Housing Benefit review
My client requested a review of a HB decision. The review was carried out by the same decision maker who made the original decision. Shelter’s website states it should be a different decision maker. is this a procedural error on the part of the LA? many thanks.
There is no legal requirement for a different natural person to look at it: all HB decisions and reviews are carried out by the Council as a corporate legal person. It is regarded as good practice to refer revision applications to another officer, but that’s all. The claimant’s remedy is to appeal to the Tribunal against the substantive decision rather than arguing about the process. If they do appeal to the Tribunal, the case will probably at that stage be routed to another officer who will not want to waste his/her time preparing a Tribunal bundle if the decision looks like it can be revised.
In reality it also depends which LA you’re talking about. The reductions in decision making staff are often staggering, even in the bigger LAs, so it’s often inevitable that decisions go back to the same decision maker.