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Pension Service ILLEGLLY stopped housing costs for acquiring in interest in the home

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Hi everyone,


Any help or advise on where to go on this would be most welcome please as it's a battle I've been fighting for just over 6 years, without a break, and I NEED to get the Pension Service to put right the ultra vires decision (on the wrong legislation) and recieve the back pay owed. I am 110% correct in my findings from both DMG and legislation, the Pension Service are completely wrong and no-one will look at it. I list below a copy of the letter I have last sent, a brief outline of events leading to the wrongful withdrawal, by the Pension Service (PS), of allowable housing costs, with evidence.


Brief Background History


As a result of a divorce and Court proceedings an order was issued for me to acquire my ex-husband’s share in the house within a specified time limit of the Divorce. We had a joint mortgage for £30000 on our home.


I had to remortgage (i) to redeem the original mortgage balance of £27108 and (ii) add £22500 equity acquisition to be paid to my ex-husband’s solicitors within a Court-specified time limit and (iii) to cover legal aid and other acquisition costs involved. However the costs amount was not only unknown but unexpectedly delayed until late 2008 because of solicitor errors.

There was absolutely no problem with IS and they let me know that acquiring my ex-husband’s equity share in the house was an allowable housing cost. I received housing costs as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), paid direct to lender, as part of IS. The relevant letter from Wendy Steele, IS Decision Maker dated 02.06.06 quoted:


“The Income Support (General) Regulations 1987, No. 1967, Sch 3, para 4(6)(a), 15(1), 16(2), DMG 29825”.


After my having to involve the Law Society regarding solicitor error and resulting Legal Services Commission (LSC) error, they were resolved in my favour and as a result the LSC wrote and apologised for their error and issued the amount of legal costs to be paid back for legal aid of £5875. There was also a £500 arrangement fee and £350 broker’s fee which had to be added to the legal aid bill of £5875 making basic acquisition costs of £6725.


In August 2007, on reaching age 60, I was transferred from Income Support to Pension Credit and housing costs, including the equity acquisition of my ex-husband’s share of the home, remained the same without question, as confirmed in writing by the Pension Service (PS) State Pension Credit Regs, Schedule 2, para 11, DMG 78407 – 78410. However they failed to allow the full original mortgage redemption of £27,108 because evidence had been burned by my ex-husband so I had no proof of full allowable costs, e.g. conservatory (est) £4200). Only £17776.66 was allowed as per receipt evidence.


Since the beginning of the re-mortgage IS (and later the PS) were advised of the delay in submitting legal costs because of solicitor and LSC errors but after the acquisition costs were established, late 2008, I requested that the PS added these costs to my SMI now that the matter was resolved and the amount was known.


I repeated the request for acquisition costs to be added several times between late 2008 and July 2009 because each request was ignored.


In response to yet another request to add costs, in July 2009 “Abdul” (no surname given), instead of adding acquisition costs to SMI, informed me that I was not allowed to acquire an interest in my home and that SMI for it was stopped! The reason given was that the PS had made a mistake.


This error of one lone PS employee caused the whole fiasco from which I have suffered very badly. His error opposed all correctly decided housing costs by IS and PS Decision Makers and all other current Government information whether written or online and Case Law and this miscarriage of justice to my very great detriment has not been addressed or corrected!


I appealed which was denied. I telephoned IS who were at a loss as to know why the PS had stopped SMI because acquiring an interest in my home was an allowable housing cost. Buying out an ex-partner (my case) is even exampled in detail in Decision Makers Guides (DMGs) (78405, 78407, 78409) and clearly specified in other Government information and Case law.


I have struggled without ceasing to get this miscarriage of justice corrected whilst my financial situation has become more and more extremely serious. This goes against the very reason for the legislation being passed in the first place.


I repeatedly requested specific responses to the following because these were all correctly applicable to my case as initially determined by both IS and the PS:


(i) the relevant legislation (SPC Regs 2002, Schedule 2, para 11),

(ii) the relevant DMGs 78405, 78407, 78409,

(iii) all current online and documented Government information and

(iv) all relevant Case Law


The specific responses were not addressed and, because of my persistence in trying to get the PS unlawful disallowance of legislated housing costs reversed, I was told by the PS that I would no longer be responded to except by way of acknowledgement of my correspondence.


I have been disgracefully treated, dismissed and ignored over a long period of time. I have been denied any opportunity to represent myself at any interview, local or otherwise despite repeatedly explaining the extremely severe financial difficulties and anxiety/distress caused to me by the PSby the refusal to address the specific issues raised which would have resulted in reinstatement of my housing costs.


