Housing Benefit Claim will not be met

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    Paul Owen

    Hi Guys

    I have along term tenant who had her calim for benefit suspended whilst it was reassessed due to her employment. It was for several weeks, and the tenant was to provide wage slips to show her income.

    The tenant tells me she couldn't provide the information within the timescales requested as her employer as out of the country. The HB has told her they will not reassess the claim because they wee not informed of the situation. Her claim has been restarted and in payment, but there are several weeks of rent missing now because of this.

    What advice and help can i offer my tenant, as i am outstanding rent?

    Andy Thurman

    If the LA has taken this approach then it may not be a quick solution but your tenant should definitely appeal in writing asap.
    The LA may technically have acted correctly but this will depend on exact timescales before/after the decision to end her previous award – if she got back to them within one month of this date with the missing evidence (regardless of any reason for the earlier lack of contact or supply) then the decision should really have been revised – no need for a new claim.
    If she’s prepared to give you dates of all letters etc. – specifically when she was asked to provide, when she was notified of the decision to end her benefit and when her “new claim” was made, I’ll be able to give better advice.

    One of my bugbear areas this – finding reasons not to pay rather than reasons to allow it.

    Paul Owen

    I have a copy of the letter from the HB Office to the tenant, i have copied the reply!

    I have decided that i cannot backdate your benefit.
    My reasons are as follows:
    I wrote to you on 06 June 2012 and asked you to provide your payslips and to see if you wanted us to contact your employer direct to obtain proof of your earnings. As you did not reply by the deadline of 6 July 2012 your claim was closed on 16 July 2012. We did not receive your payslips dated 30 June 2012 and 31 July 2012 until 21 August 2012.

    You have stated that your employer was out of the country. However, you did not notify us that your employer was out of the country until 16 January 2013. Also, your employer being out of the country would not have prevented your from sending in your payslips earlier than 21 August 2012.

    You state that you telephoned our office to notify us that your employer was out of the country. You did not telephone our office until 26 September 2012.

    As you have claimed benefit before, you should now be aware of the need to provide the information we request by the deadline stated in our letters.


    So now you need to get the tenant to sign an appeal letter to go to the independent Tribunal. Do it asap!

    The reasons would be “I have already explained the reasons for sending in the information late. I believe this is good cause. Alternatively, I believe you could reopen my claim from 16 July 2012 without needing to consider backdating. I do not believe you have followed the correct lawful procedures.

    Either way, please forward my case to an independent Tribunal without further delay as this matter may jeopodise my tenancy”.

    Paul Owen


    It looks like we are going to appeal, i have just received a large pack of information about this claim.

    Any help or advice welcome!

    i have all the information now and it looks like they will not pay as the tenant didn@t provide the information in the timescales given

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