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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Benefits for older people  →  Thread

Is a deferred SRP lump sum disregarded for a new HB claim

Carlo
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Benefits advice service - Greenfields Community Housing, Braintree

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Hi everyone
I’m hoping someone might be able to clear this up for me.
Recently helped a 71 yr old tenant claim his SRP - he didn’t know how to do it at his retirement age so left it and has been surviving on inheritance from his late mother.
He exhausted his capital and went into rent arrears.
We put in a HB claim based on nil income which has eventually been awarded and helped with most of his arrears and ongoing rent.
SRP result has since come through, at £146.57 per week and £45k lump sum.

Can anyone confirm whether or not the capital is disregarded for the HB claim as I’m getting conflicting messages from the LA.

Many thanks

CHAC Adviser
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Caseworker - CHAC, Middlesbrough

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Regulation 26A of the Housing Benefit (SPC) Regulations would apply I’d have thought:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/214/schedule/6/paragraph/26A

CPAG bottom of page 522 top of 523 translates the legalese(!) but broadly seems that if you’ve chosen to take a lump sum from a deferred state pension then that is disregarded indefinitely. So I’d say your client should be fine and if the LA kick up a fuss you can always point them towards the law.

I’m sure you’re well on top of it but if that SRP is their only income they should also make a Pension Credit claim (which as it acts as a passport for HB would also nix any issues with that!).

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Yes, for HB purposes, the lump sum can be ignored indefinitely. We’ve had enquiries recently where LA’s are trying to argue otherwise but have accepted this when pointed out them.

Carlo
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Benefits advice service - Greenfields Community Housing, Braintree

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Thanks guys. That’s really helpful - Re PC, we’re on it. Just needed to get the HB in quick because of the arrears.

I scanned the CPAG page you mentioned and sent it to the LA. They didn’t dismiss it, but they did send back a scan of; Shelter - Guide to Housing Benefit, page 180, 13.13(b)
This states - any lump sum you receive (because you deferred your state pension) is disregarded as your capital until your state pension begins.

I think they want to count the capital and assume the Regs refer to PC.

NB - I’m assuming the capital will be disregarded when we do a new PC claim.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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1) why are they using Shelter guidance when they have guidance and legislation to follow?
2) why not point them towards their own guidance which couldn’t really be more clear on this, if they’re too dense to read the legislation.

P1.181 Capital assets disregarded in full xiv any amount equal to the gross amount of a lump sum payment, or an interim payment made on account of a final lump sum, of deferred State Retirement Pension. If both members of a couple defer and they each choose a lump sum, both will have a disregard equal to the amount of their gross payment. Note: This disregard normally only applies to the person who deferred, ie it cannot normally be inherited, and applies for their lifetime.

BP1: Assessment of capital

Lump sum also disregarded for PC under para.23A of Sch. V of the State Pension Credits Regs 2002.

[ Edited: 22 Oct 2019 at 02:40 pm by Paul_Treloar_AgeUK ]
Carlo
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Benefits advice service - Greenfields Community Housing, Braintree

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Absolutely perfect! thanks so much!