Direct Access – HB Verification – Good Practice

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  • #20969
    Anonymous
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    We operate a direct access scheme for homeless young people. All referrals are from the local authority social services department.

    We are experiencing difficulties with HB claims – often users don’t have much in the way of identification eg passport, bank statement for verification purposes. In some cases when we have submitted what we consider sufficient verification and get a response a month later from HB requesting further documentation by which time the young person has left.

    We are losing a considerable amount of rent because of this.

    I would appreciate it if providers or HB sections could let me have examples of good practice in operation that ensure losses are minimised.

    Thanks in advance

    c.draper@syha.co.uk

    #4050
    Anonymous
    Guest

    the Verification Framework is NOT part of the HB Regs. The info reqd to make a claim VF compliant is NOT always what would be acceptable to input an HB claim.
    The LA cannot ask for more than is ‘reasonably reqd in order to determine entitlement. This includes evidence of ID.
    If a young person who is being referred from the social services has not got a passport/bank account etc then it should be sufficient to input a claim using verification of the NINO. I would guess that most if not all of these people are getting a passported benefit from the DWP ??

    Reasonableness is going out of the window with VF due to the cost implications of not being compliant on each and every claim !!

    #4051
    Anonymous
    Guest

    On the face of it surprised that you are having trouble with you local LA as they were involved in a recent pilot with RSLs on the issue of Veification. The attached good practise guide came out of it:

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/housingbenefit/publications/2003/rsl-vf/rslvf-guide.pdf

    As theron says, VF is not part of the HB Regs but the authority is required to make a decision on a claim, which can be challenged. Admitedly not much use for you if your tenant has since left.

    Any authority should be reasonable though in cases such as this and if you can get a liaison contact (may be part of your SLA) I would get in touch with them to seek a way forward.

    It may not always be possible to have every piece of VF required evidence for some client groups but it a “picture can be established” then that should sufficce.

    #4052
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks Phil – very useful link – and thanks to you and theron for your comments on VF.

    BTW it isn’t the LA where I’m located we are having difficulties with.

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