When is intention to claim an intention to claim

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  • #39372
    sjhall
    Participant

    Can I have some feedback on a difference of opinion please.

    A claimant who is currently receiving HB, submits a statement on the 24th August in which she notifies the LA that she had a new baby. Because of these new circs she then becomes entitled to CTB.

    A claim for CTB is then received by the LA on the 20th Sept. I assessed CTB using the 28th Aug as the intention to claim,(although on her statement she did not state she wanted to claim CTB) and awarded CTB from the Monday following, 29th Aug.

    However I have since been errored by our quality team as they state I should have only awarded CTB from the Monday following actual receipt of the claim, this being 20th Sept, so CTB should have been awarded 26th Sept and treated the period 29.08.2011 to 26.09.2011 as back-date.

    Is this correct?

    #111936
    walmslm
    Participant

    If the customer made no reference to wanting to make a claim for council tax benefit then I think your QA team are correct in their decision.

    Where this scenario is somewhat harsh is that it is unlikely that the customer would have known they had to specifically state they wished to now claim CTB. Therefore I think in almost all cases you would grant any subsiquent backdate request.

    I think this scenario also shows up the importance of the customer facing team in spotting these claims. If the contact on the 24th August was face to face (post is unclear) then if an on-the-ball customer facing staff had spotted that this change may result in entitlement to CTB the claim could have been submitted there and then and the issue avoided.

    #111937
    nickkeogh
    Participant

    Technically yes. The claimant notified you about the birth of her baby but if she didn’t request a CTB claim form or notify an intention to claim CTB now then it can’t be treated as such. However, as you have pointed out above she would certainly satisfy backdate requirements.

    #111939
    sjhall
    Participant

    Thanks for the comments. Back date it is then.

    #111942
    Kevin D
    Participant

    I’m not so sure of this. A couple of years ago I might well have taken the same approach as suggested by others so far. However, since then, “Novitskaya” has been before the Court of Appeal and, although not stated in so many words, my view is the judgement makes it clear that legislation should not be interpreted in a manner so as to obstruct claimants from being able claim benefit.

    In light of Novitskaya, it is open to argument that the clmt does not need to make an express statement as to wishing to claim – this is surely more so where an “intention” is at issue.

    Novitskaya: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2009/1260.html

    #111985
    Kate1
    Participant

    Many moons ago our office had a big discussion on ‘intention to claim’.
    After some heated debate we concluded that if a man had wandered into the reception area in error, left his hat on the counter, returned 3 weeks later and made a claim . . . we could count the ‘hat on the counter’ as an intention to claim. Run that one past your Quality Team !!

    #111989
    nickkeogh
    Participant

    But you would then have to consider temporary absence as he evidently considered your reception area to be his home as that is where he laid his hat.

    #111990
    Kate1
    Participant

    Brilliant ! (Good job he didn’t take Joe Cocker’s advice . . . .and keep his hat on !)

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