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UC & NHS charges exemption - NHS BSA doesn’t understand UC?

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Ianb
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This is probably a question for those who have been dealing with UC for a while and are more likely to know the answer.

I think I’ve read elsewhere that when a claimant accesses their UC journal they can only see information relating to the last assessment period and not to earlier assessment periods. If that’s wrong and a client can see calculations that go back in time then the following question doesn’t apply. If it’s correct the question is, if a client needs to provide evidence about an earlier assessment period 1) how do they obtain it, and 2) how long does it take?

     
Daphne
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Peter Turville - 10 August 2018 03:50 PM

We have now received a reply from the NHS BSA which includes:

“A PCN [penalty charge notice] requesting the unpaid NHS charge as well as an additional NHS penalty charge is sent to a patient where entitlement to the exemption claimed, cannot be confirmed.”

“To explain further, the DWP do not currently check agaisnt the UC database so a patient would need to send evidence to show that they were exempt at the time of their NHS prescription or NHS dental treatment should they receive a PCN. Regrettably the NHSBSA have no control over the checking process with the DWP”

“Exemption checks are carried out at random and as such, we are unable to prevent further checks being carried out.”

“The qualifying criteria will be checked upon receipt of the UC award or statement to confirm the patient’s eligibility”

“....each FP17 patient declaration form should now include the option to indicate UC. Where this option is not present on NHS prescription forms, patients in receipt of UC are advised to declare Income-based Jobseekers Allowance ...”

Brilliant! - DWP do not currently check against UC database so claimants need to send the NHS the evidence! - another fine example of joined up thinking / action within government and passing ‘compliance costs’ onto claimants / other organisations.

Perhaps claimants / advisers should send the NHS BSA a PCN every time we have to do their job for them? What will happen once managed migration begins? How many UC claimants are paying the charge & penalty when they are exempt following receipt of a PCN?

Daphne - one for stakeholders?

Yup - I’ll certainly send that one in…

     
Mr Finch
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“To explain further, the DWP do not currently check agaisnt the UC database…

Regrettably the NHSBSA have no control over the checking process with the DWP”

I can’t see that they have any option but to stop issuing penalties then. I know benefit claimants just seem fair game, but this really cannot continue. They are admitting they know their information is, or might be, untrue or misleading.

     
BC Welfare Rights
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Peter Turville - 10 August 2018 03:50 PM

We have now received a reply from the NHS BSA which includes:

“To explain further, the DWP do not currently check agaisnt the UC database so a patient would need to send evidence to show that they were exempt at the time of their NHS prescription or NHS dental treatment should they receive a PCN. Regrettably the NHSBSA have no control over the checking process with the DWP”

I don’t get this. If DWP does not check against the UC database how does ticking the box for Income Based JSA avoid you getting a fine? Does it not check against this either? Presumably, if it did it would show that the person is not receiving it and result in a fine too…

     
Jon (CHDCA)
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Ianb - 10 August 2018 06:05 PM

This is probably a question for those who have been dealing with UC for a while and are more likely to know the answer.

I think I’ve read elsewhere that when a claimant accesses their UC journal they can only see information relating to the last assessment period and not to earlier assessment periods. If that’s wrong and a client can see calculations that go back in time then the following question doesn’t apply. If it’s correct the question is, if a client needs to provide evidence about an earlier assessment period 1) how do they obtain it, and 2) how long does it take?

You can go back and click on previous months, to see the award breakdown. A caveat though, if those awards have since been revised, you will only see the revised version, not the original (unless things have changed since I posted this thread?).

edit: if you’ve changed from single to couple status, it seems that your single-person journal might be entirely inaccessible.

      [ Edited: 29 Aug 2018 at 09:48 am by Jon (CHDCA) ]
zoeycorker
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one of my colleagues has stumbled across this with one of their customers who is living in a mental health supported living scheme - is on UC and has now received a penalty charge from the PPA
he thinks he ticked either income support or JSA option and they wont drop the fine at present without seeing a verified copy of the award notice from DWP
and now he’s just been sectioned.

