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installspark

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Posts posted by installspark

  1. Just letting you know I failed miserably at getting any justice done, the chief executive replied and admitted official error but i still have to pay it back.

     

    In my opinion the overpayment is unrecoverable due to the time taken to process the change of circumstances; had the council done this within the statutory 14 days there would have been little, if any, overpayment. The council had the opportunity to suspend the claim whilst they processed the change and yet they chose not to.

     

    As you have now received the final reply from the council's chief executive you are now able to take this matter to the Local Government Ombudsman who will make the final decision.

     

    Details of how to make a complaint to the Ombudsman can be found here

     

    Do not give up yet!!!:)

  2. Apply for ESA by phone on 0800 055 6688 you can request that the claim is backdated to the date you became incapacitated (up to a maximum of 3 months) otherwise the claim will be paid 3 waiting days after the date of claim. The call to make the claim will take between 40 mins and 1 hour.

     

    Within a few days you'll receive the Customer Statement to check and this will also inform you what evidence is required - this is usually the sicknote, details of self employment accounts, verification of savings held above £5500, verification of any occupational pension or personal health insurance in payment and housing costs. As for the time it will take to process a claim into payment (even if it is to be a credit only claim) this can vary from Benefit Delivery Centre, the receipt of all requested information. On average the target is 17 days but an take up to 4 weeks in certain instances. Once the claim is processed into payment you will receive a letter informing you of your entitlement.

     

    Within the first 13 weeks of the claim (the Assessment phase) you will be required to attend a Work Focused interview, complete and return the ESA50 Limited Capability for Work questionnaire and attend a Work Capability Assessment. Attendance for the WFU and WCA, and returning the form, is mandatory as failure to do so will mean that your claim is disallowed and no payment will be made if an appeal is registered against a FTA or FTR decision. Should you fail the WCA and appeal against the decision the claim will be put back into payment during the appeal process.

     

    Don't rely on the Benefit Delivery Centre notifying you when a sicknote is due to expire, from experience these letters are either not generated by the system or arrive on or after the date of expiry.

     

     

    With regards the care component of DLA being refused, have you appealed against that decision??

  3. The simple answer for contribution conditions ;);):D

     

    To get a contribution based benefit you need to satisfy the contribution conditions in the Relevant Income Tax Years (RITY)

     

    The first contribution condition.

    In order to qualify for contribution based JSA you must have:

     

    • actually paid Class 1 contributions in one of the three last complete tax years on earnings of 25 times the lower earnings limit for that particular year; or
    • 25 Class 2 contributions in any of the three last complete tax years; or
    • a mixture of Class 1 and Class 2 totalling 25 in any of the three last complete tax years.

    The lower earnings limit for the last three tax years are-

    2006-2007 = £84

    2007-2008 = £87

    2008-2009 = £89

    Class 1 National Insurance contributions are paid by employed people as a percentage of their earnings. Class 2 NI contributions are paid by self-employed people at a standard weekly rate.

    The second contribution condition.

    In addition to meeting the first condition you must also have paid (or have been treated as having paid) Class 1 or Class 2 contributions amounting to at least 50 times the lower earnings limit in each of the two relevant tax years.

    The relevant tax years are those that precede the benefit year in which the claim is made. To make things a little more complex, the benefit year runs from the first Sunday in January whereas the tax year starts on April 6th.

    Contribution credits count as Class 1 credits and can be used to help you meet the second contribution condition. You are credited for each full week that you receive-

     

    • incapacity benefit or
    • statutory sick pay or
    • severe disablement allowance or
    • income support due to incapacity for work or
    • maternity allowance or
    • jobseeker's allowance or
    • carer's allowance or
    • adoption pay

  4. There are benefits experts on here who will correct me if I'm wrong, but i think you mean the £16,000 savings limit? if you have over that amount, then you won't get any help until it reduces to under £16,000. Then you get a percentage until you have less than £6,000, then you get full benefits again.

     

    For all income based benefits that is correct, capital and savings held between £6000 and £16000 will result in a reduction of benefit of £1 for every £250 (£500 for ESA) held above £6000. Any capital and savings held above £16000 will zero any income based benefit payable.

     

    Certain types of capital can be disregarded for a period of up 104 weeks with some disregarded indefinitely; one of these being payment for personal injury. However to be disregarded indefinitely this payment must be held on trust and any payment made from the trust is treated as income from capital. The income from capital in itself will also be disregarded.

