Late notified…advantageous…change of address!

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    Sorry to raise this again! However, I recently re-read some older posts on this subject and it seemed that some authorities were treating a change of address (late and advantageous) for CTB purposes as a change of liablity and saying there was no duty to notify so therefore pay the increased CTB from the change.

    Others were saying it is primarily a change of address, there is a duty to notify so we should pay the old rate of CTB up to the date they told us. However no one seemed to know how they could get the software to do this.

    In the case we have, the claimant didn’t tell anyone in the Council that they had moved. The landlord at the new address received a standard enquiry form from the Ctax section and replied telling them details of the new tenant who had been there several months by then. A bill to the claimant followed shortly after which prompted the claimant to put in a claim (ie notify us of the change of address).

    So the question is….what would you do with CTB in this case?

    Any opinions welcome as ever. Many thanks!


    To be honest, I’m not sure what we’d do; as far as I know the scenario has yet to crop up!

    Thoughts anyone? đŸ˜•


    Thanks Andy. Does the lack of response possibly mean that others are also not sure or that it hasn’t cropped up at all yet?


    I think you should change the CTB award in line with liability as determined by your CTax section. As you indicate in first para, CTB reg 74(3) says:
    ‘The duty imposed on a person by paragraph (1) does not extend to notifying changes—
    (a) in the amount of council tax payable to the relevant authority;

    It can certainly be argued that all that has changed is the amount of council tax: consequently, it does not matter the date that this change happens. (There seems to be little point in complicating the issue if you don’t have to – of course the change in rent to the private l/lord is a change that should be reported.)



    It certainly would make things simpler and I presume the same would then apply to LA tenants?

    I would still be interested to know how many other authorities are doing this and how many are sticking with a change of address being a change in its own right separate from the consequent change to rent (in rebate cases) liability and Ctax liability?

    Wasn’t the initial DWP guidance the latter? In fact has that changed now does anyone know?

    Thanks again.

    Ozzies Mate

    Have to say I disagree with David.

    The claimant does have a duty to notify the authority of a change of address if they are in receipt of CTB unless thwey are a council or NIHE tenant therefore by not doing so put their situation into the DMA regs for late notification of change of circs.

    By definition a change of circs for CTB is effectively and end of entitlement & creation of a new entitlement & therefore could always be deemed as an advantageous change to the claimant as initially is no entitlement at new property.

    Would end entitlement at old address from date of vacation & commence at new address from Monday following notification rec’d & if feeling generous ask for reasons for delay to consider backdating.

    I await to be corrected.


    I agree with the view that a change of address is not caught by the advantageous change rules in CTB.

    Ozzie, you say it is effectively the end of entitlement followed by a new claim, with the claimant initially not entitled to CTB at all at the new address until the account exists. If you are right about that, the one-month rule most certainly does not apply because it only exists as part of the mechanism for implementing one particular kind of superseding decision under D&A Reg 8(2) & (3). If you are dealing with a new claim, you are not making a superseding decision on an existing award and so Reg 8(2) & (3) are not relevant. If you are right about a new claim being required, the normal rules for making new claims will apply (pensioners have 12 months, people claming working-age passport benefits have one month, everyone else must make the claim in the week in which their new liabioity starts, all subject to good cause backdating).

    On the other hand, if we are dealing with a change of circumstance on a current award, I think you have to ask youself what it is that makes a superseding decision necessary and, having identified that issue, what do the Regs have to say about it? If the new property is in the same band as the old one, the amount of benefit will not change and the change of address will not in itself affect the amount of CTB. On the billing side there is obviously a new account and the Benefits computer might require a new case record indexed to the property reference, but the amount of rebate will be constant and there will not be a superseding decision on the award.

    So why are you making a superseding decision in a case where the new property is in a different band? The only relevant ground for supersession that I can see in Reg 7 is the generic change of circumstance ground – Reg 7(2)(a). The effective date of such a decision is fixed by Reg 8(2) and (3), which imports principal CTB Reg 67 with the proviso that a favourable change reported outside the time limit is treated as if it happened on the day you found out. Look at all the changes of circumstance listed in CTB Reg 67 – a pure change of address in itself is not one of them. As far as I can see, all other things being equal apart from the claimant now living in a higher banded property, the only change of circs that “bites” in terms of requiring a superseding decision is a change in the amount of Council Tax. Because this is not reportable, Reg 8(3) does not apply and so under Reg 8(2) and principal CTB Reg 67(2) the claimant is entitled to the extra benefit from the day on which the amount of tax s/he is liable to pay went up in real life.

    Ozzie, you may be right about a new claim being required – but if there is no requirement for a new claim I don’t see how the mechanism of D&A Reg 8(2) and (3) and CTB Reg 67 can prevent the claimant from receiving full arrears – the only peg on which to hang the superseding decision is Reg 67(2) and it is not subject to a reporting duty.

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