Reinstating a claim due to the Relevant Benefit Rule (Does it have to be the same benefit that’s reawarded)

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    Julie whiston


    We have previously terminated a claim due to a cusotmer not supplying information after their Income Support ended due to faliure to attend a medical in 2010.

    The DWP have now allowed an appeal on behalf of the customer that he had good cause for not attending the medical.

    However they have not reawarded Income Support, Incapacity benefit has been awarded up to 02/11/2010 follwed by ESA (I would imagine as the customer is no longer a member of a qualifying group for income support due to the ESA Conversion project.

    In order to renistate the cusotmers Housing and Council Tax benefit from the monday after Income Support ended under the relevant benefit rule does the same relevant benefit have to be reawarded as I beleived or will any relevant benefit awarded for the same period do.

    It does seem unfair that the customer may lose out due to the changes in eligability cretia for Income Support.

    Many thanks for you time and expertise.

    Kevin D

    More info is needed in order to respond properly:

    – Was benefit terminated under DAR 14, or on the basis of a “normal” change of circs with an inference being drawn? If under DAR 14, was the correct procedure followed (re suspension) and did the info request to the clmt contain a CLEAR statement relating to DAR 13? If the DAR 14 route was taken, and there was no clear statement as to DAR 13, the rest of the info won’t matter because the LA’s decision will have been an error. On that basis, the “ceasing” decision can be revised through the “official error” route – DAR 4(2). However, if the DAR 14 route was properly followed (or a “normal” change of circs decision was made), the following info is needed:

    – Date from when HB/CTB was ended.

    – Date of LA’s HB/CTB decision.

    – Date(s ) and nature of clmt contact afterwards.

    – Has the clmt reclaimed or asked for HB/CTB to be reinstated? If so, any info for any relevant delay?

    As an aside, the “relevant benefit” rule can only apply if there is an award of HB/CTB already in place. That’s why the initial focus has to be on whether or not HB/CTB should / can be allowed before any consideration is given to changes in circs during an award.

    Sean Doak

    Some advice from a welfare rights perspective:

    There aren’t full details of what has happened here, but the decision to award ESA instead of Income Support appears wrong. The result of the appeal success should have been that the claimant should have been returned to the position they were in before.

    Can you refer them onto any advice service to check this? It would solve the HB/CTB problem…

    Andy Thurman

    Adding to Kevin’s post:

    What was the info/evidence they failed to supply? Was it actually required and “reasonable”?

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