     

    Payment for personal injury

    The law

     

    29414 The value of

    1. a payment made because of a personal injury if held on trust and

    2. the right to receive payment from the trust

    are disregarded indefinitely where the payment is made as a result of an injury to

    either the claimant or partner1. For example, the value of a payment made by the

    Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is disregarded if held on trust and so is the

    value of the right to receive payment from the trust. A trust exists if there is a

    separation of legal ownership and beneficial ownership of the payment. The

    disregard can apply even if there is no written trust document.

    Note 1: Payments of income from the trust are income from capital and are taken

    into account as income and not capital. (See DMG Chapter 28 for how to treat such

    payments).

    Note 2: This disregard does not apply if the injury was to a claimant’s deceased

    partner2.

    Note 3: A payment made in relation to the costs of care associated with an

    unwanted child in a “wrongful birth” case is a payment made because of a personal

    injury, for instance in the case of a failed sterilisation or vasectomy.

    1 JSA Regs, Sch 8, para 17; IS (Gen) Regs, Sch 10, para 12; 2 R(IS) 3/03

     

    Income from certain disregarded capital

     

    28124 Generally income from capital is not treated as income but as capital and goes

    towards increasing the amount of a claimant’s capital. DMs should, however, take

    into account, subject to any appropriate income disregards, income derived from the

    following types of capital for as long as the value of the capital is disregarded1

    1. trusts set up from money paid because of a personal injury while disregarded

    (see DMG 28496, 28513, and DMG Chapter 29)

    2. assets of a business partly or wholly owned by the claimant while disregarded

    (see DMG Chapter 29)

    3. the dwelling occupied as the home while disregarded - (see DMG Chapter 29)

    (but not income from boarders or sub-lets which is partially disregarded).

    1 JSA Regs, Sch 7, para 23; IS (Gen) Regs, Sch 9, para 22

    Disregard for relevant payments

     

    28513 Fully disregard1 any relevant payment unless one of the exceptions at DMG 28514 -28515 apply.

     

    1 JSA Regs, Sch 7, para 15(1); IS (Gen) Regs, Sch 9, para 15(1)

    Relevant payments that should be taken fully into account

     

    28514 The disregard in DMG 28513 does not apply to

    1. a person affected by a TD1 or

    2. LRPs and child maintenance2 or

    3. maintenance, that is not an LRP or child maintenance, for

    3.1 a member of the family or

    3.2 a former partner or

    3.3 the children

    of the person making the payment3 or

    4. a student's covenant or grant income4 or

    5. in JSA cases only, any payment made to a member of the family because

    another member of the family is involved in a TD5 or

    6. in IS cases only, to a person entitled to IS during

    6.1 a TD or

    6.2 the first 15 days after returning to work after a TD6.

    Note: JSA can not be paid to claimants involved in a TD. Special rules apply if a

    member of the family of a JSA claimant is involved in a TD.

    1 JSA Regs, Sch 7, para 15(3)(b)(i); IS (Gen) Regs, Sch 9, para 15(3)(b); 2 JSA Regs, reg 89 & 90;

    IS (Gen) Regs, reg 25 & 25A; 3 JSA Regs, Sch 7, para 15(3)(a); IS (Gen) Regs, Sch 9, para 15(3)(a);

    4 JSA Regs, reg 134; IS (Gen) Regs, reg 65; 5 JSA Regs, Sch 7, para 15(3)(b)(ii);

    6 IS (Gen) Regs, Sch 9, para 15(3)(b)

     

    Nor would using any personal injury payment to pay for further medical care be classed as deprivation of capital.

     

    29806 People are not treated as having capital of which they have deprived themselves if

    1. the capital is a payment made because of a personal injury to them (including

    payments from the Children’s Memorial Trust - see DMG 29418 ) and

    2. the payment is held on trust for their benefit1.

    They are also not treated as having the amount by which notional capital is reduced

    under the diminishing notional capital rule2.

    1 JSA Regs, reg 113(1)(a); IS (Gen) Regs, reg 51(1)(a); 2 JSA Regs, reg 113(1)(b) & 114; IS (Gen) Regs,

    reg 51(1)(B) 51A

  5. You could also make a claim for Employment and Support Allowance whilst the IB is in appeal. This is instead of JSA.

     

    When you make the claim, if it is within 8 weeks of the IB claim it will initially be linked back to IB and the claim sent to IB to see if they can pay. As IB is in appeal, they will send the claim back to ESA to process into payment.

