Intention to make a claim – no definate address

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    Louise Morritt

    We have a couple of instances where potential claimants have notified us that they intend to move into this area and have requested application forms. However they have not yet got an actual address to which they are going to move to.

    Should we record an intention to claim in such circumstances? Obviously this will cause us a problem with our Dip systems as we have no address to index documents too until they make a claim.


    I think you should. There is provision in the regs to claim up to 13 weeks in advance of the start of entitlement. That surely has to include cases where someone has yet to move into the property in question. The only caveat, I guess, would be that if no effective claim is made after 13 weeks have elapsed then it is null and void (that latter phrase is obviously from the 2006 Made Up By Me Regs, not the 2006 HB Regs!)


    I once read an interesting post on Rightsnet by, if I recall correctly, Paul Stagg on the 13 week rule and how the drafting of the reg makes it practically unworkable.

    The regulation states “unless there is a change of circumstances he will be entitled to Housing Benefit….etc, etc”

    However, if, for example a change of address, is counted as a change of circumstances, than in almost all possible cases a claimant will [b:eb02c9697f]not[/b:eb02c9697f] be entitled to HB unless there is a change of circumstances.

    In the example of this post the claimant is not entitled now, and will only be made entitled by a change of circumstances (a change of address) bringing him outside of this regulation.

    I notice that the analysis in the latest CPAG gets around this by talking about “known circumstances”, but, although no doubt in line with the legislations intention, is not what the regs say.

    Andy Thurman

    Surely there are 2 issues here:
    1. “Intention to claim rules” – I think these should be applied (despite the software limitations!) but the actual form will, of course, be required within one month. This could help potential standard claimants if they call the week before they move as they will effectively have a small extension to their time limit for having a start date of the date they moved in.
    2. 13wk rule – The “change of circs” referred to is, I believe, (as CPAG’s stance) about ‘known’ changes. Strictly, therefore, I would say it could only be applied where the future liability was already confirmed – not for someone ‘intending to move’.
    I don’t think you’d be going too wrong to advise the caller to contact you again as soon as they have secured a tenancy – you can then apply IOC & 13wk rules (once form rec’d) as required. 😉

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