Start date confusion -PCGC

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    Kully Bains

    Can anyone help to clarify some confusion over the 1st week of entitlement in the following case :
    New claim : not a new liability
    awarded GC from 18/04/2011- The date of claim given on ETD is 16/06/2011 but first contact given as 20/04/2011 on LACI .
    Therefore we can accept that date of claim is 3 months prior to 20/04/2011- ie 20/01/2011 start date 24/01/2011

    However customer only wants to claim from date when GC awarded . Therfore would you allow the week 18/04/2011 based on GC claim or technically should the start date be 25/04/2011 on GC .

    i have read other posts and some argue that week 18/04/2011 to 24/04/2011 should be awarded as standard claim but it seems pointless asking for capital and income when we know that the income for the whole of that week was GC?

    Kevin D

    One approach would be to draw an inference for the period prior to GC to the effect that the clmt would not have been entitled to HB/CTB. HB(PC)R 64(1) only requires the “auto backdate” from when there is entitlement. Problem solved.


    In these cases we tend to award from the actual Monday that they are awarded GC. We take the view that they could have it back to Jan if they wanted, so why should they be panalised 1 week’s worth of HB/CTB because they choose not to pursue the “backdated” period.

    Kevin D

    Much as I morally agree with Martin, I’m struggling to see any legal basis for it :(. Based on the info given so far, the claim date is 18 Apr 2011, but benefit would commence from 25 Apr 2011 per HB(PC)R 57. I can’t see any way around it.

    Kully Bains

    If this case had been working age, and someone made a advance claim but said they only want to claim from the date their passporting benefit started , can a adverse inference still be drawn.
    claim recieved 21/03/2011 not a new liablity
    passporting benefit started 09/04/2011
    customer wants to claim from 09/04/2011
    can the period 28/03/2011 to 08/04/2011 be assessed as nil entit
    then period from 09/04/2011 based on passporting status OR should the start date have been 11/04/2011?
    Reason i am checking is that we would have paid this claim from 11/04/2011 but our agency staf fhave drawn a adverse inference and paid from 09/04/2011, which is legally correct ?

    Andy Thurman

    [quote=Kully Bains]Reason i am checking is that we would have paid this claim from 11/04/2011 but our agency staf fhave drawn a adverse inference and paid from 09/04/2011, which is legally correct ?[/quote]

    This has nothing to do with adverse inference – there is nothing to allow a mid-week start date unless it is a new liability! (So you – not your agency staff – are correct!)

    Kully Bains

    Just so that i understand this fully can i clarify : ,
    In my earlier example, where GC started on the Monday , and its also not a new tenancy , kevin has said that it would be acceptable to draw a adverse inference
    “One approach would be to draw an inference for the period prior to GC to the effect that the clmt would not have been entitled to HB/CTB. HB(PC)R 64(1) only requires the “auto backdate” from when there is entitlement. Problem solved.”
    Is the only difference in these two cases that one happens to be a Monday and the other isnt ? so if my second example the passporting beenfit had started 04/04/2011 then it would ve ok to use adverse inference and pay from 04/04/2011 ?

    thank you for your replies


    This comes down to the difference between award and entitlement, doesn’t it?

    I think I can see what happened in Kully’s case: claim was made 21/03/11 and due to start 28/3/11 but claimant not entitled initially (it doesn’t matter whether this is down to adverse inference or actual circumstances). So you have an award starting on Monday 28/04/11. As long as this award is not terminated prior to the passporting benefit starting, then JSA starting can be treated as a change in circs effective from 09/04/11. The award starts on a Monda, but actual entitlement starts mid-week.

    I think closed period supersessions allow this approach.

    Kevin D

    I respectfully disagree with Michael’s approach here. Until there is entitlement, there can be no “award”. Without an award, the change of circs regs cannot be engaged and, therefore, it isn’t possible for a closed period supersession be applied.

