Not Suspending, is this an Official Error?

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    John Boxall

    My colleague and I are in discussion over a case.

    Basically the question is if a Local Authority is advised of a change in circs but does not suspend pending the return of evidence can this be a LA error?

    My colleague seems to think that there is a Commissioners Decision that says not suspending isnt a LA error but I am not so sure.

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield


    I think there is caselaw for both sides of the argument. Depends on the type of change you are talking about. Have a look at the caselaw mentioned in this thread:


    Your colleague is right – CH/2558/2007


    There were a couple of circulars issued last year regarding classification of overpayments and suspension. In brief suspending is discretionary and therefore failing to do so in itself is not LA error. The circular then went on to say that sometimes it may be, but from memory that was where we didn’t suspend after the time limit for providing info had passed!


    Again, it has to depend on the type of change. Some changes will usually reduce entitlement (starting work), some will usually increase entitlement (new child born) and some changes you cannot predict the outcome of until you get full details (non-dep moving in – will the increase in LHA rate be more or less than the level of deduction?)

    The individual circumstances of each case and the details of the change reported will determine whether failing to suspend is an error.

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