please accept my apologies,
    this is a DHP enquiry, but I have not had any replies from the DHP message board. 😳

    I have been informed that there are new DHP Guidelines, but I have been unable to find anything.

    Please can anyone tell me where the new guidelines are to be found.

    #337
    andyrichards
    Participant

    This was emailed to us by Corporate Document Services. Speak to whoever gets your DWP circulars.

    #338
    seanosul
    Participant

    There are new guidelines and they are very well written. They should result in LAs moving away from “exceptional hardship” style decisions as there is no mention of income / expenditure tests and it actually encourages LAs to identify cases for DHPs.

    #339
    GHE
    Participant

    Could someone add this to the library if possible?

    It has not been received by any of the usual channels here either.

    #340
    seanosul
    Participant

    Sent!

    #341
    jmembery
    Participant

    Sean.. out of interest, what is your view on the bit in “What DHPs cannot cover”

    Edit.. Sorry in the origional post I cut and pasted the wrong bit.
    Shortfalls caused by HB/CTB overpayment recovery: when recovery of an HB/CTB overpayment is taking place, such shortfalls should not be considered for a DHP.

    #342
    seanosul
    Participant

    I read that and had bad thoughts 😈 – essentially the DWP are saying although they did not intend it to be lawful to use DHPs for repayment of overpayments by instalment, they admit that the way the law is currently worded it is a possibility that an authority may do so – so they are changing the law.

    So that means between now and April – it is ok ?

    #343
    jmembery
    Participant

    My thoughts also. Hmmmm…

    #344
    seanosul
    Participant

    From the flysheet:

    [quote:3ac690104c]provision has been inserted to ensure that a DHP cannot cover a period when there is no simultaneous entitlement to either HB or CTB. This was also said to be the accepted interpretation of the regulations and we wanted to clarify the regulations to this effect[/quote:3ac690104c]

    Not if you had read the DHP board on this forum.

    #345
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote:728208aa4e]Shortfalls caused by HB/CTB overpayment recovery: when recovery of an HB/CTB overpayment is taking place, such shortfalls should not be considered for a DHP.[/quote:728208aa4e]

    That makes perfect sense to me – if the decision to recover an overpayment is discretionary, why should an authority recover it and then repay the shortfall through a seperate scheme? If you decide not to recover an overpayment the authority should take the subsidy hit, otherwise your are essentially siphoning the DHP budget into the authority’s subsidy claim.

    #346
    seanosul
    Participant

    It does indeed make perfect sense – however it will be unlawful to do so from April, which means that it is lawful to do so prior to April.

    (Although it would take some people I know more than 10 days of persuasion to convince them of this, which means it would no longer be lawful)

    #347
    markg
    Participant

    See new SI effective from 07.04.08;

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/uksi_20080637_en_1

    #348
    seanosul
    Participant

    The Goal:-
    [quote:3126b166ba]Regulation 5
    – a provision has been inserted to ensure that a DHP cannot cover a period when there is no simultaneous entitlement to either HB or CTB. This was also said to be the accepted interpretation of the regulations and we wanted to clarify the regulations to this effect[/quote:3126b166ba]

    The new wording

    [quote:3126b166ba](2) A relevant authority may make discretionary housing payments to a person only in respect of a period during which that person is or was entitled to housing benefit or council tax benefit or to both[/quote:3126b166ba]

    Goal not met ??

    #349
    jmembery
    Participant

    Not in my view, if this was an attempt to close the loophole IMHO it failed.
    Jeff

    #350
    Kevin D
    Participant

    It’s difficult to know whether or not the DWP really did think there was a hole, or whether or not they just wanted to make sure there wasn’t a hole.

    In HBR 7(6)(d), the DWP changed the wording as a result of one of the stranger CDs (CSHB/0873/2005). This directly contradicted CSHB/0385/2005. Even though “0873” quoted the wrong law, the DWP in any event decided to firm up the wording of the reg – even though they were pretty sure that it meant what it said in the first place.

    Personally, I find it frustrating that the DWP appear to be quite happy to spend time dealing with the easy ambiguities than to grapple with the myriad other harder difficulties caused by poorly drafted legislation. Obvious example, is prison a “dwelling”? Legal clarification of those issues would be far more constructive. I could go on, but hey, there is life outside benefits….

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