Please Help

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  • #19557
    Anonymous
    Guest

    When looking at a DHP would you take into account the housing benefit overpayment.

    All opinions are welcome.

    #152
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I wouldn’t Susan, DHP should be used in exceptional circs where the claimant has trouble meeting their Rental/Ctax liabilities. I’d be looking at circumstances such as hospital downratings, where non-dep charges are being applied or where you have details of income/expenditure.

    To my mind taking account of overpayments defeats the object of the DHP scheme, lots of claimants are overpaid each year, I think you need more compelling circumstances. If you have income and expenditure from the claimant and there is an overspend, I’d look to introduce/reduce ongoing recovery for the o/p, if the customer still couldn’t afford the contribution to rent/ctax I’d probably consider writing off the o/p.

    Regards.

    #153
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    ‘Exceptional circumstances’ ?

    I don’t think it says anything in the regs that the claimants circumstances need to be ‘exceptional’ before a DHP can be awarded 😀

    #154
    sorath
    Participant

    You have the option to pay. I suspect that what you are saying is that you don’t like the idea of paying off someones Housing Benefit overpayment. Having said that if someone tells you that their DWP benefits are reduced do you insist on knowing why? You could in effect be awarding DHP when part of the difficulty is that they are repaying an overpayment of a DWP benefit.

    Remember you should not be making a blanket policy – it is easy to create a situation where you would like to pay even where there is a Housing Benefit overpayment being recovered. What I would say is that you need to consider all the circumstances and then decide if in this case you think it is an appropriate use of the funds that you have available. Never forget that even if an individual meets the eligibility requirements for a DHP one does not have to be paid.

    #155
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I know DHP’s don’t have to be in exceptional circumstances. In this case its really the claimants own fault that he/she has an overpayment as they didn’t provide information requested or advise that he/she had as change of cirs.

    But if i take the overpayment into account it will increase the claimants expenditure. This obviously didn’t seem right.

    By the way is there still a problem with the message board letting you know when you have a reply to your post? Just wondered because it didn’t tell me there was 2 replies!!!!!!!

    #156
    sorath
    Participant

    As I was trying to say above but managed to mangle it. Take the overpayment into account. If she is not able to afford to pay the shortfall then you have the option to pay DHP. The question is then whether you think it is appropriate.

    #157
    Stephen Murray
    Participant

    If the overpayment recovery is bringing her into the realms of requiring a DHP then perhaps it would be more appropriate to reduce the recovery rate of the overpayment to a more manageable amount (or even suspend all recovery action) meantime rather than pay a DHP.

    #158
    Anonymous
    Guest

    That sounds straight forward enough. I’ll get the o/p section to look at the request to reduce the o/p recovery urgently and make my decision on the basis of that.

    Thanks for all your opinions, treat yourselves to a virtual drink on me!!!!

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