NEW RULES FOR PENSIONERS POST OCT 04

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  • #2597
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Peter
    I’m not sure! If you look at Para 12 of A29 – Example 1 states that customer would be entitled to HB/CTB 6.12.04 (lets say they turned 60 on 1.12.04) and therefore have until 6.12.05 to claim.
    I think this is why the notes say to establish whether [b:c3ae3d2eb5]entitlement[/b:c3ae3d2eb5] to HB/CTB existed in the 12 months + 1 day prior to actual date of claim rather than whether they turned 60 in the previous 12 months. Otherwise the date of turning 60 is outside the 12 months + 1 day period.

    Is anyone following me?
    I thought the previous posts from Mark etc may have helped produce clear notes but I think they are wrong. Or is it me?

    #2598
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Gill: I think where you and I are diverging on this one is the date on which the claimant satsifies the entitlement conditions and falls within the 60+ scheme.

    I am saying: if the claimant is 60 on Wednesday 8 December then the 60+ Regs apply to him or her on that day, not next Monday. Therefore, if the claimant is otherwise entitled (income, capital and so on) on his or her 60th birthday, you can start counting the 12 months from that very day. You don’t have to wait until next Monday. This in turn makes it possible for the claimant to get HB from the Monday following his or her 60th birthday.

    Are you perhaps reading too much into para 12 of the circular where it talks about the claimant reaching the qualifying age on or before 6 December? The way I read it, all that means is “the claimant is at least 60 years old so this circular applies to him/her”. In other words, para 12 is a general example, it’s not particularly focussed on claimants who have only just turned 60.

    #2599
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Peter,
    Yes I agree with what you have just said – but if you use Mark’s notes (instead of the notes given by DWP on the circular) for the example we have used the claimant loses out on a week’s benefit.
    I was just trying to get the point across about not just going back 12mths and 1 day from the date of claim in all cases.
    You are right when you say that we need to use the date of birth to start counting from.
    So the LA needs to consider whether [b:f69f41a30a]entitlement[/b:f69f41a30a] existed during the 12 months prior to the actuial date of claim.

    Thank you. I think I may leave completing my training notes for another day. Enough for 1 day!

    #2600
    Mark
    Participant

    Gill – I’m glad to see my attempt at a simplified explanation subject to close scrutiny! There is always a danger that you don’t counter for certain scenarios when you try and reduce something to a few bullet points.

    That said, I can’t see that your example breaks my notes. You’re working from the “how long is there to claim” angle and I’m coming from the “check the dates once the claim is made” angle – but the net effect is exactly the same. Let’s check the dates in your example:

    If someone’s “date of claim” is Monday 6th December 2004 their entitlement would commence under the normal rules from Monday 13th December 2004. As Peter says, the same is true for any “date of claim” between 7th December 2004 and 12th December 2004. But according to my explanation of the new rules any claim actually made by a pensioner between 6th December 2005 and 12th December 2005 will have the same effect. So where is the lost week’s benefit? It looks fine to me. (I am of course prepared to change my mind if you can convince me otherwise – but I ain’t convinced yet).

    The other query that you raised about the effect of a backdated Pension Credit award is more interesting and I think you may have discovered something quite peculiar. Take the following example:

    * Pension Credit claimed on 2nd February 2005

    * Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) awarded from 2nd February 2004.

    * HB claimed on 20th February 2005.

    Under the new rules (HB Reg 72BA) the date of claim becomes 20th February 2004 and entitlement commences from 23rd February 2004.

    Under the old rules (HB Reg 72(5)(a)) the date of claim becomes 2nd February 2004 and entitlement commences from 9th February 2004. This is because the claimant claimed HB within 4 weeks of a successful claim to PC(GC).

    So the claimant is worse off under the new rules than the old ones! But 72(5)(a) is not deemed to be subject to 72BA. So LA’s seem to be left with a dilemma about which is the relevant provision. I can only assume that the sensible course of action is to apply the rules that give the claimant the most money.

    If I’m right about this (and some confirmation from other users of this message board would be most welcome) then I would definitely need to re-write my method of establishing the date of claim for pensioners from 6/10/04 onwards.

    #2601
    simondoyle
    Participant

    Well spotted Mark – these amending regs have clearly come out in a rush and so they were never going to be right. I would also recommend to my staff that you go with whichever rule is more advantageous to the claimant.

    In your reply to Gill, I agree with what you have said about the angle at which you approach it. The circular is very much written in a way that gets you thinking about time limits on claiming – the other angle of “what til you get the claim and then decide’ is both rather obscured in the circular and easier to understand.

    #2602
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Mark,

    You are right I was looking at it from a different angle, but should it say the date of entitlement rather than the date of claim?

