SMP/SSP/SAP/SPP: conflict in Regs

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    These items are listed as part of a claimant’s earnings and from what the DWP handbook has to say it seems clear that they are intended to be treated as such.

    But in HB Reg 25(1), they are listed as state benefits, not to be included as income. It seems to me that SMP etc cannot be two types of income simultaneously: either they are earnings and counted, or they are benefits and not counted. What seems to be missing is one of those “for the avoidance of doubt” rules that says “for the purposes of these Regs, SMP and its ilk are not to be regarded as benefits”. There is no such provision that I am aware of, and without a doubt these incomes are benefits because they get paid under the SSC&B Act.

    I am two-thirds inclined to say that SMP etc should be disregarded because it is a benefit, Reg 25 says not to include it, and the fact that it appears on the list of items counted as earnings doesn’t change that.

    What do other people do?

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