Trainee Solicitor, Welfare Benefits Specialist,, Blackburn Citizens Advice Bureau Member since 16th Feb 2005
sure start maternity grant Mon 22-Aug-05 11:49 AM
hi need some advice on time limits for a sure start maternity grant.
my cl had a baby on 30.1.05. a friend advised that they could get a sure start maternity grant. Cl also found out could apply for tax credits. cl rang tax credits dept and applied for tax credits on 23.3.05 and was awarded on 13.4.05.
cl also rang DWP in march 2005 at the same time to say he wanted to apply for a sure start maternity grant. he told them that he had applied for tax credits, so the DWP advised him to wait for the result of the tax credits claim. The DWP did not tell him about the 3 month time limit. so the cl waited till he found out about his tax credits. this was on the 13.4.05. cl's time limit ended on the 30.1.05. Cl claims did n't claim earlier because did not know when tax credits had been awarded till it went into cl's bank account.
i am going to argue 19(5) (d) of C&P regs but i don't know if its going to work because of the fact that cl still had 17 days left after being awarded tax credits, but cl claims he not was advised that there was a time limit.
if anyone has any idea's please let me know asap! thanks
welfare benefits trainer, Lasa Member since 25th Feb 2004
RE: sure start maternity grant Mon 22-Aug-05 03:36 PM
I think that you could still argue that the claimant did not apply earlier becasue they were misadvised by the DWP. The DWP should have told them to claim SSMG straightaway because that would've protected the date of claim and prevented this very problem. In addition as you rightly say the DWP did not advise of any time limit. It seems to me that your client believed a claim for SSMG would not suceed because they had been told by the DWP Tax Credits needed to be in payment first. I agree with you that C&P Regs 19(5)fits perfectly.
And if that doesn't work try a claim for compensation. Page 1304 of the CPAG Handbook uses a circumstance very similar to yours to show how compensation can be claimed for loss through DWP delay / error.
RE: sure start maternity grant Mon 22-Aug-05 05:04 PM
Although the time limit is strict, it still might be worth putting in an appeal. One of my clients was successful in appealing a refusal when she applied outside the 3 month time limit - though the reasons for the late application were different (inital claim form lost in post).