    This needs to be broken down from the beginning. Before anything else, the claim date must be established. In this case, the clmt has apparently made it clear he does not want HB/CTB prior to the start date of his PC on 18 April 2011. In light of the clmt’s info, it can properly be assumed by way of inference that there would have been no HB/CTB entitlement prior to 18 April 2011. The info given indicates the claim was made no earlier than 20 April (and no later than 16 June 2011) and, as the clmt has not asked for HB/CTB for a future period, there is no question of the “advance claim” provisions being engaged.

    This means HB(PC)R 64(1) applies and this fixes the [u]claim date[/u] as being [b]18 April 2011[/b]. Once the claim date is established, and not before, next stop is the “Date on which entitlement is to commence” – HB(PC)R 57.

    This is not a “week 1” case, so the default provision is para 1 of HB(PC(R) 57. That expressly states that “…a person who makes a claim for, and is otherwise entitled to, housing benefit [b]shall be entitled to that benefit from the benefit week following the first day in respect of which that claim is made[/b]”.

    The claim date is 18 April 2011. The next benefit week FOLLOWING that is [b]25 April 2011[/b] and that must be the start date; it cannot be any earlier date in law.

    There is no question of any of the change in circs provisions being engaged until 25 April 2011 which is the first date of the award.


    I think you could interpret “I want to claim benefit from DD/MM/YY” as “I want to claim benefit in such a way that my award starts on DD/MM/YY” – particularly when the three-month auto-backdate applies and DD/MM/YY happens to be a Monday*. If PCGC started on a Monday, it would only take an inference that the claimant had little or no income on the Sunday to award benefit from that Monday.

    As for Kully’s case – lets just say I can understand why the system did it and to an extent I can understand why the assessor did it. If the claimant comes back with proof of their income prior to the passporting benefit starting, the nil-qualifying period can easily be revised without having to change the start dates.

    *Edited to add citation: In Novitskaya it was found that claimants do not have to use explicit wording to make a claim and the meaning of the claim should be ascertained in the light of the relevant surrounding facts.

    Kevin D

    Hi Michael. I readily agree the clmt could make such a statement and would even assume that such an interpretation can properly be made in this case. But, the clmt cannot set the claim date. Whichever way it’s chopped in this case, nothing in HB(PC)R 64 gets further back to 11 April 2011 based on the info so far. But, I do agree, in broad terms, there is the one exception you touched on.

    IF, and only if, the claimant was to satisfy the LA that at least for Sunday 10th April he would otherwise have qualified for HB/CTB, THEN I agree the claim date would be 10th April with HB/CTB properly starting from the 11th. That needs the clmt to amend his claim or, if a decision has already been made, to dispute it on those grounds. Given the clmt’s express statement about the cut-off date, I wouldn’t draw an inference about Sunday without more info being provided.


    Like Kevin I also don’t think CPS applies in this case because it is not a retrospective period of non-entitlement… it is a period assessed as nil.

    However, I also agree with Michael that (where possible) you should try to interpret the person’s claim as beginning from the earliest possible date… but I don’t think that can be done in this case without finding out their circumstances for the period prior to GC being awarded.


    I agree a statement will be required from the claimant. I just think we should go that extra length to obtain that statement, since the claimant may not realise that they are potentially forfeiting one week’s HB/CTB by asking for their claim to start on a Monday.

    I think the two cases being discussed here have got a bit muddled…

    In the first case mentioned, PCGC starts on Monday 18/04/11. With the auto-backdate and a statement from the claimant that they had no income on Sunday 17/04/11, benefit can start from Monday 18/04/11.

    In the other case passporting benefit started on Saturday 09/04/11. I think the rational for CPS as it stands is fairly flimsy, but if you adopt CPS fully maybe it can be used to engineer a mid-week start? I wouldn’t completely reject that idea, but then again I wouldn’t be surprised if CPS is eventually found to be unlawful…

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