Defective UC claim but Tax Credits stopped anyway - no appealable decision: advice needed!
I also argued (b) that there is no explanation of how the system of stop notices work in LH, nor provided in the present case. Basically this info has to be provided by DWP and wasn’t in HMRCs appeal bundle. the judge found that ‘stop notice referred to [in this case] are of no effect because neither the respondent [HMRC] or partner agencies have provided sufficient evidence to show that the basic condition in relation to the application for UC made by Mrs X were satisfied.’
EKS, thank you very much for your posts here.
We have a similar-ish case at the moment, except our client is alleging fraud or error, and denies every trying to make the UC claim herself. HMRC have said in their appeal response that the alleged claimant does or would meet the basic conditions (a) - (d) [this not in dispute], and so conclude that the outcome of the SoS’s assessment of the basic conditions, which was “likely done by the universal credit computer system itself (as authorised by section 2(1)(a) and (2)(k) of the SSAA 1988), is therefore not in doubt”.
They also say: “The arrangements in question are comprised, in essence, of an electronic notification or signal (known as a “Stop Notice”) which is sent from the universal credit computer system to the tax credit computer system in any Tax Credit case where the condition in regulation 8(1) is met”
HMRC’s other justification for there being “little doubt” that our client made the UC claim is simply because this has been confirmed by the DWP, which as far as I can see says no more than that the Stop Notice exists. There is no recognition of the possibilities of official error or fraud, they just state “Accordingly, where HMRC receive a Stop Notice, the case must be a case where the Tax Credits claimant has applied for UC.”
Has anyone any views on whether the above meets what is said in LH? I.e.,
“The tribunal needed some evidence to link the stop notice itself to the Secretary of State being satisfied about the basic conditions. All that was required was an explanation of the system that led to the notice being issued”.
Reg 8 TP Regs reads:
8.—(1) This regulation applies where–
(a) a claim for universal credit (other than a claim which is treated, in accordance with regulation 9(8) of the Claims and Payments Regulations, as having been made) is made; and
(b) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant meets the basic conditions specified in section 4(1)(a) to (d) of the Act (other than any of those conditions which the claimant is not required to meet by virtue of regulations under section 4(2) of the Act).
Your argument is that 8(1)(a) isn’t satisfied - because no actual claim has been made. Whatever “claim” exists was the product of fraud or error and isn’t a claim at all. HMRC are responding to an argument that 8(1)(b) isn’t met - but that doesn’t address your argument. It’s irrelevant whether the basic conditions would have been satisfied if there was never a claim.
Thanks Elliot. We certainly plan to argue that, but I should have said that DWP don’t seem inclined to support the argument that the claim was from another person. For the purposes of challenging the tax credit decision, if the SoS’s position is that (a) and (b) are both met, then I’d like to have arguments on both points if possible.