     
Peter Turville
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zoeycorker - 14 August 2018 02:17 PM

one of my colleagues has stumbled across this with one of their customers who is living in a mental health supported living scheme - is on UC and has now received a penalty charge from the PPA
he thinks he ticked either income support or JSA option and they wont drop the fine at present without seeing a verified copy of the award notice from DWP
and now he’s just been sectioned.

Inconsistent approach from the BSA? In every case we have dealt with they have ‘cancelled’ the penalty notice when we have sent a print out of the payment notice for the relevant assessment period.

Of course the payment notice does not include the claimsnts NiNo or address so I can see why they may not accept the print out as sufficient.

I have now asked clients MP to raise this issue with the respective secretaries of state.

     
Andrew Dutton
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Apologies to Peter - I raised this at https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/13298/ when I couldn’t find this thread.

Question raised by a colleague - if a claimant has an HC2 certificate on the low income scheme (which is not a 5-year one so financial changes don’t affect its validity, CPAG p 664), they claim full help within the valid lifetime of the HC2, but also have an AP during which they exceed the UC earnings limit - what happens?

I want to go home.

     
Elliot Kent
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Andrew Dutton - 22 August 2018 03:18 PM

Apologies to Peter - I raised this at https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/13298/ when I couldn’t find this thread.

Question raised by a colleague - if a claimant has an HC2 certificate on the low income scheme (which is not a 5-year one so financial changes don’t affect its validity, CPAG p 664), they claim full help within the valid lifetime of the HC2, but also have an AP during which they exceed the UC earnings limit - what happens?

I want to go home.

I think you have answered your own question. In that scenario, the claimant is entitled to rely on the HC2 to get free prescriptions and whatever happens with their UC is completely irrelevant.

     
Andrew Dutton
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I was waiting to see if there were any holes in the idea.  So we advise everyone to get an HC2…..

     
Elliot Kent
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Andrew Dutton - 22 August 2018 04:03 PM

I was waiting to see if there were any holes in the idea.  So we advise everyone to get an HC2…..

It’s not a bad idea.

Theoretically, we should be advising everyone on means tested benefits to get one. The advantage of a HC2 is that it guarantees you entitlement to free prescriptions for the duration of the certificate regardless of changes in circumstances whereas if your entitlement is based on your benefit award, then it could be lost if you find work or if your benefits stop for whatever reason.

Of course, we would be spending the rest of our lives filling out those blue forms…

     
Peter Turville
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An astonishing response from the NHS BSA (my underlining)!

A claimant has to know that they need to make a specific false statement in order to show exemption from charges.

If the claimant makes that false statement ‘DWP will confirm they are not in receipt of IB-JSA which in turn indicates the patient is a UC claimant’.

But if the DWP do not check UC how does non-recipt of IB-JSA indicate they are a UC recipient? They could be receiving any old benefit (or none at all). Nor would non-recipt of IB-JSA indicate the claimants earnings are below the relevent threshold for exemption.

How many years has the NHS BSA & DWP had to prepare for UC?

     

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Andrew Dutton
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A bizarre response, combining not-us-guv’nor’ tactics (go to DWP, go to DHSC, go anywhere but to us for answers!) with the most odd logic - if someone has been moved from IS or IRESA, are they not likely to tick that box as UC is not available as an option?  And would that not be a more ‘true’ statement than ticking IBJSA?  Yet they will be penalised!

And all because the whole system is NOT FLIPPIN’ WELL READY!!!!!

Oh dear oh dear…..

     
HFCAB
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Ianb - 10 August 2018 06:05 PM

This is probably a question for those who have been dealing with UC for a while and are more likely to know the answer.

I think I’ve read elsewhere that when a claimant accesses their UC journal they can only see information relating to the last assessment period and not to earlier assessment periods. If that’s wrong and a client can see calculations that go back in time then the following question doesn’t apply. If it’s correct the question is, if a client needs to provide evidence about an earlier assessment period 1) how do they obtain it, and 2) how long does it take?

In the journal they can see as far back as the claim goes. Each AP is clickable with further detail about how the amount was calculated. It can be printed off.

     
HFCAB
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Just to say, I’ve found without exception so far that the NHS BSA will wipe PCNs over the phone if you ring up and confirm that they’re receiving UC with no earnings (or whatever the exact threshold is - 430 or so). No evidence required to be sent so far. Not sure if I’ve been lucky or…