Funeral payment difficulties
Client’s husband passes away 16.02.17 and funeral takes place 06.03.17 (therefore 3-month period for claiming Funeral Payment runs until 06.06.17).
Client applies for Funeral Payment on 09.05.17. Unfortunately, Pension Credit which had been in payment previously had stopped with effect from 05.03.17 and didn’t resume until 15,.05.17, a mere six days after the FP claim made.
As no entitlement to a qualifying benefit at date of claim, her FP application turned down and decision notified on 23.06.17 - so outside 3-month reclaim window now.
She sees our adviser in September who asks for MR on 14.09.17, and DWP allege client called on 26.10.17 to be told no change to decision and MR notice sent (she doesn’t recall speaking to anyone nor receiving paperwork).
Despite reg.3(3) of the D&A regs allowing revision of a decision on a funeral payment in various circumstances, it’s pretty clear this is limited to cases where a new FP application has been made (which it wasn’t in this case at any time since the original claim).
However, looking at the C&P regs, i note reg.13 which allows:
Reg.13 (1) Where, although a person does not satisfy the requirements of entitlement to benefit on the date on which a claim is made, the Secretary of State is of the opinion that unless there is a change of circumstances he will satisfy those requirements for a period beginning on a day (“the relevant day”) not more than 3 months after the date on which the claim is made, then the Secretary of State may–
(a) treat the claim as if made for a period beginning with the relevant day; and
(b) award benefit accordingly, subject to the condition that the person satisfies the requirements for entitlement when benefit becomes payable under the award
Is there a way that we can appeal on the grounds that the orginal decision to refuse the FP claim was correct as she wasn’t receving PC at the date of claim, but that consideration should have been given to reg.13 and treated the claim as having been made from the date that PC was awarded again? Obviously, we’re into the realms of late appeals etc but I’m struggling to see whether this has legs or not. The decision maker for the FP claim was aware at the time of the FP decision that PC had been awarded from a later date (we have DWP email to this effect).
Any thoughts on this one would be gratefully received, I think this client has been treated very poorly by the DWP who could have explained things back when she first made the relevant claims? Thanks in advance :-)