Tuesday, 19th July, 2022.
Full-Day Workshop (9:30 - 4:30)
Workshop Fee: £230 + VAT. 4th Place Free .
A full-day Workshop looking at the key principles of assessing earnings and other income in HB and in the most common CTR schemes
This Workshop is aimed at Officers who assess HB and CTR cases, Team Leaders and Policy and Appeals staff members (suitable for all levels).
The session begins by looking at earnings from employment: What does and does not count as earnings.
The most frequently asked questions about earnings involve fluctuating earnings: how should the claimant’s earnings be estimated? When should the estimate be updated and when it should it be left as it is? And especially, should a decision relying on estimated earnings ever be revised or superseded with retrospective effect and, if so, from when? We will look at what the Upper tribunal has said about fluctuating earnings and offer our suggested approach in several real life case studies.
The HB Regulations allow a lot of room for judgement in cases where the claimant’s earnings fluctuate unpredictably (i.e. no regular or seasonal pattern): Covid-related downturn, zero hours contracts, occasional bonuses, anomalous months with far more/fewer hours than usual etc. We will suggest best practice for dealing with these cases. Bonuses can be particularly troublesome: to what period should they be attributed, should they be taken into account retrospectively or prospectively or should they be regarded as a one-off affecting just one week or month?
Other issues affecting earnings from employment: The workshop covers the most common salary sacrifice schemes, including how to interpret payslips where salary sacrifice arrangements are shown. We also deal with childcare disregards and provide a definitive answer to one of the great mysteries of the HB Regulations: why is there no mention of breakfast clubs/after school clubs where the children are aged under 8?. Some earnings disregards rely on the claimant being in remunerative work: We will consider this means, including how the definition affects school auxiliary staff.
Self-employed earnings and company owner / directors: During a wide-ranging session like this, we cannot provide in-depth coverage of the earnings of small business owners (we offer separate Workshops dedicated to small business owners), but we will briefly look at the key principles including how to treat SEISS and other Covid-related grants and loans, and an overview of the different ways in which company owners receive income from their businesses.
Income other than earnings: We have assembled a list of frequently asked questions about miscellaneous income sources and we provide the answers in this session. For example, treatment of rent income from tenants, treatment of various different payments made to householders under social services legislation (e.g. foster carers, special guardians, “shared lives” carers etc); and a very brief update on recent changes to student income (including new NHS bursaries). But, as with self-employed people and company directors, we can only very briefly cover the subject on this course and recommend our separate full day Workshop on “student claims” should in-depth training on the topic be required).
Finally, while each local authority in England and the devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland have their own working age Council Tax Reduction schemes, most schemes share common features and we will cover some of the most frequent issues that arise, especially when dealing with applicants who are on Universal Credit:
• Should UC claimants with earnings have some of their income disregarded in the same way as non-UC claimants?
• What should the Council do when the CTR applicant frequently has months in which there is no entitlement to UC: should the Council continue using DWP’s income assessment, and if so for how long?
A comprehensive coverage of this important topic presented by Peter Barker.
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. Please email us with your requirements for details.
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