  6. What will happen, is once the appeal is logged they will pay your wife the basic rate of ESA.

     

    Just to add to Erika's great advice, whilst your wife's claim is in appeal there is still the requirement to send up to date sick notes from your GP in order to keep the claim in payment, this is paid at the same amount as your wife currently receives. Also when you send the appeal in, if possible, include any supporting evidence which you may have or be able to obtain such as a letter from the GP and/or consultant.

     

    Following the WCA decision a letter will have been sent to your wife's GP to inform them of the outcome, this is where a lot of confusion can arise, the letter to the GP states that no further sick notes are to be issued as the claimant has been found "fit for work". Most GP's stop reading the letter at this point!!! The letter does go on to state that sick notes are required if the claimant is appealing against the decision, so should your wife's GP refuse to issue a sick note citing that the DWP have told him/her to do so be very insistent that the letter also states what is required if an appeal is made. If the GP states they will only issue further sick notes if the DWP inform them to do so, contact the Benefit Delivery Centre dealing with the claim and request that they contact the GP by phone/fax and request a call back to inform you when this has been done.

    • Haha 1
  7. Your dad can claim either Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credits.

     

    ESA would be payable up to the age of 65 and there is the requirement to attend medicals and work focused interviews. ESA can either be claimed based upon NI contributions alone, based on income or income alone. Pension Credit is based on income.

     

    Given your father's age it may be best to claim Pension Credit.

     

    I wish him a full recovery.

  8. Hi,

     

    I have become a mom recently and am on maternity leave (with maternity allowance) My husband is working. We have rented 2 rooms in a private accommodation and pay 160 ponds weekly rent. Our gross income is around 32 k (25k husband + 7k me) per annum. Can I claim housing benefit? I have just applied for the child benefit. Any other benefits I am entitled to?

     

    Any help is much appreciated.

     

    Thanks in advance

     

    You should be able to get a reasonably accurate indication as to how much HB/CTB you may receive by using the benefit calculator on your council's website. If your council does not have this on their website then you can use this. You will need to know the amount of the Local Hosing Allowance payable for the property type for your needs (not the actual property size), this information can be obtained from here

     

    As soon as you get your Child Benefit number claim both Child and Working Tax credits.

    • Haha 1
  9. Whilst you do not state whether your friend is in receipt of JSA(IB), IS or ESA(IR), the rules are the same for all these benefits in relation to housing costs.

     

    Mortgage interest will only be paid on the relevant eligible loan amount. The DMs(Decision Makers) have to follow the rules and regulations governing this and follow the guidance which can be found here:

     

    Decision Makers Guide Volume 4 Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support Chapter 23 - Normal Amount Payable

     

    The relevant section is Housing Costs for JSA(IB) and IS 23400 et seq

  10. Just make sure you tell the council that it is both a formal complaint and appeal.

     

    It would also support your case if you directly quoted the relevant Housing Benefit regulations in your letter as then there can be no grounds for misinterpretation. Most councils, from experience, do not fully understand the regulations and how they are to be interpreted as they are statute law.

     

    If you need any help in drafting your letter we will help.

  11. What a load of balderdash and piffle!!!!!!! (or words to that effect ;) )

     

    Where shall I start in ripping the council's reply to shreds????

     

    Official error is non recoverable under the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006

     

    Recoverable overpayments

    100
    - (1) Any overpayment, except one to which paragraph (2) applies, shall be recoverable.

    (2) Subject to paragraph (4) this paragraph applies to an overpayment caused by an official error where the claimant or a person acting on his behalf or any other person to whom the payment is made could not, at the time of receipt of the payment or of any notice relating to that payment, reasonably have been expected to realise that it was an overpayment.

    (3) In paragraph (2), "overpayment caused by official error" means an overpayment caused by a mistake made whether in the form of an act or omission by—

    (a) the relevant authority;

    (b) an officer or person acting for that authority;

    © an officer of —

    (i) the Department for Work and Pensions; or

    (ii) Revenue and Customs,
    acting as such; or

    (d) a person providing services to the Department for Work and Pensions or to the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs,

    where the claimant, a person acting on his behalf or any other person to whom the payment is made, did not cause or materially contribute to that mistake, act or omission.

    (4) Where in consequence of an official error, a person has been awarded rent rebate to which he was not entitled or which exceeded the benefit to which he was entitled, upon the award being revised any overpayment of benefit, which remains credited to him by the relevant authority in respect of a period after the date on which the revision took place, shall be recoverable.

     

    Para 2 does not apply as the "average" person can not be reasonably expected to work out their benefit entitlement in the event of not receiving a revised benefit notification. Para 4 does apply as any overpayment caused by official error before the date of revision is not recoverable.

     

    As for the council stating that 6 weeks to process the notification of change of circumstances, well.......

