Payments of LHA by BACS or Cheque

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  • #33910
    austin
    Participant

    Staff have recently attended an LHA training seminar where the trainer identifed that on national roll out of LHA – April 2008, all LHA payments must be made by BACS with no option of payments being made by cheque?
    Can someone clarify this for me and direct me to the legislation/guidance where this is contained?
    Thanks

    #94352
    Anonymous
    Guest

    My understanding from the courses I have been to is that BACS is the [b:178c563b14]preferred[/b:178c563b14] method of payment – but I haven’t seen anything yet that states that reg 91 is to be be amended. It currently states we have to have mind to the reasonable needs and convenience of the person entitled. Of course if you determine this to mean BACS payments you could enforce a blanket payment method and wait for the challenge! 😉

    #94353
    Trevor Kenward
    Participant

    Raised this same question at our Training with Peter de La Mothe
    (and very good it was too), and he confirmed that there nothing to state Authorities must pay by BACS.
    Obviously from an Authority’s point of view this is a preferred method on cost grounds alone but I dont see how a ‘blanket policy’ could be adopted. At my Authority we redesigned our application forms this year and included a section for claimants to put there bank details for BACs payments. We pay new claims where they have stated such an account if none declared we pay by cheque.

    #94354
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Trev, I was tongue in cheek, it is not acceptable for blanket policies to be adopted in the benefits scheme, as we know they are all too often challenged and lose!

    Most of us prefer bacs payments, of course! 😀 , but we do have to consider alternatives for those that do not have bank accounts. All those that do have bank accounts at my LA are encouraged to have BACS transfer, but we still issue cheques to a handful.

    hope this clarifies, I was not seriosuly suggesting that the poster should adopt a blanket policy! 😆

    #94355
    Anonymous
    Guest

    To my mind this is a typical DWP directive. When I attended their seminar it was like LHA and HB had been invented together! The speakers had no conception of HB, and payment to clt, having been around since 1988 and clearly thought that the requirement to pay the clt was something new and different. They are also coming from their own experience of having [i:acb5d39daa]their [/i:acb5d39daa]claimants on order books and giro-cheques which, because of the vast potential for fraud, they bounced everybody off onto BACs payments. Common or garden cheques have not entered their consciousness. As has been stated, the LHA regs are absolutely silent about method of payment. At my Authority I shall wait for a council-wide initiative to phase out cheques rather than unilaterally ban them for benefit claimants. BACS may be cheaper but with the more transient private sector population, who are just the ones going over to LHA, I believe that the risk of fraud (people moving out) is higher.

    #94356
    dfoster73
    Participant

    Hi

    My understanding is that payment of LHA should be made direct to the claimant (as opposed to the landlord, except where a ‘safeguard’ (eg vulnerable) has been applied). The method of payment is up to the LA, but BACS is to be preferred because it’s cheaper & quicker & more secure. However, just because a claimant does not have a suitable bank account does not necessarily mean that they are vulnerable, so the LA surely mus tbe able to continue making payment by cheque.

    Hope this helps…
    D

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