Duplicate Payment

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    Joanne Ross

    A claimant has been burgled and his rent allowance has been stolen, he had already cashed the cheque.

    Is it possible to re-issue a dupilcate payment, as a alleged non-receipt, loss, theft or destruction as detailed in cell 49 fo the subsidy claim?

    If so, does anybody know how to input this payment onto SX3 / Northgate system.

    Thanks for your help


    No, you can’t reissue it.

    Whilst I have every sympathy for someone who’s burgled (having gone through it myself) you can’t give someone HB twice.

    You can reissue a cheque if it’s lost/stolen/destroyed but only because it isn’t cashed. Once it’s cashed if the tenant loses it or gets it nicked it’s their sole responsibility.



    I don’t understand the logic of this now ….
    Why is there only 25% subsidy on duplicate payments if you’re saying they can’t actually have duplicate payments!
    Any cheque that had not been cashed – we would ‘repay’ to our system and re-issue – no subsidy implications.
    We have circumstances where we might have a cheque that has been cashed and we want to issue the payment again and I thought this might be where we would issue the money again but only get 25% subsidy.
    Having said that – the cell on the subsidy claim comes under the overpayments section – which puzzles me even more.
    Can anyone offer guidance on this issue?

    Kevin D

    Duplicate payments fall under the overpayment cell because if you pay HB twice for the same period, there is clearly an overpayment (irrespective of the circs).

    In the case mentioned, the cheque has not been stolen – so no question arises as to a replacement. It’s the cash that has been stolen. So, while completely agreeing with the sympathy offered by Martin, I also think his response is correct.

    As an aside, why would an LA want to pay twice? If the first cheque is simply repaid to the LA, or stopped, the second cheque still only represents one payment. So long as only one payment is made, it is eligible for full subsidy (even if it is the second attempt to make that payment).

    Hope that helps.


    I think the subsidy category is for instrument of payment fraud where the claimant is an innocent victim. If the claimant gives you a plausible account of theft or loss of the cheque and you accept that they have acted in good faith, you might not be quick enough to stop the thief from cashing it. In a case like that, you take a generous view and regard it as theft from the authority or perhaps the bank, rather than theft from the claimant. You can then make a duplicate payment so that the claimant gets their benefit.

    In a case where the claimant has already cashed the cheque himself/herself and someone then steals the money, it is more like theft from the claimant and most councils would probably not issue a further payment.

    I think a fair comparison can be made with identity theft banking fraud – if someone cleans out my bank account while pretending to be me, the bank will accept that as theft from them, not from me, even if the thief got hold of my details from me and not the bank (by phishing for example) – as long as I was not negligent. But if I draw £100 out of a cash machine and someone mugs me as I am walking away, that’s theft from me and not from the bank.

    I have never worked in payment control but I would assume that councils, just like ordinary citizens, would normally be able to persuade the bank to pick up the tab for ID fraud, including the cashing of stolen cheques. I don’t know a huge amount about the law on phishing etc but I have heard that the bank will reimburse the customer as long as the customer has not been negligent. Presumably this applies if the bank’s customer is a local authority too? I imagine the 25% subsidy is to cover the time and trouble involved in getting reimbursed, and also to cover those cases where the bank is not satisfied and declines to reimburse the council’s account.


    Errr, Kevin. Who’s Matthew?? 😀

    Kevin D

    *cough* Haven’t got a clue…..

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