Prescribed requirements – “9. Duty to notify changes in circumstances”

Currently, there are 0 users and 1 guest visiting this topic.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #44262
    Patrick Doherty

    (2) The applicant (or any person acting on his behalf) must notify any change of circumstances… by giving notice to the authority… within a period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the change occurs, or as soon as reasonably practicable after the change occurs, whichever is later.”


    Presumably they have introduced the 21 day timeframe to align with timeframes for declaring changes affecting other CTAX discounts. This is going to complicate the “keep it as close to HB/CTB as possible” approach that we have here for CTRS design and could make processing changes of circs more complicated for assessors/appeals officers and confusing for customers – “I see you took 25 days to declare this change madam, well that’s fine for your HB claim, but for CTR, not so…”


    With the absence of an equivalent to the D&A regs/beneficial change rules etc, there is nothing in place to tell us what to do when a change is declared after the 21 day limit, so I suppose we are free to introduce rules ourselves re notification after 21 days. My question is: do you think either of the following would constitute a sensible/lawful approach to trying to align assessment of changes in CTR with HB for simplicity’s sake:


    1. Introduce our own equivalent to D&A 2001 9 “Effective date for late notification of change of circumstances”and have a paragraph that states that any change declared after 21 days but in less than one month will be taken back to the date of change for CTR, and then have a beneficial change rule in line with HB for changes declared over one month. Or


    2. Use the “or as soon as reasonably practicable after the change occurs” and say in our scheme that we always consider it reasonable to take up to one month to declare a change (this feels like a stretch, as it's obviously actually intended for considering reasonableness of special circumstances leading to a delay in declaring in individual cases, rather then supporting a blanket approach).


    As I write, both seem sketchy. Anyone have any alternative suggestions or do you think we just have to accept that officers will have to get used to allowing a different timeframe for change notification in CTR than for HB?

    nick dearnley

    I wonder if the ‘as soon as practicable…’ part means an expectation that most changes will be capable of being notified in less than 21 days, making 21 days the upper time limit.

    But I agree, it’s going to take some explaining.


    In realtion to changes in circumstances, is it just me or is there no provision similar to the current Reg 67 – date on which change of circumstances is to take effect? I suspect I have missed something but it seems that the customer is obliged to tell an authority of a change in circumstances, but there is no obligation to revise entitlement. Happy to be corrected on this! :~

    chris harvey

    Reg 46 – it basically says the change takes effect from when it occurs. There is no advantageous change rule so you have to go back with these. I don’t see that the 21 day rule has any impact on this as whenever you eventually get notified you have to use reg 46 to apply it from the date it occurred.
    Of course reg 46 only applies to pensioners and your local scheme for working age will have to specify when you want changes to apply from. it’s up to you what you decide, thats why in the section of the prescribed regs that apply to all applicants, it is silent on the date changes take effect. You could write your own rules that say for working age advantageous changes that are notifiable and are notified after 21 days take effect from the notification date if you wanted.


    Thanks for that – I suspect we might end up mirroring the current regulations for working age. Interesting that if you go for the default scheme you will still need to make some local decisions such as when chamnges take effect. I wonder if any LA’s thinking of simply implementing the default scheme are aware of this?

    chris harvey

    The default scheme is different, reg 106 applies the change to the date it occurs to all applicants, so no advantageous change rule for anyone. the 21 day limit to notify a change does not in my opinion overrule this so it has no effect on the date you apply the change from. It has no teeth (like the 14 day rule in HB/CTB to process a claim).


    Gordon, I agree that there appear to be some significant changes within the default regulations compared to the current CTB ones. Most L/A’s will have consulted on what they saw as the changes in the new scheme compared with the old. I can not imagine that most asked customers if they wanted to change the way “changes of circumstances” were dealt with? The Default Regs will probably form the foundations of most local schemes, and as such we could end up with office practices and systems that do not reflect what the new regulations say come April 🙁

    I wonder if DCLG are looking to produce some form of guidance manual for the default scheme along the lines of the DWP S manuals………..maybe not 8)

    Patrick Doherty

    Thank you for providing some clarity (I think I get it now). I missed reg 46 when I first looked at the prescribed regs.

