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Temp absence abroad - lost documents

 

Lostdog
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Hi all

Resident living in low-level supported housing went abroad early July 2017 to visit brother for a few days. Travel documents were stolen and he has been trying to get a replacement since.  Home Office are going to make a decision around replacement documents.  He is desperate to return as has no money and no ID.

He doesn’t seem to fit any of the caveats to extend the 4 week rule on temp absence abroad (no family illness etc).  Is LA able to use any discretion in such circumstances to extend?

Thanks.

     
ClairemHodgson
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Lostdog - 11 September 2017 05:00 PM

Hi all

Resident living in low-level supported housing went abroad early July 2017 to visit brother for a few days. Travel documents were stolen and he has been trying to get a replacement since.  Home Office are going to make a decision around replacement documents.  He is desperate to return as has no money and no ID.

He doesn’t seem to fit any of the caveats to extend the 4 week rule on temp absence abroad (no family illness etc).  Is LA able to use any discretion in such circumstances to extend?

Thanks.

i don’t know, but from what you have said i’m assuming that you’re not talking about a British passport, since if that were so he should have contacted the embassy wherever he is and would be home by now with a new emergency passport to get him back.  bearing in mind it’s September and you refer to a 4 day trip in July, and they’re generally pretty good about such.

True that he doesn’t fit the guidelines for extra time.  However, an informal feeler to the LA might give you a heads up on what their view might be in the circs. and if it is irrational, you can formally notify and if they remain irrational think about a JR.

and I note that the exemptions are said to be examples.  examples are usually not seen as being an exhaustive list of what might be included as qualifying for an exemption from the usual rule.  so if the LA doesn’t allow this there’s potentially a JR for

I anticipate he’d have to prove the position, however, by way of police report/correspondence with HO etc.

     
Lostdog
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Thanks Claire.  As far as I can see the HB temp absence amended regs are quite specific around circumstances where HB can be paid longer than 4 weeks.  Unfortunately our client doesn’t fit any of these circumstances.  See link below.  Is there something I’m missing or a more recent update?

Thanks

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/540417/a7-2016.pdf

     
ClairemHodgson
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um.  you are right. I’ve gone and looked at the actual regulations now. (I should know, really, not to look at online guidance.).  what some organisations set out as examples, are not in fact examples but prescriptive circumstances.  Sorry.

the whole scheme assumes that the absence is planned in some way to last a defined period (as in your client’s original short trip) and assumes that no supervening emergency could or would ever arise. which of course we all know isn’t the real world.  even a day trip within the UK could end up with long term absence from home for various reasons, never mind travel documents stolen when abroad.

i rather think your client needs to get himself home asap

     
Lostdog
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Thanks Claire.  Yes, I think 4 weeks is the limit in this case.  Unfortunately client will return to some substantial arrears.

     
Jon (CHDCA)
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He might try a DHP for a lump sum, once HB (or UC?) is back in payment?

     
MartinB
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I fear that the problem will be that the HB office refuse the 4 weeks, unless that is he can provide evidence that he notified them he was going and his documents were stolen before the 28 day deadline had expired…..........so Claire advice about keeping dated documents is valid.

     
ClairemHodgson
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MartinB - 15 September 2017 10:25 AM

so Claire advice about keeping dated documents is valid.

not sure that’s quite what i meant, LOL

And is it, anyway, really the case that every time a HB recipient plans a short trip away (even if it’s only to the other end of the country) they should have to tell the LA just in case a supervening event prevents their return within the period set out in the legislation?

     
ClairemHodgson
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but really i am amazed that there appears to be no discretion for LA’s to deal with the unforeseen/unforeseeable supervening event.  does a DHP really hack it? and was DHP designed for such?

     
chacha
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ClairemHodgson - 15 September 2017 11:32 AM

but really i am amazed that there appears to be no discretion for LA’s to deal with the unforeseen/unforeseeable supervening event.  does a DHP really hack it? and was DHP designed for such?

I must say I was quite surprised that the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) let this one through, try as they might, and I know they did, I think they could have tried harder (In my opinion), as you said real life makes a difference, if you plan to be away for less than four weeks but end up being unable to, then there’s not much that will allow HB for more than 4 weeks.

Yes, perhaps a DHP (No point not applying), but I know the problems with those and how individual LAs approach awards.

 

     
ClairemHodgson
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and of course you may not plan to be away at all as you step out of your front door on a morning and end up struck down by a random incident…..

     
chacha
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ClairemHodgson - 18 September 2017 02:33 PM

and of course you may not plan to be away at all as you step out of your front door on a morning and end up struck down by a random incident…..

Lol (I laugh, because I must not cry).

Hopefully you remain in GB for 13 weeks during the incident, if not, you could actually lose your home.

Ludicrous.