pensioners and personal injury payment

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    I have a claim where following a data match exercise a pensioner was found to have a undeclared bank account with around £18k in it. Needless to say we ended her claim as capital exceeds £16k. (she was no guarantee credit)

    She had, of course, disputed the decision stating that £10k of this amount is a personal injury payment and should be disregarded. She has provided proof. The proof stating she has recieved this payment is clearly dated 1999!!!.

    As at this date as far as i am aware she was not in receipt of Housig Benefit, and at that date a personl injury paynebt was not disregarded.

    Am I correct in thinking that the current regulations (sc6 para 17(i) ) cannot be applied retrospectivly and applies to payments received since the regulation applied? i.e. just because she received the payment in 1999 it does not fall to be disregarded 6 years later when the regulations changed. Or does it? HELP!!!!!


    I see your point, but I think that’s an over-zealous interpretation.

    I can appreciate that there is a difference between this paragraph and the ones that deal with, say, HIV trust payments or life insurance surrender values: those provisions have always been there so if the money was disregarded under the rpedecessor provisions it should still be disregarded under the current Regs even though the claimant already had the money before the current Regs came into force. I camn see that para 17(1) is slightly different in that there was no disregard of these payments before October 2003.

    However, I think para 17(1) does apply, because the disregard of capital applies not just at the point of receipt but for as long as you happen to possess the item in question. I know the guidance bangs on a lot about a “payment of capital” and there are items of income that are treated as capital at the point of receipt (like building society interest). But the point of identifying a “payment of capital” is simply to distinguish it from a payment of income and to steer you away from treating it as income. The significance of an item of capital in its capacity as capital is that you possess it over time – it is your accumulated stash. If today your accumulated stash includes an item that the Regs today say should be disregarded, then that part of your stash is disregarded as I see it, irrespective of how and when you came by the item in question.

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