New Claims and bank accounts

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  • #21373
    rds01
    Participant

    Please can you help resolve an office debate. When a new claim is recieved and there are no bank statements with the claim form would you make a decision on the claim, awarding HB/CTB, and write for further proofs? On our form it asks how much capital they have, so if they put zero are we taking a risk?

    One member of staff won’t assess without 2 months statements whilst others are keen to make a decision.

    Many thanks for your comments.

    #5129
    Anonymous
    Guest

    No: if something is declared, we want evidence of it. Or even then, if it’s [i:c0a81b2c50]not [/i:c0a81b2c50]declared and we find out about it, we want the evidence. Two complete, consecutive month’s statements, thank you. We cannot/will not make a decision on entitlement if we don’t have evidence of the exact financial circumstances of the claimant. (This is aside from a payment on account of course.)

    When I was a wee boy, assessing Income Support claims for the Department of Social Obscurity, I seem to recall that we weren’t required to ask for evidence if capital was declared at less than £2000. Mind you that was back around ’87 – ’91. It was a quite a culture shock going from DSS to a Local Authority in 1991!

    #5130
    Anthony Sandys
    Participant

    I can see the point about verifying bank accounts, but you have to take a sensible decision and assess the risks. Is the person likely to have capital over £6,000 or undeclared income? Maybe, but you could process the claim and request a bank statement afterwards.

    What would your VF eager staff do when LHA comes in?

    “We can’t pay you at the moment, as you need to get bank account. However, when you do get a bank account, that will be a change in your circumstances, so we’ll suspend your claim until you supply 2 full months bank statements.” ?????

    #5131
    Anonymous
    Guest

    With the minister’s blessing, The Pension Service has embarked on a pilot exercise to quantify the risk of discontinuing any verification of capital below that £6000 figure so it will be interesting to see the outcome of that initiative.It may inform a change in HB/CTB guidance in this area of activity if the outcome is favourable.

    #5132
    Anonymous
    Guest

    As long as the claimant has actually answered the relevant questions on the application form, rather than leaving them blank, I don’t see a problem with processing the application, writing for the evidence and entering a diary note to check that it is then received. The application form is evidence in itself, and if it turns out that the claimant has misrepresented the facts then you do not have a LA error overpayment.

    #5133
    rds01
    Participant

    Thank you for your comments. My thoughts are if capital declared is less than £6k to make a decision (as long as the claim form has been filled in correctly) and write for proofs. We are here to pay HB/CTB promptly so by doing a risk assessment this can be achieved.

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