Start dates / new claims etc.

Currently, there are 0 users and 1 guest visiting this topic.
Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #22180
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    I’m sure this has been covered before, but I can’t find the thread.

    Claimant stops work on a Saturday morning. Claims HB/CTB and Income Support on the Monday morning. Awarded IS from the Monday. HB/CTB awarded from the following Monday. Claimant wants benefit from the Monday he claimed (usual argument that what he lost at the start he will gain at the end doesn’t placate him as he states he is not returning to work – he has left work to look after his son).

    His argument is that he couldn’t claim on the Saturday as offices were closed. If we accept that this is good cause, is it possible to pay from the Monday as he wishes? Should his wages be taken into account up until the Sunday (it was his pay for that week)?, in which case the change of circ. would be on the Monday and he wouldn’t qualify anyway or can we accept wages ended on the Saturday and effectively assess on a nil income for the first week.

    Help! Claimant is very unhappy but I feel to allow benefit for the first week in the manner described is perhaps bending the regs a bit too far!

    #6981
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    I reckon your solution works fine (assessing from the Monday IS awarded).
    Firstly, re backdate request – clmt has a point, they have claimed asap so looks fine to show ‘good cause’ from details you’ve given.
    Secondly, re income for 1st week – assess on IS as this is their income for the week they want HB/CTB backdated to include. COC rules (IS effective from following Monday) do not apply as you are looking at a new claim. 8)

    #6982
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    Hmm. Seems a bit radical though! The majority of people leave work at the end of a week, claim benefits the following Monday and are awarded HB/CTB from the Monday after that.

    If I award HB as described, I can’t help but think of all those people who have missed out in the past!!!

    Just a bit worried about Reg 33(1)(a) and whether his wages for the precedding week should be treated as being up until the Sunday, in which case the change would occur on the Monday, but you are stating the COC rule wouldn’t apply as it is a new claim…

    #6983
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    I do share your concerns regarding the treatment of this claimant (if b/date awarded) as being unfair to others who have accepted HB/CTB as beginning the following week and/or setting a ‘dangerous’ precedent.

    As there is nothing stopping the b/date request being made, however, I don’t see how it can be ignored & “good cause” needs considering. On the face of it, the offices being closed argument is difficult to argue against. Perhaps, in this case (ironically), you could argue that the claimant knew their circs were changing (I assume this was planned if going into childcare) & could have taken steps during their final week of work (to state their intention to claim)?!

    If the claim for backdating (proving good cause for whatever reason) to the same date was submitted, say, 4 months after the work ended/IS began, would you have any problems awarding based on IS from the Monday it went into payment?

    #6984
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    I think it would be harder for the claimant to demonstrate [i:ccbf201b97]continuous[/i:ccbf201b97] good cause if they left it 4 months before claiming.

    If a claimant was getting HB/CTB based on low earnings, and then contacted us to state he/she had left that job and had been awarded JSA / Income Support from a Monday, I think everyone would agree that you would ‘end’ the earnings on the Sunday, input the JSA / IS from the Monday and the benefit would change from the following Monday.

    To back-date the date of claim to the Friday / Saturday to allow benefit for the first week would mean we are treating this claimant more favourably than an existing claimant (unless in future we end the earnings of an exisiting claimant from 4:45pm on the Friday afternoon!)

    #6985
    Anonymous
    Guest

    If this were a change of circumstance in a live claim it would take effect from the day on which the IS/JSA award commenced – not the following Monday. See D&A Reg 8(14).

    This is backed up by Reg 31(2) which, I think, says that state benefit income should be attributed to the same period for which it is awarded. I know that IS/JSA(ib) are not dealt with under the rules on income, but there is evidence of a consistent approach there.

    You also have Reg 6(6) which says that a person is not in remunerative work if they get IS for more than three days in the week – again, it’s not quite the same issue but it adds to the picture of IS being an “instant” change of circumstance.

