How does your authority process a living together case?

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  • #46292
    Karen
    Participant

    The reason I am asking is because the DWP say that we are the only Scottish authority not following DWP decisions by cancelling out the benefit completely.

    When we receive a DWP fraud case regarding ‘living together’, we check the initial DWP decision to see if there is, in fact, enough evidence / information indicating that there is a living together case.  If there is a doubt that the claim is not a living together case, we remove the income support entitlement from the claimant, but enter her income as basic in order for full benefit to be reinstated.

    If there is enough information to prove the living together, but no evidence with regards to the alleged partner’s wages/income, and if the DWP do not hold any further information, the adjudication team have to request it.  We do this in order to give the claimant a chance to supply all evidence so that a correct benefit award can be made, and reducing the overpayment, as per Reg 104 (underlying entitlement)

    The DWP say that we should not be looking any further than their file, but I have expalined that they follow different regulations, and that we must look at the case independently and have all income details if possible, prior to any adverse decision being made.

    So, I would be grateful, if you could ask our fellow colleagues if they do the same with their fraud cases, if you want to email me direct my address is:  patersonk@northlan.gov.uk,

      

    #130618
    markp
    Participant

    Looks OK to me. It seems that DWP are making the usual mistake of not considering HB/CTB to be in – work benefits (possibly following Government attitudes on welfare reform but don’t get me started on that!).
    If you do not get the information you need you will have to draw an inference which may well be a nil entitlement to HB/CTB. It’s how we would consider it , certainly at appeal stage, in Wolverhampton. I know that there can be subtle differences between Engish and Scottish law but I don’t think this would be one of them.
    You are doing things correctly so stick to it.

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................

    #130647
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    Agree with Mark. The only thing I would add is that it isn’t even a question of UE – simply a supersession from the date IS is ended.

    It is actually quite shocking and disturbing that DWP are saying this to you and that so many other LA’s are (apparently) following this completely incorrect approach.

    #130658
    jamcon
    Participant

    I’ve often found that the DWP will have the necessary information to recalculate the claim, but rarely send it onto the LA. Our fraud officers have a good relationship with their DWP counterparts and simply ask them to send it on. It may be worth asking if the DWP have the information before making an adverse inferrence.

    #130659
    Karen
    Participant

    thanks for your replies.

    Jamcon – we try our best to gather all the information first, so that the adverse is a last resort, but either the DWP don’t hold the info, or they decided they won’t send it over :~

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