Reducing HB Deductions

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    We are in the process of completing new updated guidance for requests to have HB deductions reduced.
    At present we will only reduce clawback if we receive a signed request from the claimant. If the claimant requesting the reduction is in receipt of passported benefit then we will reduce to the minimum rate.
    Do any LA’s automatically reduce clawback for passported benefits without a signed request from the claimant? What is the minimum that you would reduce clawback to for passported benefits? How do you assess someone requesting reduction but not on passported benefit?
    Do you take into account the partners income?
    Any information would be much appreciated. 😆


    I am a bit confused and assume that by minimum rate you are referring to £9.75 for standard HB overpayments and £12.80 for Fraud overpayments?

    This is the rate that you should use in all cases except those where there is an earned income – because you can only add on 50% of the earned income disregard to the standard rate of recovery in any case, and that is the maximum the recovery rate should be.

    For example lone working parent attracts an earned income disregard of £25.00 per week – so the standard recovery rate + 50% would be £22.25 – but you should not cause financial hardship and this is something that you should consider at the time you make the decision on the amount of the recovery rate. If the customer then contacts and advises they are having difficulty I would reduce it to the standard rate without asking them for any more details.

    Where the customer requests that a lower rate than the minimum is taken I would ask for income and expenditure evidence in cases where it is not obvious where the difficulty may be.
    In other cases if it was obvious from their details that they could not afford that deduction then I would just make the decision on the information available eg their income and the actual rent charged set against the HB received etc

    The partners income (if earned) is not relevant. If one or both are working then the earned income disregard is £20.00 per week – so you can add on £10.00 to the standard rate – if it does not cause financial hardship.

    Please note ta above comment is based on the decision on whether to add on 50% to the minimum recovery rate.

    If there is a decision to be made on whether to recover at a rate lower than the minimum rate then all income is taken into account.

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