    So for pensioners we must take it back to the date of change regardless of when it’s declared…

    And for working age we could have advantageous changes: 1. apply from the date declared if declared within 21 days, which fits best with schedule 8, 9. Duty to declare… 2. take it back to the date declared if declared within one month – despite the scheme stating that they must declare within 21 days – which would fit best alongside HB and with customer’s current understanding, or 3. we could align it with the treatment of pensioners and always take it back regardless of when declared.

    All three seem less than ideal, but perhaps overall the second option less problematic in terms of administration alongside HB – for now – and in terms of customer understanding. Oh what fun.

    Julian Hobson

    what will the IT do ?

    I think we might have discretion with working age folk to align HB and CTR but not with pensioners.

    Does anyone have a view as to what their IT will do about effective date of change if the HB and CTR sit on the same platform ?

    chris harvey

    With Northgate you can calc each side of the case separately, so you could calc HB and CTR using different effective dates for changes.

    ian hallett

    Hopefully someone will show that I’m wrong, and sorry for such a long posting, but I don’t think we’ll be able to limit the backdating period for advantageous changes, for non-pensioners as well as pensioners:

    • The new Schedule 1A to the LGFA 1992 lists in para 2 the things to be included in schemes. And these appear to be the only things we can include in our scheme.
    • Sub-paras (1) to (7) are about setting out classes of eligible people, calculating entitlement, appeals and the making applications.
    • Sub-paras (8) & (9) allow the Secretary of State to create regulations prescribing other requirements for our scheme (the Prescribed Requirements Regs, containing the things we can’t change)
    • Sub-para (10) says that the Prescribed Requirements Regs can, in particular, include things that are equivalent to provisions made by a “relevant enactment” or things capable of being made under a relevant enactment.
    • Sub-para (11) enables local authorities to include in their schemes things that are equivalent provisions made by a “relevant enactment” or things capable of being made under a relevant enactment.

    The effect of the above means that our scheme can only comprise the following elements:

    • the stuff in sub-para (1) to (7), about classes of eligible people, calculating entitlement, appeals and how to claim
    • those things we’re required to include by the Secretary of State
    • things equivalent to provisions made by or made under a relevant enactment.

    The problem is that the definition of “relevant enactment” (see below) doesn’t include the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000, the primary legislation for the Decisions and Appeals Regulations.

    Consequently, we’re unable to include in our scheme the things that would only be possible under the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000. This includes the ability to vary the date from which a supersession or revision should take effect.

    Relevant enactment

    (12) For the purpose of sub-paras (10 and (11), each of the follwing enactments … is a “relevant enactment” –

    (a) sections 131 to 133 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (SSCBA 92)
    (b) sections 134 to 137 of [the SSCBA 92]
    (c) section 1 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (SSAA 92)
    (d) section 6 of the SSAA 92
    (e) sections 32 to 34 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007 (benefit for persons taking up employment)

    chris harvey

    but para 11 gives you the power to modify any provisions made under a relevant enactment “as the authority thinks fit” (as long as you are not tampering with any of the prescribed rules). the application of the CTB reg was modified when the DAR regs were introduced and in the same way you have the power to modify your own scheme to introduce restrictions on advantageous changes notified late (for working age applicants only) if you wish.


    Re comment #9 … You can also do this with Capita EV.


    Patrick, can you or anyone else point me in the direction of the LGFA that states someone has to notify a change within 21 days for CTAX purposes? I can see under Part II Information About Properties a requirement for a person to supply information having been served a notice, but nothing else referencing the 21 days.

    Julian Hobson

    The 21 days is not specified in the Act, it is only specified in the A&E regs at reg 11(1),12(2) and 16(1). There could well be others. The 21 days in the CTR regs appears to echo the time limits for CT generally (makes sense ?) but I think it really causes us a problem. What will the view of the courts be when we are telling people they have different time periods to tell a local authority the same thing ?

    e.g if you are saying changes can be notified within 1 Cal month for HB but have to be notified in 21 days for CTR or you will commit a criminal offence. This is a dogs breakfast.

    Just to reiterate the offence in HB is “fails to notify” NOT “fails to notify in a month”

    And yes I know CTR is not a benefit and therefore we can say different things to the same claimant BUT the address that they need to notify to will probably be the same AND in most cases it will be the same officer that considers both awards and essentially issues the instructions.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.