VF COMPLIANCE

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  • #22469
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I HAVE A CASE WHERE WE HAVE DONE A VF VISIT ON WHICH THE CLAIMANT HAS SUDDENLY DECIDED TO TELL US ABOUT AN ADDITIONAL £12,000 IN CAPITAL (AND BY QUICK FURTHER CHECKING, THERE IS PROBABLY MORE)

    THE CLAIMANT HAS GIVEN INSTRUCTION TO CANCEL FROM NOW WHICH I WILL DO.

    HOWEVER, AS THE CAPITAL HAS DOUBLED, I WAS ABOUT TO APPLY CHANGES GOING BACK AS I BELIEVE THIS CAPITAL HAS BEEN HELD THROUGH THE LIFETIME OF THE CLAIM BUT MY MANAGER IS NOW INDICATING THAT AS THE CHANGE HAS BEEN NOTIFIED DURING A VF VISIT (FROM A NON FRAUD MATCH), I CAN ONLY APPLY THE CHANGE FROM CURRENT DATE.

    CAN THIS BE RIGHT?twisted:

    CAN SOMEONE PLEASE CLARIFY WHAT THE SITUATION IS? CAN WE GO BACK AND APPLY NON BENEFICIAL CHANGES FOLLOWING A NON FRAUD INTERVENTION?

    MANY THANKS!! :

    #8181
    markp
    Participant

    Do you have evidence to prove your point? If not, you can amend the capital from VF date and request proof. Once this is provided, or not as the case may be, then you could draw an adverse inference on capital or not.

    Sorry can’t be more specific than this but I don’t know what details you have.

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................

    #8182
    Anonymous
    Guest

    THANKS FOR THAT – MORE CONCERNED OVER GENERAL RULE OVER CHASING AND APPLYING CHANGES FOLLOWING A VF (NON FRAUD) VISIT – BASICALLY CAN WE STILL GO BACK AND CREATE OVERPAYMENTS?

    #8183
    markp
    Participant

    To my way of thinking…..

    Yes, if you can justify it. If you do go back, drawing adverse inference the tenant will have the right of appeal and would need to provide proof of all capital during OP period.

    Ready to be shot down in flames!!!

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................

    #8184
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I’d back up Mark’s point – if you have the evidence to make a decision, then you should create the OP. I would also recommend you refer the case to your fraud team as it is quite probable the claimant has made false statements over the years, hence has been committing fraud. The fact he has admitted it now doesn’t excuse his actions in the past.

    #8185
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Course you can. If the claimant has been overpaid, they have been overpaid and the fact that you discovered the information under the auspices of an obsolete subsidy-driven visiting schedule doesn’t alter that.

    I’ve heard this more than once – seems to be something of a Benefits urban legend. Does the confusion stem from the old SAFE subsidy arrangements, which allowed an overpayment reward to be claimed in cases where the Council terminated HB without being able to pin down an overpayment in cases where the claimant had probably moved or started work some time ago but you couldn’t prove it?

    Obviously if you don’t have the evidence to say that the claimant’s circumstances changed earlier than the date you found out, you are going to have an uphill struggle proving that there has been an overpayment. But if the evidence is there, the case is no different from any other in which undeclared past circumstances come to light.

    #8186
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks for that….

    #8187
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    I know a neighbouring authority recently had the DWP help team in to see them about their escalating level of overpayments. The authority argued that since the abolition of benefit periods, they were discovering a lot more overpayments on interventions as cases where not being looked at for 18+ months, and claimant’s were not telling them about wage increases, changes in tax credits etc. Previously, they would set a shortened benefit period for earners, so the claims would be looked at every six months.

    Apparently the DWP Help Team advised them that if they discovered a change in income etc, it was up to the discretion of the authority whether they re-assessed the claim from the date of the change or whether they simply re-assessed from some other arbitrary date such as the paid up to date or the date of the intervention.

    I’m not sure if this is simply duff info from the DWP or some clever interpretation of the decision and appeals regulations regarding supersessions etc. I can’t see it myself though. The Regs seem to clearly dictate when a superseding decision takes effect from.

    #8188
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Stalbans –
    I think you are quite right that the regs dictate when a superseding decision takes place from……. as long as we have evidence of date of change of circs. 8) I think that we have all heard of DWP “putting things right” from current week when we would have felt that recovery should have gone back further.

    I think here that the problem is what we are continually finding – we don’t have a definate date to pin it on, and that’s why I feel that markp has outlined the right way to approach this, and Peter Barker has, quite rightly said, that if you don’t have the evidence, it’s difficult to come to the decision. 8)

    #8189
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Shall I repeat myself – why not.

    Refer the case to your fraud team. If the cl’t doesn’t provide all the bank statements to enable you to make a correct decision, the fraud team will be able to get them directly from the banking institution (either themselves, if they have the appropriate authorised officers, or via NAFN). In his original entry, Mike states he believes the cl’t may have had this capital throughout the life of his claim. This is clearly fraud and needs to be investigated.

    #8190
    Kevin D
    Participant

    I agree with ANP.

    Irrespective of any fraud, the DPA allows info to be released if that info is needed for the purpose of exercising legal rights.

    And I also agree with the posters who state that a change of circs takes effect from when it happened – not some arbitrary administratively convenient date plucked out of thin air.

    As for the DWP advice, it is ill considered (oh, and wrong). And, I can just imagine a BFI inspector’s reaction to “…but the DWP say it’s ok”. I doubt the BFI (or good auditors) would be so lenient.

    Is it one rule (approach?) for the DWP / Inland Revenue and another for LAs? Welcome to planet benefits – it’s been that way for years.

    Regards

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