Notifying HB suspension

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    I wonder what people’s thoughts are of a practice to not issue claimants with notification where HB/CTB has been suspended under DAR11.

    The cases in question are identified as having potential reductions in benefit following a reported change in circs. The officer receiving the information is suspending further payment to prevent an overpayment occuring or increasing, however time constraints mean that they are not able to make a superceding decision or request any further information that may be required.

    The case is then passed through to the assessment team to deal with the CoC, in theory within a couple of days, but this could be considerably longer.

    I cannot find a requirement to notify suspension within DAR regs or HB2006 regs as these are not ‘decisions’, but it seems wrong that the suspension action should not be notified. Am I missing a regulatory requirement or is this just poor practice?


    Hello there:

    On behalf of the landlords out there: please please please please can you notify the tenant and ideally the landlord (if HB being paid to l/l of course) when a claim has been suspended!

    After looking into this reasonably thoroughly a while ago I came to the same conclusion; there’s no requirement in the regs, but it is good practice (though I’d be very happy to be proved wrong on that one).

    It’s certainly better customer care- much nicer for a tenant to be told by the LA that benefit is suspended than to hear about it via nasty arrears letters from their landlord!! 😉

    Obviously, if the change has been reported by the tenant or landlord themselves then they ought to expect some disruption in the claim, but the other party might be unaware.

    If nothing else think of your customer service staff – as soon as a missed payment is noticed either the landlord or the tenant or both are going to be on the phone or on the counter making work for them; why not be proactive?!? 😀


    Thanks very much, pretty much my own conclusion. Sometimes I find it easier to argue for customer care where this can be bolstered by a legal requirement! As many of these suspends originate with counter staff I am tempted to let them continue dealing with the consequences, but no, must do the right thing… I dont think any of us would appreciate payroll deciding to withhold our January pay without at least telling us first!


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