Would you very kindly urgently look at the simple and uncomplicated facts relevant to my claimant category (residential homeowner acquiring an interest in my home) and the applicable legislation relevant to it, SPC Regs 2002, Schedule 2, para 11, the DMGs that apply to Schedule 2, para 11, 78405, 78407, 78409 and if necessary confirmatory Government information and Case Law and reinstate my housing costs from the unlawful disallowance. I am happy to supply any information and/or documents should they be required.


To avoid any complication in looking at the above request, I would add that I am not and never have been a renter and therefore I have never been in receipt of housing benefit via the local council. I have only re-mortgaged once to acquire my ex-husband’s share in my home by Court Order.


My case is very simple and straightforward:



I am a residential homeowner acquiring an interest in my home which is an allowable housing cost as per:

State Pension Credit Regs 2002, Schedule 2, para 11:


Loans on residential property


11.—(1) A loan qualifies under this paragraph where the loan was taken out to defray monies applied for any of the following purposes—


(a)acquiring an interest in the dwelling occupied as the home; or


(b)paying off another loan to the extent that the other loan would have qualified under head (a) above had the loan not been paid off.


(2) For the purposes of this paragraph, references to a loan include also a reference to money borrowed under a hire purchase agreement for any purpose specified in heads (a) and (b) of sub-paragraph (l).


(3) Where a loan is applied only in part for the purposes specified in heads (a) and (b) of sub-paragraph (1), only that portion of the loan which is applied for that purpose shall qualify under this paragraph.


The mandatory guidance referenced to the legislation above and which Decision Makers are obliged to follow is DMGs, 78405 – 78409 as copied below.


Note: The suspension of IS from 6th March 2006 to 10th May 2006 referred to above (on the screenshot from the Pension Service dated 2010) was due to the remortgage funds being released through my bank to pay my ex-husbands solicitors for the acquisition. This is normal banking procedure and the money was paid out immediately.


A decision maker decided that the remortgage funds constituted savings and therefore I wasn’t entitled to any Income Support or housing costs. This inappropriate decision was readily acknowledged by the people I spoke to at the IS department but I still had to go through the process of Tribunal to get this folly reversed by 10th May.


None of the above circumstances (screen-shot) relates to a residential homeowner acquiring an interest in the home. That legislation is found in SPC Regs 2002, Schedule 2, para 11 and DMGs 78405, 78407, 78409. None of the DMG in the PS screenshot refer to acquiring an interest in the home or to Schedule 2, para 11. The DMGs which reference para 11 have been omitted by the PS and the PS Decision Maker has justified his error with irrelevant and unreferenced DMGs and faulty reasoning based on legislation totally inapplicable and irrelevant to my case.


This Decision Maker’s faulty reasoning can be seen on examination. He stated above that increases are only allowable in points 1-5 listed. This is an error and the descriptions of points 1 and 2 above especially shows no understanding of the legislation.


In point 1 above there is no increase in housing costs in a relevant period (1994/5 legislation brought in to prevent up-marketing by a full homeowner taking out a loan (e.g. change of lender, equity release) to either stay in the same home or move to a different one. The housing costs payable currently will not be increased. There is no relevance to acquiring an interest in the home in this provision of Schedule 2, para 5(7)(a)(b). This legislation is not interchangeable with Schedule 2, para 11 and cannot be applied to para 11. DMGs clearly reference each one and neither is interchangeable.


In point 2 above there is no increase in housing costs in a relevant period (1994/5 legislation brought in to prevent up-marketing by changing from renting to buying in a relevant period. If a renter acquires an interest (becomes owner/co-owner Rent to Buy Scheme especially) then he must qualify by being in receipt of housing benefit payable to renters via the local council the week before the acquisition and the amount of SMI payable direct to lender will not exceed the amount of housing benefit previously paid via the local council. There will not be an increase in housing costs allowable.


This legislation is not interchangeable with Schedule 2, para 11 and cannot be applied to para 11. DMGs clearly reference each one and neither is interchangeable.

In points 3 and 4 above the circumstances have to be individually determined by the Decision Makers and some increase in housing costs can be allowable.

In point 5 above other housing costs specifically exclude involvement of para 11 (residential homeowners acquiring an interest in the home) and there is no reference to para 11 in the relevant DMG.


Many thanks and I would be so grateful for any help on how to get this sorted as I'm just hitting my head on a brick wall with every letter written.



