Inclusion of DLA in calculation

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  • #19589
    Jules
    Participant

    I just wondered whether other authorities include DLA in the assessment of DHP’s?

    We include it and then try to include any additional costs the customer has to pay as expenditure. However, someone in our Welfare Rights section knows of one LA that does not include DLA in their assessment (this is also stated in their DHP policy).

    Also, a member of our LAs Fairer Charging team says that in their assessment, even if the customer is receiving high rate DLA, they can only include the middle rate.

    I just wondered how other authorities treat cases with DLA.

    #277
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I’m a bit confused as to what additional calculation authorities are doing when deciding whether or not to award a DHP. If there is not enough HB/CTB to meet liability they are in need aren’t they? DLA is disregarded in the calculation of HB because it has been awarded for a claimant’s care/mobility needs and is not intended to be used towards rent. You can’t then expect the clt to use it towards unmet housing costs when deciding whether he is a “worthy” case.

    #278
    fionacowan
    Participant

    when we consider somebody’s income and expenditure for dhp purposes we offset dla/aa against extra expenses which are care related e.g. food, cleaning, maybe an extra room for a carer. We don’t take the income into account but neither do we allow the care related expenses.

    #279
    Jules
    Participant

    Thanks for that Fiona – that’s what I really want to suggest to our managers but I was trying to get an idea of what other authorities are doing so I’ve got something to back up my argument.

    Chris, I’m a bit confused. You say

    [quote:d73c35d66c]I’m a bit confused as to what additional calculation authorities are doing when deciding whether or not to award a DHP.[/quote:d73c35d66c]

    How can we decide how much to pay if we don’t do any additional calculation?

    #280
    Anonymous
    Guest

    The bottom line is that they are potentially entitled to any shortfall between eligible rent/council tax and the actual benefit awarded. How much you pay depends on the state of your budget and (it follows) a subjective assessment of how much to use on this case, bearing in mind there are others with equally good claims. Are there degrees of hardship? I suppose the old Reg 11 distinction might help, but what further [b:71b436a599]financial [/b:71b436a599]assessment do you need to do?

    #281
    Jules
    Participant

    We ask for details of the customer’s expenditure so that we can decide how much help they need. Without this I’m not sure how else we can make a decision on how much to pay as we don’t have all the information to do so. While we are keen to use our budget I don’t think we can justify just awarding a DHP without knowing all the facts.

    #282
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I think the whole basis of DHPs can cause problems due to the discretionary (and subjective) nature of it, and I don’t think there is a perfect system for calculating it – or at least I’ve not come accross one.

    Though no criticism intended, I lean more towards Chris’ argument, as although we do ask for details of financial expendiure, and if there are large amounts spent down the “Dog and Duck” or the “King’s Head” we would be less sympathetic when considering DHP. But it wouldn’t STOP us awarding one because the ultimate check and balance is the budget we have is cash limited.

    SO
    [list]it is subjective
    there are others with equally good claims
    I think we can justify awarding DHP without some kind of assessment
    it will be unfair to some, (in the way that the Social Fund is for example) /list]

    As Chris says “Are there degrees of hardship?”. Hardship is hardship, no matter how hard it is, – and that may not be fair, but it is the system we operate in. 8)

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