DHP when no HB in payment

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    sue large

    I have been passed an appeal regarding the refusal of a DHP.

    we have allowed backdating and a DHP for a clmt as very vulnerable, however, the local advice agency has requested/appealed against the decision not to award a DHP for the periods July 2001 to Oct 2001 and Nov 2002 to Jan 2003. Our reason to disallow is purely because the clmt was not in receipt of HB/CTB, even though they were getting IS during both periods, it is now to far back to backdate.

    the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001 (section 2) state

    [color=red:7ebd299306][/color:7ebd299306][i]Subject to paragraph 2 and 3 and the following regulations. a relevant authority may make payments by way of financial assistance (“discretionary housing payment”) to persons who –
    (a) are entitled to housing beneift or council tax benefit or both: and
    (b)appear to such authority to require some further financial assistance (in addition to the benfit or benefits to which they are entitled) in order to meet housing costs

    the advice worker submit that we erred in law in making our decision that their client “would have to have already been in recipt of housing benefit during these periods”

    they argue that as he was entitled to IS, he would have had an entitlement to HB/CTB (had he claimed them)

    My understanding is that to pay a DHP the clmt must be actually receiving HB/CTB – not just have an underlying entitlement to HB/CTB,

    Any help would be great 🙄


    My understanding has always been that a person must be getting HB to qualify for a DHP to help with their rent and CTB to get help with their council tax.

    The analysis in the CPAG book to the reg you qoute says ‘…a claimant is not entitled to benefits unless they are claimed ..’ would, in my view support your argument.

    I also have a guidance note, dated 16 March 2001, from the then Department of Social Security, which says that one of the criteria to be satisfied is that the person must be entitled to HB/CTB.

    It might be that the person would have had an entitlement but, because he didn’t claim, he wasn’t entitled.

    Hope this helps


    I agree with your analysis; there can be no entitlement to HB without a claim. I’m sure you know Reg 65 of General Regs refers also to entitlement and I suggest you could use this in your argument.
    I presume it’s an internal appeal as there are no statotory appeal rights against refusal of DHP’s

    sue large

    yes it’s an internal review –

    I also feel that as part of the reg states (in addition to the benefit or benefits to which they are entitled) it would be impossible to know the amount of entitlement – and the shortfall – to be able to consider what amount we would consider under the DHP scheme- unless thay had made an actual claim in the first place

    thank you all for your comments 😆


    Don’t know whether this is of any use but here goes anyway.

    In a previous life when I worked for the Benefits Agency as it was then, I was responsible for dealing with the under 18’s. I had to interview them and then ring Glasgow for a direction on whether they could be paid IS. Their view and one I use to some extent when considering hardship was that really there is no such thing as retrospective hardship, i.e. if they’ve got through it, it wasn’t really hardship!
    I wouldn’t consider paying DHP to clear a debt that old, especially as they hadn’t taken all steps at the time to maximise their income.

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