Edited by TheProblemedPrincess
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Hello and welcome to CAG.


If I may ask, who have you had help from so far?


Have you spoken to your MP or agencies who might help? Do you think there might have been maladministration by the Pension Service?


My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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One thing to mention from your thread title.


I don't believe that the Pension Service could stop your housing benefit. That is controlled by the local council.


Have you spoken to your councillor?




My reading is that the money in question is Mortgage Interest Support, which would be paid by the DWP on behalf of a home owner/occupier.


I second your question, though, about who, if anyone, has been involved in this case.


Since OP states that an appeal was denied, if the contention is that the decision of the Tribunal was wrong as a matter of law, then the normal recourse would be an appeal to the Second Tier Tribunal, which is not something I would advise anyone to attempt without the assistance of a suitably qualified and experience lawyer. If the problem is maladministration on the part of the DWP, then yes, I'd be suggesting that OP's MP would be the first port of call.




The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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I second Antone - this is into an area of benefit law that is so complex that someone legally trained is best placed to help- especially if you are needing to take this to the second their tribunal.


Best wishes

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Hello HB

Thank you for your responses.



My MP "wasn't able to help" apart from giving me the contact details for the Citizens Advice Bureau.



There is definitely maladministration by the Pension Service.

My case is so simple and uncomplicated and maladministration has made it into something so complicated which it should not have been.



The PS is not only responsible for maladministration but flagrantly acted beyond their powers (ultra vires) mandated by the Secretary of State.



I am so appreciative of any help to break through the defensive "brick wall" they have erected at my expense. TPP :-)


Thank for the responses. Benefit Law relating to a residential homeowner acquiring an interest in the home is so simple and detailed,



specifically cross referenced with the Decision Makers Guides,

specifically spelt out in all other relevant Government guidance including that for Decision makers and Others (2009, 2012) and relevant Case Law that it cannot be misinterpreted except by way of maladministration.



I have learned this legislation to its finest detail but that does not mean that the Pension Service administer it correctly. TPP :-)


Thanks for the response HB. My apologies,



I think I have answered the responses in the wrong order.



Please bear with me - the first time for me dealing with a forum.



Support for Mortgage Interest is payable direct to lender for residential homeowners with mortgages.



This is classed as housing costs.

Housing benefit is paid by the DWP for renters and paid via the local council.

Housing benefit is a term which can only be applied to that paid via the council and is therefore not relevant to residential homeowners in receipt of support for mortgage interest.



The PS misrepresented my case to Tribunal by way of maladministration (using the wrong and irrelevant legislation, DMGs to my claimant category and case) and caused an unjust judgement against me based upon that maladministration.



New evidence presented to the PS post tribunal (when I had learned it all for myself) showing how they were guilty of maladministration and misrepresentation to Tribunal (to my detriment) was dismissed and they refuse to look into it or address any specific issues I questioned based solely on legislation, DMGs, Government information and Case Law.



The PS hides behind the fact that they misrepresented my case to Tribunal and "it got through" because I did not know enough at that time to represent myself.


Thanks for the response Antone,



the PS maladministration was caused by misapplying irrelevant legislation,

Decision makers Guides (DMGs) to my case and omitting the correct legislation and DMGs to my case, both aspects being part of maladministration.



My case, as presented to Tribunal by the PS, constituted error in law.

The PS could have revisited their original error and restored correctly determined housing costs or re-presented my case to Tribunal with the correct legislation, DMGs etc (which they would not have done because if they had determined it correctly there would have been no Tribunal and housing costs would have been restored to the correctly legislated decision that was already in place). TPP :-)

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Has anyone dealt with maladministration by the Pension Service causing a miscarriage of justice and denial of legislated housing costs (mortgage interest support) and further presenting to Tribunal the wrong information /error in law thereby resulting in a wrong judgement based on unlawful and fraudulently presented material? TPP :-)

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Thank you HB.


Right from the start when my legitimate housing costs were stopped under the guise of the PS made a mistake, there has been a brick wall and the PS has refused to address any of the issues I raised (after I had learned what they were doing sadly after the fraudulent Tribunal presentation) which would have shown clearly from the legislation and DMGs that the PS was wrong.


I even wondered if it was an unlawful way of culling benefits whilst the gov't had time to legislate them out or reduce them.


