Non – Dep Charge, Max or Minimum??

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  • #23510

    Morning All,

    Just a quick one today, nothing too tricky. I just need some ammo to settle a debate that may escalate into a war. Here goes…

    Claim comes in, giving Non-Dep details saying she is 19 and a student, nothing more. Assessor processes claim, puts a max charge on and writes out for non – dep details. However this action is picked up by our Q & A team and they say the assessor should only have applied the minimum charge, whilst we were awaiting the further info.

    I seem to be the middle man in this debate, and I do not really want to wear my United Nations hat today, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance


    I would tend to agree with your QA Team. Unless you have reason to disbelieve your claimant you have evidence that the non dep is not in full time employment (the statement from the claimant), therefore whatever the income the lower deduction will apply. Further evidence of student status will simply justify no deduction

    Kevin D

    There are several issues that come to mind.

    Arguably, by asking for evidence AFTER the decision, the LA is tacitly accepting that there was insufficient evidence to make a decision in the first place.

    However, given that a decision HAS been made, it could be seen as implied that the LA has in fact accepted there was in fact sufficient information and evidence on which to make a decision. And, there is nothing unlawful in accepting the word of the clmt (by way of the answers on the claim form).

    Given that the clmt (apparently) has stated the non-dep is a student, a higher deduction would only be justified if:

    1) there was a doubt as to whether the non-dep is a FULL-TIME student (what is the wording on the claim form?); and/or

    2) you are not satisfied that the non-dep isn’t working 16+ hrs etc; and/or

    3) an inference has been (reasonably) drawn.

    If the wording on the claim form is ambiguous, any subsequently identified o/p *may* be official error (e.g. if it is found that the non-dep is only a p-t student) . However, if the claim form is reasonably clear (i.e. the wording relates to [u:400abc2cb9]full-time[/u:400abc2cb9] student), any o/p will not normally be attributable to official error as the LA was entitled to rely on the answer(s) given on the claim form by the clmt.

    Hope this helps.


    Does this still apply?

    Amanda JB

    Does CH/48/2006 help at all

    chris harvey

    I think it does and supports the answer given by (the much missed) Kevin D.
    You need to decide if the information you have is sufficient for you to make a decision. If it isn’t you should really suspend (in full or in part) and seek the information you want in order to make a decision. If you decide to accept whatever you have been told then you must use the information you have. It would be difficult to justify a high charge when someone has told you they are not working.

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