Relevant benefit & multiple CoCs

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    I am in the middle of convincing my team to adopt the minority approach for treating awards/ increases in relevant benefits and have hit a snag. Can anyone help clarify how the provisions of HBR 79(4) – multiple CoCs in same benefit week – interact with the effective date in DAR 8(14)?

    The example I have been given is an award of DLA care (removing NDD) starting Wed 22.11.06 and an inheritance being received (affecting tariff income but not exceeding £16k) on Thurdsay 23.11.06. Both changes occur in the same benefit week but change 1 has it’s effective date set by DAR 8(14) to 22.11.06 and change 2 by HBR 79(1) to Mon 27.11.06.

    HBR 79(4) seems to say that both changes should therefore take effect from Mon 20.11.06 but Im not so sure. As change 1 has not imported HBR79 at all, can this be a “change of circumstances” for the purposes of this reg? The CPAG commentary to 68(4) [HBGR ’87] refers to two or more CoCs with ED set by paras 1-3 and this feels right, but…

    79(1) defines a “change of circumstances” as a change of circumstance which affects entitlement to, or the amount of, housing benefit. Surely that is what the award of the relevant benefit does?

    any thoughts?


    I am prepared to be walloped by dozens of citations of Commissioner’s Decisions, but personally I would take the view that both changes should take effect from the same benefit week, in accordance with reg 79(4) of the HBR 2006.

    I think this decision could be justified in this case because the award of the relevant benefit has been reported within one calendar month of its occurrence. Given that reg 7(2) of the DAR 2001 starts off with “The appropriate relevant authority [b:8cf158869a]may[/b:8cf158869a] make a decision…”, you could apply reg 7(2)(a)(i) rather than 7(2)(i)(ii), arguing that 7(2)(i)(ii) would only be needed where the COC was reported more than one month after the event.


    Thanks for that Andy. I can see the sense in applying 7(2)(a) in order to bring both changes under HBR 79(4), but by doing so would we not then set effective date for ‘relevant benefit’ change through 79(1)?

    DAR 8(14) would only have effect where the change is superceded under DAR 7(2)(i) so no ‘ED = date of change’ issue. This would give an effective date of Monday following for both changes and HBR 79(4) would not come into play.

    I am also curious what people think about the situation where both changes are notified outside the one month. We would still go back on the capital increase and would have to use 7(2)(i) as grounds for going back on ‘relevant benefit’. This could either give two changes with EDs in different weeks, or only 1 ‘change’ for the purposes of 79(4). ❓

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