Generic Working – Council Tax liability along with HB/CTB

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  • #19676
    Anonymous
    Guest

    My staff work generically – updating the Council Tax position at the same time as assessing HB and CTB entitlements.
    I am curious as to how Benefits sections operate where they do not update Council Tax but concentrate solely on HB/CTB. If Council Tax liability needs created/ amended for your claimant do you pay HB and pend CTB until CTax is updated for example? Do you pend both benefits so that they can be notified together?

    #586
    Andy Simpson
    Participant

    Hello Ann,

    We try to work closely with are colleagues in Revenues; generally we can ring them up and they will amend a liability charge in line with info that HB have received (we both use the same DIP system and so we can view the documents that each department receives). This means that both benefits can be dealt with at the same time. There will always be occasions when a dispute arises in which case we would award HB and hold off on the CTB until it’s resolved.

    Our real problem is the constant rebanding of properties all the way back to ’93 (or off the HB system) – our HB system only holds two years of calculation and we have lost the old microfilm records (didn’t want to pay for the upkeep with the advent of the DIP system). We get a steady trickle of them and they have been ignored for some time to concentrate on other areas.

    #587
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Ann
    We work similar to Andy by the sound of it. we are totally different sections in different buildings.
    We pay HB and pend CTB but have evolved a system with CT which means that it usually takes 1-3 days for them to register new liability. We usually manage to pay within the same week. 🙂

    #588
    Andy Simpson
    Participant

    Possibly one thing I should have added to my first post.

    To save benefits staff sending a memo to the CTAX department when somebody moves to a new address (and then having to deal with the subsequent reply) we developed a system where all new HB claims where the claimant isn’t registered are sent to the CTAX office first who set up a new liability and then pass the form to our assessment section who can then process the HB/CTB.

    The agreement is that these have top priority (generally the CTAX office is more up to date than HB) and they get dealt with within a few hours to reduce the impact on PI’s. It has certainly benefited HB and the CTAX office are happy with it too as they can be sure that a liability is created and CTB paid without relying on somebody remembering to send a memo.

    #589
    Mark_Payne
    Participant

    We did have generic teams – it had advantages and disadvantages. The main being that HB/CTB staff will pick up the CT rules, but the opposite is a bit more difficult to achieve.

    We reverted to our “specialities” a number to years ago. Some assessors will process the ct adjustments, some will not. Broadly speaking those that do were previously part of the generic working.

    Those that are not so comfortable doing the CT adjustments ring or email the CT team and it’s done straight away. It would be a rare event that a claim to be held up more than few hours whilst waiting for a CT adjustment. If worse came to it (e.g. a system error) we would do the HB and not the CTB.

    #590
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks to Andy, Mark and John for their posts.
    I am surprised at the poll results so far – currently 2 to 1 [b:e77ca15472]not [/b:e77ca15472]doing Council Tax updates along with HB/CTB. This is giving me some food for thought on whether we should consider re organising our work processes. Currently I suspect that sometimes HB is being delayed/suspended unnecessarily while we sort out the full Council Tax liability position which may involve a long chain of people moving in and out of properties.
    There are definite advantages to having the whole CTAX liability and Housing and Council Tax Benefit position actioned together but this approach can have an adverse affect on benefit PI’s when the assessor also has to spend sometimes lengthy periods of time sorting out the Council Tax liability position.

    #591
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Jon sorry for misspelling your name in my previous post.

    #592
    Anonymous
    Guest

    You are completely forgiven in the spirit of Christmas (brandy, I hope 8).)

    In addition to the post below, our latest figures show that the reported changes are now actioned within 2 days, sothat there is no significant delay.

    I perhaps should have added that when we receive a claim form for Benefits, then CTax tend to action it where there is obviously not a conflict of interest / information held, and then write out for confirmation. As the vast majority of our private cases tend to include tenancy information with them, we very rarely pass on false information. They are able to check Council Tenancies through the rent accounting system anyway, so again, very little chance of error.

    It would be interesting to know the comparative size / caseloads of the LAs working in the different ways, but I don’t think we would consider doing both anyway even if we were revenues [b:95a7810e4b]and[/b:95a7810e4b] Benefits based due to effect on PFIs etc as you point out.
    Whatever you choose, hope it works well for you. 😀

    #593
    Andy Simpson
    Participant

    Nearly at 100 posts Jon, will you make it before the New Year? :16:

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