    Finally, I believe Reg 33, which was mentioned earlier in the thread, is about how you convert earnings to a weekly amount – it doesn’t tell you what date that weekly amount should be applied from. This vagueness contrasts sharply with the IS Regs where there are very detailed and complicated attribution rules that say when and for how long a payment of income is taken into account – the effect is to prolong your last payment of income for as long as possible before you can start getting IS. HB doesn’t have rules like that.

    So there is nothing I can see in the legislation that fits the bill exactly for a new claim commencing in the same week that IS commences; but if we want to treat these people consistently with those who go onto IS while already claiming HB, well in fact we should be picking up the IS income the instant it starts – not the following Monday. That’s what D&A Reg 8(14) says.

    #6986
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    Actually, having thought about it, there was a very persuasive argument on this board that Reg 8(14) of the Decision and Appeals Regs meant that were a decision is superseded to reflect the award of a relevant benefit, the new decision takes effect from the date of the award, not the Monday following (despite the fact most software can’t cope with this).

    If we accept this, then our back-dated claimant is treated the same as a claimant with a change of circs. I feel happier about it now…

    Edit – Posted before Peter’s reply… 😀

    #6987
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote:7d3bb08cb9]I can’t help but think of all those people who have missed out in the past!!! [/quote:7d3bb08cb9]

    [size=9:7d3bb08cb9][/size:7d3bb08cb9]…don’t recall such things troubling your conscience a few years ago![size=9:7d3bb08cb9][/size:7d3bb08cb9]

    #6988
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Just a thought, but if the punter concerned wants to split hairs……

    He could have made a claim on the Saturday (or even the Friday night after finishing work). All he needed was a pen, a piece of paper and the council’s letter box. What time does the switchboard close? Could he have phoned and requested a claim form (provided this is all post 03/04/06 of course).

    Perhaps I’m just being grumpy and pedantic. Lack of sleep. Blame the kids.

    #6989
    andyrichards
    Participant

    I couldn’t begin to identify it, but I believe that there is caselaw to the effect that an LA has to take account of it’s own accessibility to its customers when determining when it did (or might have) received a claim. I believe this goes as far as saying that all of an LA’s Monday morning post ought to be treated as though received on the preceding Saturday on the basis that, for all the LA knows, it might have been if they had been open.

    I appreciate that this is a bit different as this claimant did not do actually do anything before the Monday. I always think the simplest thing for the claimant to do in these cases would be to claim backdating to the Saturday on the basis that he would have come in and claimed then if the office had been open. On one level it’s quite hard to argue against that as good cause. Or is that way too simple? Of course having read all the posts properly now, I realise I’m not the first person with this suggestion!

    #6990
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    I agree Andy 8) & I like simple! 😉

    #6991
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    [quote:d828b7cc69]I can’t help but think of all those people who have missed out in the past!!!

    [quote:d828b7cc69]…don’t recall such things troubling your conscience a few years ago![/quote:d828b7cc69]

    [/quote:d828b7cc69]

    😯 Andy, I’m outraged!!

    Darren, you make a good point. For example, If he knew his contract / employment was coming to an end, he could have claimed during the previous week. However, I think it would be difficult to argue that he didn’t act as a reasonable person would have in the circumstances (he claimed first thing Monday morning). I think I will allow it but stress that if the situation occurs again he would need make a claim (or state his intention to claim) in advance. Having gone through all of this , it’s obviously going to be difficult for him to demonstrate good cause on the same grounds again.

    #6992
    Stephen Murray
    Participant

    [quote:b39fcab1fd]I couldn’t begin to identify it, but I believe that there is caselaw to the effect that an LA has to take account of it’s own accessibility to its customers when determining when it did (or might have) received a claim. I believe this goes as far as saying that all of an LA’s Monday morning post ought to be treated as though received on the preceding Saturday on the basis that, for all the LA knows, it might have been if they had been open.
    [/quote:b39fcab1fd]

    Andy could you be thinking of R (SB) 8/89 see the link below

    http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/pdfs/rsb/8_89.pdf

    🙂

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.