    DWP
    Claim received 6.12.05. Customer 60 on 5.12.04. Would have been entitled from 6.12.04.
    Did entitlement exist in previous 12 month & 1 day period?
    Yes 6.12.04.
    Entitlement from 6.12.04

    Mark
    Claim received 6.12.05. Customer 60 on 5.12.04. Would have been entitled from 6.12.04

    Date of claim will be the [b:420f0a2129]latest[/b:420f0a2129] of:

    Same date in the previous year: 6.12.04

    Claimant’s 60th birthday: 5.12.04

    First date HB/CTB could have been awarded. 6.12.04

    ‘Date of claim’ is 6.12.04
    Entitlement from 13.12.04.

    Probably me just losing it.

    #2603
    Mark
    Participant

    Gill – I’ve just realised where you are coming from. There is an error in the circular. Para 12 contains the example you have referred to. Para 13 says wrongly that “the first day of entitlement is 6 December 2004”. The correct first date of entitlement is in para 20 of the circular where it says that “6 December 2004 is a Monday so the first day of entitlement is 13 December 2004”.

    #2604
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I am pretty confused now.

    Peter mentioned that once the person becomes 60 they have reached the qualifying age for pensioner rules – fair enough. He goes on to say that we should count that as the first day of entitlement ie 8/12/04 as opposed to carrying it forward to Monday 13/12/04.

    This point I think is where Gill is getting a different outcome and I can see why. What I am not clear on is what we should treat as the first day of entitlement.

    Circular says ‘the day the person is entitled to HB/CTB and a period of 12 months thereafter’. What are we treating as first day of entitlement? Birthday or following Monday. It seems to me that following Monday is the correct date. Which backs Gills point that they lose a week???

    As Mark pointed out, error in Para 13 about first day of entitlement. But using the basis laid out in earlier postings they do seem to lose a week.

    Help, I am just not clear! 😯

    #2605
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Mark,
    I’m so glad. Yes, there is an error, I hadn’t noticed the contradiction in the circular. Having read the circular through, I then used the examples to get my head around it but as you say Example 1 is wrong.
    Is this what they meant to do? The customer really doesn’t have 12 months and 1 day to claim if so, they have slightly less to get it paid from the same date 12 months ahead in some cases!

    #2606
    Mark
    Participant

    Since the circular is causing confusion lets look at the actual regs instead:

    New HB Reg 72BA “…the prescribed time for claiming HB is as regards any day on which, apart from satisfying the condition of making a claim, the claimant is entitled to HB, that day and the period of 12 months immediately following it”.

    But this doesn’t say anythng about when entitlement commences. For that you need new HB Regs 65(4) and 65(5) which say;

    “where Reg 72BA applies, a person who makes a claim for, and is otherwise entitled to, HB shall be entitled from the benefit week following the first day in respect of which that claim is made”.

    and

    “where Reg 72BA applies, a claimant who is otherwise entitled to HB and becomes liable, for the first time, to make payments in respect of the dwelling which he occupies as his home in the benefit week in which the first day in respect of which his claim was made falls, shall be so entitled from that benefit week”.

    So it’s pretty clear to me that entitlement always commences on the Monday after the day the claim is treated as made or made for – unless they happen to become liable in that same week in which case you pay from that same week.

    So, to summarise:

    If the pensioner ACTUALLY claims HB on 8th December 2004 when does their HB start?

    If the pensioner IS TREATED as claiming HB on 8th December 2004 when does their HB start?

    The answer to both is the same.

    #2607
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Do you interpret this new rule as operating retrospectively?

    From 6 October 2004 onwards, a claimant aged 60 or over has a year in which to make his/her claim. So if s/he met the qualifying conditions on 6 October 2004 s/he has until 6 October 2005 to claim in respect of that day (although entitlement would actually start from the following Monday). Looking at it from the other end, if s/he claims on 6 October 2005 we can consider the 12-month period before the date of claim.

    But what if s/he turned 60 and met the qualifying conditions for HB/CTB on a date [i:ef0047014c]before[/i:ef0047014c] 6 October 2004 but only claims HB/CTB on a date [i:ef0047014c]after[/i:ef0047014c] 6 October 2004? Can we consider a period prior to 6 October 2004 under this rule? Or only the period back to 6 October 2004?

    I want the answer to be that the rule [i:ef0047014c]can[/i:ef0047014c] operate retrospectively, because this is obviously beneficial to claimants. But if this is the policy intention, I can’t quite see that the legislation achieves it. What do other people think?

    #2608
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Sorry – just noticed that this question has already been addressed in a different thread.

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