War Pensions and modified schemes – HELP!

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  • #38602
    trina
    Participant

    We disregard war pensions in full. There is a case that has been to appeal and is waiting to go to Upper Tribunal where the customer wants us to disregard his Armed Service retirement pension as well.

    We have been given direction to supply the resolution made by the council allowing the war pension disregard – we are having trouble locating this as it happened in 1995.

    The tribunal seems to want to establish what has been included in the resolution under Social Security Admin Act 1995 section 139 6(a) & (b). We think they want to see if we have made a lcoal scheme to disregard ordinary service pensions. We know that we cannot do this but proving what we have done is becoming difficult.

    I am having trouble interpreting 6(b) – can anyone put this into plain english to say what this regulation is allowing the LA to do? :~

    Section 139
    (6)A charging authority or levying authority may modify any part of the community charge benefit scheme administered by the authority—
    (a)so as to provide for disregarding, in determining a person’s income, the whole or part of any war disablement pension or war widow’s pension payable to that person or to his partner or to a person to whom he is polygamously married;
    (b)to such extent in other respects as may be prescribed, and any such modifications may be adopted by resolution of an authority.
    (7)Modifications other than such modifications as are mentioned in subsection (6)(a) above shall be so framed as to secure that, in the estimate of the authority adopting them, the total of the benefits which will be allowed by the authority for any year will not exceed the permitted total of benefits for that year.

    Thanks

    #108949
    Anonymous
    Guest

    It doesn’t allow the LA to do anything at all – it is an enabling provision that allows the Secretary of State to make regulations prescribing other kinds of local scheme apart from war pension disregards. There are no Regulations – the power in subsection (6)(b) has not been exercised.

    #108951
    chris harvey
    Participant

    The regs that prescribe the War Pensions are in SI 1619/2007

    #108952
    trina
    Participant

    Thanks Peter

    Seems a bit of pointless legislation – gives us the power to adopt a resolution if the SS decides to ever give us a new discretion??

    The wording of the Direction is;
    However I note that this material does not include any copy of the actual resolution. As indicated in my direction of 22nd June, an issue that concerns me is whether the intention of the council in making the resolution was to adopt the definition of ‘war disablement pension’ contained in the legislation (I think in 1995 this would have been in the definition in section 139(11) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992) or whether they intended to apply a definition of their own. Can the respresentative of the local authority throw any light on that point?

    My understanding is Section 139(6)(a) allows the LA to adpot a disreagard in whole or part of the war disablement pension. We give the full 100%. The definition in 11(a)says what a war disablement pension is. There is also a definition in The HB/CTB War Pensions Disregards Regulations Part 1.
    The LA does not have the power to make any other definition. Even if the wording of the resolution is ambiguous e.g. if it just says war pensions – it would make no difference and could not be bindig because we do not have the power to make this decision. Would you agree with that line of argument. Can you give any other advice or what we can use to state our case?

    I don’t want to get this wrong as the claimant wants the disregard on the service pension on the basis that pensions paid by Paymasters Genreal Office is also a war disability pension. He retired on health grounds. The Veterans Agency has confimred that they make payments of the War Disability in the UK not Paymanster General(now Xafinity Paymaster).

    Thanks.

    #108953
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Chris: those regs are made under (6)(a) though – they are the “prescribed” war pensions referred to in that paragraph. (6)(b) provides for local schemes of any other kind you can imagine, but only if the Sec of State makes Regs allowing such local schemes to exist … and he hasn’t.

    #108954
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Trina – yes, I agree – it doesn’t matter what the resolution says, it cannot allow a local scheme disregard more generous than that provided for by s139(6)(a) and the Regs made thereunder. I would respond to the Direction saying that, since you have been unable to get hold of the original resolution, you are willing to concede that it was probably as generous as the law allowed and you are happy to disregard absolutely everything within the scope of s139(6)(a) – but the issue is whether the service pension is in scope. What the Council certainly cannot do is make a resolution to disregard other forms of income under s139(6)(b) becaue, as i say, there aren’t any Regs allowing it to do so.

    #108956
    trina
    Participant

    Thanks Peter – will try that, it sounds reasonable.

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