     

    A council has 14 days, or as soon as reasonably practcable, to make a decision on a claim from when they were notified and all relevant documentation received, this is prescribed in the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006

     

    Decisions by a relevant authority

     

    89.
    —(1) Unless provided otherwise by these Regulations, any matter required to be determined under these Regulations shall be determined in the first instance by the relevant authority.

    (2) The relevant authority shall make a decision on each claim within 14 days of the provisions of regulations 83 and 86 being satisfied or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.

    (3) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this regulation, in a case where a person—


      • (a) made the notification specified in paragraph 2 of Schedule 7 within 14 days from the day immediately after the day on which his entitlement to income support or an income-based jobseeker's allowance ceased ("the appropriate day") and is treated as having claimed an extended payment under regulation 72(2); and

        (b) has made a claim, which meets the requirements of regulation 83(1), (6) and (9), within 14 days of the appropriate day,
         

    the relevant authority shall give priority to that claim over other claims which do not fall within the provisions of this paragraph.

    Notification of decisions

    90.
    —(1) An authority shall notify in writing any person affected by a decision made by it under these Regulations—

     


      • (a) in the case of a decision on a claim, forthwith or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter;
        (b) in any other case, within 14 days of that decision or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter,


    and every notification shall include a statement as to the matters set out in Schedule 9.

    (2) A person affected to whom an authority sends or delivers a notification of decision may, by notice in writing signed by him, request the authority to provide a written statement setting out the reasons for its decision on any matter set out in the notice.

    (3) For the purposes of paragraph (2), where a person affected who requests a written statement is not a natural person, the notice in writing referred to in that paragraph shall be signed by a person over the age of 18 who is authorised to act on that person's behalf.

    (4) The written statement referred to in paragraph (2) shall be sent to the person requesting it within 14 days or as soon as is reasonably practical thereafter.

    A period of 6 weeks cannot be seen to be reasonable; the council had the opportunity to suspend the claim form the start of the benefit week following your notification of the change of circumstances.

     

    You need to write to the council stating that you disagree with their revised decision and request that the appeal be forwarded to Appeals Tribunal for a final, independent decision.

  12. But am I correct in understanding that if I was receiving Contributions based JSA this would be based on sufficient class 1 contributions being paid?

     

    Sort answer.. Yes.

     

    To get a contribution based benefit you need to satisfy the contribution conditions in the Relevant Income Tax Year (RITY)

     

    The first contribution condition.

    In order to qualify for contribution based JSA you must have:

     

    • actually paid Class 1 contributions in one of the three last complete tax years on earnings of 25 times the lower earnings limit for that particular year; or
    • 25 Class 2 contributions in any of the three last complete tax years; or
    • a mixture of Class 1 and Class 2 totalling 25 in any of the three last complete tax years.

    The lower earnings limit for the last three tax years are-

    2006-2007 = £84

    2007-2008 = £87

    2008-2009 = £89

    Class 1 National Insurance contributions are paid by employed people as a percentage of their earnings. Class 2 NI contributions are paid by self-employed people at a standard weekly rate.

    The second contribution condition.

    In addition to meeting the first condition you must also have paid (or have been treated as having paid) Class 1 or Class 2 contributions amounting to at least 50 times the lower earnings limit in each of the two relevant tax years.

    The relevant tax years are those that precede the benefit year in which the claim is made. To make things a little more complex, the benefit year runs from the first Sunday in January whereas the tax year starts on April 6th.

    Contribution credits count as Class 1 credits and can be used to help you meet the second contribution condition. You are credited for each full week that you receive-

     

    • incapacity benefit or
    • statutory sick pay or
    • severe disablement allowance or
    • income support due to incapacity for work or
    • maternity allowance or
    • jobseeker's allowance or
    • carer's allowance or
    • adoption pay

     

    In your case the benefit year is 2009, so the RITY's used should be 05/06, 06/07 and 07/08.

  13. You can apply for HB now and be assessed on your current income and, if awarded HB, notify your council once you become unemployed; or you can wait until you are made redundant and then apply making sure you ticj the box about waiting to hear about a benefit claim.

     

    Councils have a maximum of 14 days (calendar not working) to make a decision on a HB claim from when all relevant documentation is supplied, this is prescribed in the regulations, after which the council must make a payment on account without the need for you to request this. From experience, many benefit officers at councils don't know this and will try to tell you otherwise.

     

    Any problems let us know and we will help you.