The resistance I have met against correctly applying the law has been unbelievable. The PS even dismissed Case Law and DMGs and stated that it was up to the DM's to decide. That is illegal and wrong. Only the Secretary of State can decide who get housing costs. The PS DMs are only mandated to correctly administer that legislation according to the DMGs (Government guidance). Any other behaviour by the PS DMs (as has happened in my case) is ultra vires (they are acting beyond their powers).


HB - do you have names of any contacts who might be helpful and explain how to invite them to read this? Sorry I am new to forums and dont know how to use them properly yet. TPP :-)

Edited by honeybee13
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it appears that you have been to tribunal and your appeal was dismissed - the tribunal's decision is binding upon you and the PS


not sure how long ago your tribunal was - did you appeal to the commissioners or upper tribunal?

If you have found my post useful, please click on the star at the bottom of my post and add some reputation points.

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Hi id6052. Thanks for your reply.



your comments are accurate if a bona fide case has been taken to tribunal.



In my case the material the Pension Service presented to Tribunal was not relevant to my case or my claimant category.



The PS were guilty of maladministration in unlawfully stopping legislated housing costs and misrepresentation of my case at Tribunal.



The judgement, based on maladministration was a miscarriage of justice.

I had no idea of what the PS had done (maladministration and misrepresentation) until after the Upper Tribunal and then when I found all the correct legislation, DMGs, Case Law etc.



I brought this evidence to the PS clearly showing they were in error and they refused to address the issues raised which I based solely on legal material.



The PS has not accurately administered the law which is their only mandate from the Secretary of State. They may not maldminister or misrepresent to Tribunal.



I want to know how to get the matter re-examined because the PS refuse to address the specific issues where they are in the wrong. TPP :-).

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I'm not 100% clear on what stage this has reached. Are you saying that the matter has been before a First Tier and Upper Tier Tribunal, and both of those have found in favour of the PS? Did you attend either hearing to present your case?


It is true that the PS can reverse an incorrect decision, but if this has been to two tribunals and both have told them that they're correct, then it's sort of understandable that they're not all that interested in revisiting the matter. I reiterate the suggestion to contact your MP - they can sometimes get more detailed information from the DWP.




The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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Thank you for the reply. The first tribunal I went to but didnt understand any of the legislation or that what the PS had presented was totally irrelevant to my case. I was refused a right to appeal and refused attendance at the Upper Tribunal which still only had the erroneous information presented by the PS. After the Upper Tribunal I had, by then, learned the legislation, DMGs Case Law and multiple sources of Gov't information all of which confirmed the correct legislation and confirmed my housing costs were initially correctly assessed by income support and Pension service for 2 years before they were unlawfully suddenly withdrawn based on maladministration. That maladministration was the basis for misrepresentation at Tribunal. After Tribunal I presented new and correct evidence to put the matter right but it was not addressed at all. I was fobbed off on a continuous basis and even though I requested specific answers to specific legislation, DMGs, Case Law etc. nothing was responded to but I was given a load of irrelevant waffle. I was refused an interview at all stages because if I could have laid it out before them using only the law, it is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood. It is cross referenced with DMGs and spelt out specifically in DMG and legislation examples. A residential homeowner acquiring an interest in the home (SPC Regs 2002, Sched 2, para 11) is an allowable housing cost, confirmed by DMGs 78405, 78497, 78409, all Government web site and guidance for Decision Makers (2009, 2012) and multiple Case Law which I will not go into unless someone would like the details. The PS are wrong and no one is stopping them. They are acting beyond their powers and illegally causing maladministration, misrepresentation to Tribunal and a miscarriage of justice. They present a brick wall. TPP ;-)

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So the FTT refused you leave to appeal. Presumably you then applied directly to the UTT for that leave, which was then granted since it seems that a UTT hearing did take place in your absence. You should not have been refused permission to attend that hearing - I believe it is your right to be there if you wish. Or did the UTT make a decision without a hearing?


Anyhow, I guess what you're really after is a supersession of the wrong decision. Get your MP involved. We'll help you as much as we can, of course, but this really is a bit beyond what we can do as non-professional and anonymous forum posters.




The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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If you are saying there has been maladministration and even false information from the DWP, then maybe you should look at complaining to the parliamentary ombudsmen. They can't look at the decision but could look at the way it has been handled.


Why did they not allow you to attend the UTT? Did you get the specific reason in writing?

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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  • 5 weeks later...

An SAR has now been sent and also a letter to the DWP explaining the maladministration and misrepresentation to Tribunal based on that maladministration requesting the justification of their reasonings based only on legislation, DMGs and case law but I haven't had an acknowledgement from either. Any help will be appreciated.

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