Simple query

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  • #20180

    Ok, this may be a simple question to the majority of you, but I had a break from benefits in the middle of the year (just in time to avoid Tax Credit horrors 😛 ), and am checking that what I remember from before then is correct.

    I am sure that in a ‘training / information’ session we had with a DWP rep, regarding Pension Credits, that once in place (i.e. after 06/10/03) with all new claims for pension age people we DO NOT request info for the claim from the customer. Am I correct in remembering that we MUST use the AIF, and therefore contact TPS in all instances of a new pension age claim for the income / capital / SC figures before we can set up the claim?

    What are authorities doing? I have loads of claims pending in my tray awaiting faxes back from TPS – (so much for their 24 hour fax turnaround they assured me would happen) and its really frustrating!!

    Also, are any other authorities having trouble in the fact that PC award letters do not show capital amounts? What are you doing in this situation?

    All answers gratefully received……

    Steph x


    It seems that replies are harder to come by at Xmas! Anyway – I’ll give it a shot.

    1) If the claimant or partner gets Guarantee Credit or Guarantee and Savings Credit you don’t need proof of anything else except rent, non deps and any absence from home exceeding 13 weeks. Everything else comes from the Pension Service.

    2) If the claimant or partner gets Savings Credit but not Guarantee Credit they need to provide the same stuff as for Guarantee Credit cases plus all info about children, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, capital (but only if it goes above £16000) and changes to the income and capital of a partner not included in the Pension Credit calculation (very rare those ones).

    3) An AIF is only relevant if Savings Credit but not Guarantee Credit is in payment. In those cases you are correct that the LA must use this figure. In practice, lots of LA’s want to know what to do where the figure is clearly wrong and the answer seems to be to use it anyway but to develop decent liasion wth your local Pension Service to hear about and resolve discrepancies.

    4) As far as capital amounts go a couple of things occur to me. Firstly, for Guarantee Credit cases it doesn’t matter anyway. Secondly, for Savings Credit only cases what matters to the LA is the notification from the Pension Service and this should have the details on it already. The LA wouldn’t even know when the Savings Credit award should effect the HB from until the notification from the Pension Service is received. Thirdly, capital is already taken account of in the AIF so knowing it seperately isn’t all that useful unless you have to modify the AIF (and therefore satisfy some pointless DWP stats requirement) or notice that the capital exceeds £16,000 (and therefore make a nil HB/CTB award).

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