New claims

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    Having looked at the new Stats 124 guidance for 2004/05, can I confirm with other LAs that claims will only be treated as new claims if:
    the claimant has never claimed before, or
    there is a break in entitlement of more than 4 weeks.

    Change of address claims
    If we are to treat change of address claims as changes in circumstances, will the DWP be changing the Performance Standards to reflect this? It currently asks that we do changes within 8 days. I asked this in light of the fact that item 12 of stats 124 defines ‘time taken to process’ as all days – even if the delay is outside of the LAs control, i.e. clmt tells you they have moved to a new privately rented address but they do not provide evidence of the rent until 3 weeks later.

    Our concern is this … we currently process new claims within 28 days and our change of circs BVPI is 8 days. We are concerned that we are going to see an increase in the CofCircs BVPI. What are other LAs doing about this?

    My other concern is that for all the ‘advice’ (?) given by the DWP about change of address claims for pensioners after 6.10.03, they define a new claim in the 2004/05 guidance as ‘any claim made following a change of address (either within the local authority area …..) if in these circumstances an exiting benefit award is ended and a new claim is invited’. This goes against everthing else they have previously said about changes of address.

    Anyone else confused? Can someone please switch the light on for me?

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