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    Can anyone tell me if there is a regulation that states the authority must conduct interventions?


    Andy Thurman

    There is no regulation (that I know of) – LA’s compelled to conduct interventions by current subsidy/admin grant regime.

    As such, if you’re trying to justify your position to a claimant (or their representative), quote “Evidence and information” regs allowing reasonable evidence to be requested at any time during an award. Then argue that it is reasonable to request the completion of a review form periodically to ensure the award is correct. Finally, point out consequences of not supplying info/evidence under these regs.


    Thank you, I knew the evidence and info regs would have to be quoted somewhere along the line, I was just worried I had missed one relating to interventions!

    Thanks for that.


    The housing and council tax benefit regulations are much weaker than the social security (claims and payments) regulations in this context.

    The C&P regulations specifically provide for claimants to comply with demands from the secretary of state for infomation to be provided in “such manner and at such times as the Secretary of State may determine”

    The above is absent from the HB Regulations where claimants are required to produce information “as may reaonably be reguired … to determine that person’s entitlement to, or continuing entitlement to housing benefit…”

    Th HB/CTB D&A Regs provide for suspension and termination for failure to provide information, but suspension cannot take place until an issue arises as to whether the conditons for entitlement are or were fulfilled or whether a previous decisons should be revised or superseded. The LA will need to identify those issues in each case before benefit can be suspended. It will not be enough for an LA simply to say that an issue had arisen without also spelling out what the issue is

    It is well established that the burden of proof in revison/supersession cases is on the person seekiing it, and I suggest that this all means that interventions must be carried out with specific questions in mind, and in cases where for example pension credit and attendance allowance is in payment, the interventions should be done with little more thatn a Rat check since anything over and above that would involve the LA intervening in areas outside of its jurisdition.

    The HB/CTB legislation does not provide for LA’s to insist on home visits or demand that claimants attend interviews. The social security legislation on the other hand does.


    I agree with Stainsby that the HB/CTB legislation is not yet fully geared up for periodic reviews during the course of an open-ended lifetime award of benefit. In particular, where fluctuating earnings or self-employed earnings have to be recalculated from time to time, there isn’t really any ground for supersession. You need a date to hang a change of circs on for D&A Regs 7 & 8 to work.

    But I think the susoension and termination mechanism is a bit stronger than the procedure Stainsby describes. It is true that the Council cannot open proceedings with a unilateral suspension unless a substantive issue has arisen. But D&A Reg 13(1) and (2)(c) allows suspension, followed uktimately by termination, as a sanction where the claimant fails to cooperate with a routine Reg 86 intervention. The exact time-table to termination is a bit muddled in my view: the amendment of Reg 14 in November 2005 was intended to thin a month out of the process but I think the wrong month was thinned out. An expert representative, and I can think of at least one of those, could argue that it is impossible to achieve a situation where Reg 86 intervention proceeds to suspension then proceeds to termination – that is because termination can only follow after suspension, yet the timetable leaves no room for suspension prior to termination. I would love to see that theory tested.

    Kevin D

    Playing Devil’s Advocate to Peter’s point about HBR 86….

    HBR 86 doesn’t make any mention of an pro-active intervention by an LA. If I was making a technical argument for a clmt, it would be simple.

    There was a mechanism for renewals up to April 2004 (earlier for 60+). This was abolished. There is no equivalent to replace it, not even by inference. As HBR 86 (then, HBR 73) has not changed in substance, it is not reasonable to try and hang an old, abolished, renewal mechanism on another reg simply for administrative convenience. If the government had intended for a formal mechanism to be in place, then it could have retained the renewal system, or replaced it with new provisions for that specific purpose. Neither happened, therefore there is no such provision.

    Um…. er….. right….. 🙂


    Kevin says Reg 86 doesn’t cover LAs making a proactive invtervention. I beg to differ:

    [quote:1c023daea5]a person who makes a claim, or a person to whom housing benefit has been awarded, shall furnish such certificates, documents, information and evidence in connection with the claim or the award, or any question arising out of the claim or the award, as may reasonably be required by the relevant authority [b:1c023daea5]in order to determine that person’s [/b:1c023daea5]entitlement to, or [b:1c023daea5]continuing entitlement to, housing benefit [/b:1c023daea5][/quote:1c023daea5]

    Isn’t determining continuing entitlement what interventions are all about?

    Kevin D


    The difficulty with that argument is the word “determine”. What has happened in the clmt’s circumstances to raise any issue of “determine”? Once a decision has been made on a claim, it has already been determined. Unless the clmt has had a CofC, there is nothing (in my opinion) that allows an LA to intervene (lawfully) unless there has been a relevant change of circs, or unless there is a (genuine) doubt as to entitlement. Without those two scenarios (CofC or doubt), there is nothing to decide / determine.

    If HBR 86 is appropriate, then why was there ever a need for benefit periods?


    The salient part of Reg 86 is “or any question arising out of the claim or the award,”

    The implication is that the question must arise first and the LA can then seek evidence to clarify the issue.

    The Regulation does not of itself authorise the intervention process. As I said earlier, the Social Security (Claims and Payments ) Regulations give specific powers to the Secretary of State for making periodic checks. There is no equivalent power for LA’s


    Kevin, the problem is you don’t know what has happened in the claimant’s circumstances. What we do know is that the majority of change of circs we deal with have come through interventions.

    No matter how many times you tell claimants about their Reg 88 duty (and we tell them on everything that goes out of the office from the claim form onwards) most cocs are going unreported.

    You used to set benefit periods according to any changes you expected them to have in the future, or to pre-set periods depending on income. That way they had to tell all on a renewal claim or you stopped paying them.

    I agree that the interventions system is not robust enough compared to renewals. The HBMS risk disks are now targeting people who’ve only just been assessed and not picking up people who haven’t had an intervention at all.

    However, Reg 86 specifically allows us to request info from people [i:596c636233]to whom housing benefit has been awarded[/i:596c636233] in order to confirm that person’s [i:596c636233]continuing entitlement to housing benefit [/i:596c636233].

    Determine comes out of “in order to”.

    First you obtain the current information from the intervention, then you use this to determine that they have continuing entitlement & whether or not the amount of that entitlement has changed.

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