  14. Try a full system reset, you will lose all of the contents of the planner and anytime recordings.

     

    To do a full system reset

     

     

    1. Press SERVICES
    2. Press 4
    3. Press 0,1, SELECT
    4. Press 8

    To help prevent file fragmentation do a planner rebuild once a month (same procedure up to step 4 where you then press 7). Like a PC, over time, the files become fragmented which can cause slowdowns and random crashes.

  15. Your friend needs to claim JSA and CTB.

     

    So long as your friend has paid enough NI in 06/06 and 07/08 then she will receive JSA© for a maximum of 26 weeks. If not enough NI has been paid then she will be assessed for JSA(IB) although this will effectively be nilled by the widows pension she will still get NI credits, also she will be able to claim mortgage interest payments after 13 weeks.

     

    CTB will be assessed on her income, s no JSA(IB) will be payable, and there might be some entitlement to this, although it is unlikely to be the full amount as it is likely there will be a small amount of excess income. For CTB the council will class the following as income

     

     

    1. Widows Pension
    2. Child Benefit (disregarded from October)
    3. Child Tax Credit
    4. Other income
    5. Capital and savings

  16. For a trip abroad you would have to close your claim and then do a rapid reclaim on your return, so you would lose out on the money for the time spent abroad. You cannot sign on and go abroad as you would not be available for and actively seeking work. If it was in the UK you would be OK going away for up to 2 weeks provided you notified JSA via the ES674 form and still be available for work.

     

    You might find this thread of some use

  17. When you go on holiday whilst claiming JSA you are expected to be available to attend an interview with 48 hours notice, so if you decide to tell them you are staying at a UK address then there is the possibility they can call you on the Friday telling you that an interview has been arranged for the Monday which you must attend. If this happens then they will check with the employer that you attended. This is part of your Jobseekers Agreement.

     

    Ultimately only you can decide which way you intend to go, but is it worth the risk of getting caught, having sanctions placed or potentially face investigation by the fraud team and being prosecuted??

  18. The office policy where I work is that telephony staff cannot call a customer back unless a customer has stated they are in a public phone box and the credit is about to run out. For call backs our target is within 3 hours, if no callback attempt has been made within this period then when a customer calls to chase this up it goes straight to a manager callback.

     

    I think it would be better if each office had separate 03 numbers for each benefit.

  19. Your first sentence is the first useful piece of information I've had. Now you have told me they want to see 3 months statements I will move the money today so I can start claiming in November.

     

    Is it to be taken as read that you are planning to commit benefit fraud and claim income related ESA knowing that you have savings of more than £16k? Is so then another piece of useful advise...you will eventually be found out and prosecuted!!!!!

     

    When you sign or verbally agree the declaration on the claim you are agreeing to the following

     

     

    I declare that the information I have given on this form is correct and complete as far as I know and believe and I have included all my income and savings.

     

    ● I understand that if I knowingly give information that is incorrect or incomplete, I may be liable to prosecution or other action.

     

    ● I understand that I must promptly tell the office that pays my benefit of anything that may affect my entitlement to, or the amount of, that benefit.

     

    Also you are agreeing that the DWP may use you information, and collect information from other organisations to prevent and detect crime. This includes financial institutions and other government departments

     

    Whilst there are many instances of the benefits system being unfair and it is a system which has many flaws, I cannot condone anyone who intentionally seeks advice with the intent to commit fraud.

  20. Does anyone know if I can legally put some of that money somewhere that "they" cannot include it in the assessment? Some kind of investment or something I don't know about where I can stash away the bit that is above £16,000? I'm not thinking about committing a fraud on the benefits system, but you know like accountants tell you clever things to do with money to reduce your tax liability - does anyone know of a way for me to keep my capital but tie it up in such a way that they cannot take it into account? If I had say £100,000 I could buy a flat and let it. I'd still own an asset worth £100,000 but it would not count as "savings" in such a way as to disallow benefits. (I only have a few thousand, so buying property really is out of the question.

     

    Any ideas?

     

    Short answer is no. This would be classed as deprivation of capital and you would be assessed as having notional capital to the amount involved. There are certain exceptions to this however, one being using capital and savings for essential repairs to your main property. Even then you will need to prove to a decision maker that the repairs were essential, the amount spent by way of receipts, and that the price paid was reasonable.

     

    if a large amount was owed on a credit card and a lot of interest was being accrued then I think it would probably be ok to pay it off, like wise if you owed say a freind money and they needed it back quickly then that would probably be ok

     

    This would still be treated as deprivation of capital. However if you were to use capital and savings to pay a court order for a debt then this would be accepted.

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