Late Notification of Savings Credit Award

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    david farrar

    In January 2004, claimant is notified that he has been awarded Savings Credit of £13.00 w/e/f 6 October 2003.

    No notification is received by Local Authority from Pensions Service of the award, however it is picked up in May up as part of a Risk-based intervention.

    Since Reg 68B(5) says that the award should only be included from the Monday after the LA is notified by the SoS, my question is: should the award only be included from May despite the claimant having been notified of the award 4 months ago?

    Would it make a difference whether: –
    a) the Pension Service were at fault for not putting HB/CTB indicator on
    b) the claimant had told the Pensions Service that they were not claiming either HB/CTB

    Julian Hobson

    Yes it would make a difference. I think you need to find out how the situation occured and make the decision accordingly.


    I disagree Julian. Assuming that the award will decrease HB there are only two possible dates from which HB could be affected – the date the LA was notified by the Pension Service or the date the award started where this is later. In the scenario that David poses the LA could not possibly amend the HB/CTB award unless and until it had received notification from the Pension Service itself. In practice I think this must mean that any sensible LA will contact the Pension Service to get the necessary details. The date it does this on (or the date it receives the response) then becomes the effective date of change (or the date the award starts if this is later). I assume that if the information is provided over the phone this can be counted as the date the LA was told although it is unfortunate that the regs are vague about this.


    I think Mark is right. This is because the change of circumstance is a new award or increase of Pension Credit, rather than a reduction or cessation of it. In these circumstances, there can be no question of blaming the claimant for any delay is raising the matter with DWP to start with. He can never be penalised for any delay in the liaison process, the whole thing is ETD driven. His HB goes down from the Monday after the ETD.

    Mark raises the question whether this is a new HB claim not already in payment. There is an interesting (? – it is to me anyway) argument here about whether arrears of Savings Credit paid after the effective date of the HB claim, but before that claim is decided, amount to circumstances not obtaining at the date of claim for CSPSSA Sched 7.2 purposes. There are two options as I see it:

    – decide the claim on the basis of the claimant’s circumstances as they were known to be at the effective date of the claim, then make a superseding decision under Reg 68B. This way, the claimant gets clean away with the arrears
    – treat the arrears of SC as circumstances now known to exist with effect from the date of claim, and include them in the initial decision.

    This issue only arises with Savings Credit, because arrears of all other benefits would be taken back to the date of claim in any case as a change of circs, so the outcome would be the same either way.

    There must be loads of these cases because of the transitional claims rules.

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