Monthly LHA rates

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    If the LHA rates changes in a particular month do the new rates apply from the 1st of the month or the 1st Monday of the month?


    Assuming I have understood your query properly, it’s 1st of the month. The rate for a given month applies to claims made in that month. You don’t change existing claims month by month just because the LHA amount has changed.


    Thanks for your reply.

    I understood about not changing the rates for existing claims I was just thinking about a scenario where a customer makes a brand new claim for benefit and occupies the property on the first of June 2008 – which happens to be a Sunday.

    If the new rates only applied from the first working day of the month I was concerned we would have had to use the May 2008 rate to assess the claim, but as they apply from the 1st of the month then that is fine!


    I beg to differ with this.

    SI 2007 / 2871 says –

    [quote:c4ff632ddc](d) after paragraph (3) insert—
    “(3A) Any broad rental market area determination made in accordance with paragraph (1A), or local housing allowance determination made in accordance with paragraph (2A) before 7th April 2008, shall take effect on 7th April 2008 and any subsequent determination shall take effect on the first working day of the month which begins after the day on which the determination is made.”;

    The new rates appear to take place on the first working day of the month. So if the relevant date was Sunday 1 June 2008, then May’s rate would still be in effect.

    Julian Stanbury


    Thanks for pointing this out.

    I must admit i had the simplistic view that Aprils LHA rate was for all of April and Mays was for all of Mays. It then seemed simple to determine a date of claim and award benefit based on the LHA rate relevant at date of claim.

    For example:

    a) Date Of Claim 31.05.08 Start Date 02.06.08 Based on Mays LHA rate.
    b) Date of Claim 01.06.08 Start Date 02.06.08 Based on Junes LHA rate.

    Both claims have the same start date, but due to the difference DOCs the award is based on different months LHA rates (ok, the amount may be exactly the same).

    But from what you kindly pointed out, Junes LHA rate only becomes active on 02.06.08 because its not a bankholiday.

    So, if we created a new bank holiday on 02.06.08, to celebrate the successful national roll out of LHA, then the example would work as follows.

    b) Date of Claim 01.06.08 Start Date 02.06.08 Based on Mays LHA rate.

    Would anyone please be kind enough to offer an opinion?


    My opinion cannot be printed in polite company but some questions do spring to mind…

    Who decides what a [b:879e0dd304]working day [/b:879e0dd304]is in this context? Is it only weekends and/ or statutory holidays that count as non-working days? I quite often work a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday, but Wednesday is a non-working day for me (my manager may suggest it extends beyond this!) If your LA opens on a Saturday (not [i:879e0dd304]completely [/i:879e0dd304]unheard of) will November’s LHA figures apply from Saturday 1st Nov there and Monday 3rd November everywhere else? Do Scotland and Wales have different statutory holidays from England? What about the Chritmas and New Year shutdown with all those bonus ‘technology days’?

    Julian Stanbury

    Who decides a working day:

    SI 2007 no 2871 ref 4(1)(d) provides a definition of working day, apparently bank holidays are based on the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971. OffHol anyone?


    I wondered about this too, and unless I have missed it the term “working day” does not appear to have a definition in the RO order (I may very well have missed it). Nor could I see anything in the Interpretation Act that would help. There may well be some time-honoured common law principle that a working day means Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays unless the contrary intention appears, but I couldn’t find it. Not even the usual trusty stand-by of Wikipedia could help me this time.

    P.S. See, I did miss it, thanks Julian

    Julian Stanbury

    I’ve begun hoping that as these decisions are within the RO act, they purely deal with the period the RO can use to generate data.

    Once they have generated their data, they pass it to the LA, who could apply it for a calendar month.

    However this wouldn’t work as the first day we want the data available is before the last day they would have to compile the data.

    Thoroughly confused by it. The working day thing seems to make sense in providing data by a certain date, it ensures adequate time is given. But for applying the data, it doesn’t add to transparency does it?


    Is the suggeston that if entitlement starts on Monday 1 July 2008 and that is a Bank Holiday Monday, the June BRMA rent levels will apply?

    Could the IT cope with this; bearing in mind the different BH’s in England and Scotland?

    Julian Stanbury

    I think the suggestion is – they should bin the working day concept for deciding LHA applicability.

    The concern is:

    a) Date of Claim 31.05.08 Start Date 02.06.08 Based on Mays LHA rate.

    This is due to Mays LHA being the relevant LHA at date of claim.

    b) Date of Claim 01.06.08 Start Date 02.06.08 Based on Junes LHA rate.

    This is what i hope for, nice and clear, based on the same reasons as the above.

    However, the concern is “if 01.06.08 is a bank holiday, then the June LHA rate only becomes relevant from 02.06.08 being the first working day”

    c) Date of Claim 01.06.08 Start Date 02.06.08 Based on Mays LHA rate.

    So even though the date of claim is June, the LHA is May.

    I’m thinking I should have used 01.01.09 as the example date, rather than inventing another bank holiday.


    [quote:36a6d2f1dd]SI 2007 no 2871 ref 4(1)(d) provides a definition of working day[/quote:36a6d2f1dd]

    Thats a relief. I was a bit concerned that all the flexible working patterns our assessors are on could have caused chaos. 😆

    peter, the definition seems to exclude Scotland’s bonus bank holidays, (unless Scotland has it’s own RO system?)

    On the face of it the applicable dates for any particular rate seems to be a user-set parameter in Academy at least. Bet we haven’t tested it for anything other than full months though!


    Surely it will only be an issue for 1 Jan every year and May bank holiday (plus perhaps an odd Easter)?


    The bank holiday bit may only come up occasionally but in other months we could be getting plenty of claims with treat as made dates on Sat/ Sunday e.g. new liability, start of IS/ JSA, date of partner death/ vacation etc. Admittedly not many requests to claim will be made on non-working days (depending on the LA’s attitude to post received over the weekend).

    In all these cases if the date of claim falls on the weekend where the first of the month is a non working day we will be going against the widely understood rule of using the calendar month’s LHA rate.

    In the 12 months from rollout this will occur on 1st June, 1st and 2nd November, 1st Feb and 1st March. Maybe not a massive problem but yet another thing to be aware of.


    Query resolved?

    Very quick answer from DWP:

    “As you have aware we are making some minor amendments to the LHA / ROO regulations, one of which is to delete the word ‘working’ in the Rent Officer Amendment Order so that LHA determination shall take effect on the first day of the month rather that the first working day of the month.

    These amendments are currently going through the normal parliamentary channels and it is hoped will be available by the end of February.

    I hope that this helps with your query.


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