Settle a disagreement concerning backdating ?

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  • #22157
    Andy Shanks
    Participant

    lone parent claims Hb + CTB requests a backdate for a period of 2 weeks , reason given for the delay was that had been the victim of domestic violence and the abusive partner had taken all her documents [such as CHB notification letter, tenancy agreement , tax credit letters].
    We have no proof of domestic violence.

    One side state that if the person is willing to go into such detail then it is not reasonable to request information which may cause distress to the applicant and so backdate should be awarded. It was also added that most cases of DV are not reported.

    The other side say that proof must be provided of said DV and that we would need stuff like police reports/ social services letters and no backdate to be made.

    Would you pay ? and is there a middle ground that may be acceptable to both sides of the dispute ?

    PS I am not saying what side I lean towards as I think is we should be looking for a resolution

    #6859
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Here’s my fourpennorth. 8)

    As the person concerned is an alleged victim of domestic violence – unless you feel she is not telling the truth, I would pay. 8) You will know the person claiming better than us, and unless she (I’m presuming a she) has a past history of not telling you the truth, what have you got to go on not to believe her? :15:

    Why do people want police reports when the majority of cases are not reported and recorded anyway – or perhaps they don’t think that being beaten up is “good cause” for not reporting a change of circs? 😯 😉

    #6860
    Trevor Kenward
    Participant

    I’m with Jon on this one. Cant see how you could be reasonable in refusing given that its only for 2 weeks. I know I probably shouldnt but my rule of thumb on these is would you take such a decision to refuse to Tribunal?If not then award the benefit :7:

    #6861
    andyrichards
    Participant

    I agree that the claimant’s statements should be accepted unless there is some substantial reason to doubt them. WHich is in any case what a tribunal will do. What some people in your office are suggesting seems very OTT for a couple of weeks. Taking the “hardnosed” approach, if someone was going to make something like this up wouldn’t they be trying for a bit more than two weeks’ benefit?

    #6862
    Andy Shanks
    Participant

    OK I will reveal all in grand magician fashion ,
    this case was picked up on a subsidy check and the backdate period was in Aug 2005. We awarded backdating between 01.08.2005 + 15.08.2005 as the assessment officer and the senior assessment officwer who signed off the backdate decision agreed that the DV would mean that there was a reasonable delay in making a claim . the person who is checking the subsidy claim does not agree and states that no proof the DV took place. I then got involved as the original officer is now on my team , I agree with the backdate decision as I do not think someone is going to make up that they suffered from DV just to get 2 weeks benefit. I was being shot down in flames so I thought that I would call in the reinforcements.

    thank you to all who answered and I am glad that you agreed with me, though I would have accepted some one saying no if they had put forward a reasoned arguement .

    Cheers , Hiho Silver AWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!

    #6863
    aosulliv
    Participant

    I once had a colleague write out for proof of death for a child in order to cnosder backdating… the claimant sent in a photograph of her child’s headstone.

    Needless to say, he was more lenient after that!

    #6864
    seanosul
    Participant

    As subsidy checkers are normally horrid people, (fair play) and corroborating evidence is required, refer them to R(I)2/51 and R(SB)33/85. Both deal with the issue of corroboration, in that the word of the claimant is good enough unless you [b:2e74780374]have reason[/b:2e74780374] to expect otherwise.

    #6865
    andyrichards
    Participant

    I think the wider problem is that with all the checking we are now supposed to be doing there is a danger of ending up with a paint-by-numbers approach to decision-making and verification which crowds out compassion and in some cases even plain common sense.

    No offence meant – I think it is very easy for anyone to slip into doing it despite all good intentions.

    #6866
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I think you are right about common sense, as we have to recognise that in case like this there are always exceptions that prove rules. 😉

    I have been searching for a “commonsense training module” for years. 😯

    Any training companies that could develop that are onto a surefire moneyspinner!! 😀 8)

    #6867
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Your subsidy checkers are wrong. If you want something to back your case up. How about these Commissioners Decisions: R(I)2/51, R(SB)33/85, (already cited by Sean,) but if they come back and say that the decisons were made long ago and may be somehow out of date (they arent) , give them CP/3037/2004.

    That should be enough to make them climb down

    #6868
    seanosul
    Participant

    Derek, thanks for that – always useful to have a far more recent decision so that I can refer this to even more horrid people than me (auditors). Removing backdating from penalty expenditure has tended to make them even more hard nosed about properly awarded backdated benefit.

    #6869
    Steve Anning
    Participant

    Just Curious – but what was the “subsidy checker” going to do with the original decsion?

    #6870
    Andy Shanks
    Participant

    The subsidy checker wanted us to cancel back the backdated period and mark the overpayment as LA error unrecoverable . This meant that the peson claiming was not infact losing out BUT I thought that the issue was that good cause had been shown and so why cancel back. I was also worried about the appeal aspects in that we had previously stated that backdating was awarded [i.e. that good cause had been shown] and now we were saying that this was not the case . I was saying that in effect we were creating new appeal rights on a decision going back to August 2005 [the claimant should be able to challenge the fact that good cause is not applicable any more and take it to TAS if required]. This was not the only case but this was the one that broke the camels back as it was so obviously good cause. Anyhoo thats my twopenneth [which means its half as valuable as Jon’s Fourpenneth]. I am now busy lecturing new staff on how the welfare state is agood thing and that the thought that they have helped the most vulnerable people in the community should be some sort of job satisfaction [they want more moeny which is another issue and can inviolve the money paid to contractors etc ]
    PS Sean Jenny knows your e-mail address and she did not like the description horrid people ………..Nicotine ?

    #6871
    Steve Anning
    Participant

    thanks Andy – I could comment further but discretion is the better part of valour – or something like that !!! steve

    #6872
    JamesPickering
    Participant

    Sorry to resurrect this one but can anyone point me in the direction of where I can find the cases quoted in this thread?

    R(I)2/51
    R(SB)33/8
    CP/3037/2004

    Thanks,

    J

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