A Workshop For Benefits Advisors & Benefits Assessment Staff
Thursday, 16th September, 2021.
Kingsley Holborn Thistle Hotel, Bloomsbury,
City Centre Venue. (Near British Museum)
Workshop Fee: £285 + VAT. 4th Place Free on same date & venue.
HOUSING BENEFIT ADJUDICATION
(PROGRAMME CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW)
(Contact us for further information for an In-House Workshop for just your own staff at your own training venue.)
From time to time, a Local Authority has to make decisions about people’s Housing Benefit entitlement:
· Whether a person is entitled to HB?
· If so, how much?
· When from?
· How and to whom the HB will be paid?
All of these matters require a formal decision by the Council. Once a decision has been made, it can only be changed in two ways - revision and supersession. In this Workshop we will look at the meaning of revision and supersession – when is it appropriate to use one or the other of these mechanisms?
The Council may only revise or supersede a decision if it can establish that it has grounds to do so. We will look at the most important available grounds for both revision and supersession, and we will see which ones carry a time limit when the revision/supersession will be in the claimant’s favour.
In the case of a superseding decision, the Council must apply the correct effective date. Sometimes this will be the Monday following the date of the event that triggered the decision, sometimes the same day and sometimes the beginning of the week in which the event occurred. We will look at the correct effective dates for the most common superseding decisions.
Appeals / Reconsiderations: If a claimant or, in the case of an overpayment, a landlord disputes the decision, s/he has a right to dispute the decision. We will look at the options available and the time limit within which these options must be exercised.
Overpayments: Revision and supersession often results in a further decision that the claimant has been overpaid. It is important to be able to show that one or more decision(s) has been revised or superseded – especially when an overpayment spans a lengthy period and results from the revision of multiple original decisions. Tribunals often refer to this as “getting your ducks in a row” and it is important to get this right so that your overpayment decisions will not be attacked on a technicality. Equally important is the need to notify the claimant and/or landlord. We will look at the information that must be contained in a valid overpayment decision, including why the overpayment is recoverable and why it is recoverable from a person or more than one person.
Overpayments usually attract a reduced rate if subsidy. It is therefore vital to identify the cause of the overpayment and record it in the correct subsidy category. During the Workshop we will look at all the different subsidy categories and the rate of subsidy payable for each one. Common issues here include: How long is the Council allowed to process post before the delay becomes an error? What if the claimant fails to report a change but the Council is notified informally by a third party? Does the failure of an information sharing system (e.g. ATLAS) amount to an error by the Council or DWP?
There is a lot of technical language in the law relating to revision and supersession. How can you notify the claimant of what you have done in language that s/he will understand while at the same time complying with the technical requirements? How should you go about leaving a note explaining what you have done for the benefit of others who have to work on the case in the future? The Workshop will clarify all the issues involved in a detailed and fact-filled day.
A Workshop presented by Peter Barker, the ‘HB Anorak’, who for many years has been one of the most knowledgeable and experienced trainers in Housing Benefit & universal Credit matters. A fact-filled Workshop covering the most up-to-date information available.
9.30 Arrivals and coffee/tea
9.45 Introductions and course overview
11.15 Coffee/tea break
1:00 Lunch break
3.15 Coffee/Tea break
4.30 Workshop ends
Contact us for In-House & 'Zoom' booking information for this topic.
We are always pleased to arrange most of our Workshops, such as this one, for staff from an individual organisation to be held at their own training venue. Please email us with your requirements for details.
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