Reg 86 – silly question

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    Stuart Macd


    I was hoping not to open the whole underlying entitlement time limit debate again as I have read all the previous posts

    However my query is this :-

    If I refuse a request for underlying entitlement 2 and a half years after the fact under reg 86, how do I confirm the ulitmate time limit and is there one

    reg 86 states such longer period as the relevant authority consider reasonable

    How do I get from that to you are out of time for the underlying entitlement to be considered ?

    I thought the maximum period would be 13 months but the reg doesn't seem to take me there

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    ps the main reason I want to refuse is due to the information being provided is not enough for me to make a decision and I really don't want to go down the road of asking for further info etc etc as this was requested on numerous occasions 2 and a half years ago.


    John Boxall

    Basically there are two interpretations of time limits for UE

    A number of highly respected commentators say that the normal time elimits apply for UE, equally a number argue that they dont.

    Legislation and caselaw is such that while you can make a strong arguement either way, nothing is 100% conclusive either way.

    However from a practitioners point of view it’s (usually) quite handy to say that there arn’t any time limits

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    nick dearnley

    One argument of course is that it is almost always reasonable to reduce an overpayment where possible, both from the LA’s point of view and the clmt’s.

    However I’ve always taken the view that reg 86 is the only one that gives a power to demand information and evidence, and that it also puts a time limit on the response. That can be extended to longer ‘if reasonable’; I would say that you don’t need to extend it to 2 1/2 years as it is unreasonable to do so. Usually the reasonableness test requires some explanation as to why the clmt could not comply in time; if they had the information all along it seems to me there is no reason to have delayed, so it is clearly unreasonable to extend the time limit. If they don’t have the information then that is a different can of worms.

    This would be appealable on the grounds that reg 104 requires you to calculate UE. Your grounds for not doing so would be that you haven’t been provided with the information, or some of it is missing (and depending on how specific your requests were), so you could probably argue that you simply can’t calculate any UE for that reason and that the gross overpayment stands.

    Pete Mc

    I tend to work on the basis that there is no time limit for underlying entitlement. If the person does have an entitlement and you can reduce their overpayment why would you not want to do that? He says not knowing the facts of the case!!

    nick dearnley

    I agree Pete, it makes sense to reduce the overpayment where possible. I think Stuart’s problem is the information hasn’t been provided and he is looking at how he can justify keeping the gross overpayment amount, rather than waiting for ever…

    Stuart Macd


    Thanks for all the comments, yes my issue is that I don’t want to keep going over old ground with this claimant, however looks like either way I go the claimant will have revision/appeal rights again !!


    See CH/360/2006 which confirms the time limits

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