Backdating of HB
I’m working with a couple who have made a new claim for Housing Benefit, but they won’t be entitled until 30 June. They are getting cb-ESA, PIP (both members of the couple) and student finance. The student finance means that they are not getting ib-ESA at the moment - but after 30 June ib-ESA will kick in with two severe disability premiums. The LA has confirmed that they will get HB from that date.
I’ve calculated that with the student finance they would still be entitled to nearly £100pw HB, and so it will continue in payment once the next academic year begins.
My question is…once HB is in payment from 30 June, could they request one month’s backdating as they would have been entitled based on income?
The general rule is that yes, they should be able to, subject to having good cause for not claiming earlier. And I couldn’t think of a better “good cause” than this!
However, I think you should be careful. From what you’ve written it sounds like the LA may be treating your clients as having made an advance claim under Reg 83(10) of the HB Regs. Now, I don’t think this is legally possible, because I think Art 7(8)(a) of the No 23 Order still bites (despite Art 7(8)(b) not applying).
If the LA are treating it as an advance claim due to their ignorance of Art 7(8), they will also probably refuse to backdate due to that same ignorance. If you then try and get them to backdate by quoting Art 7(8), they will be forced to say the original claim wasn’t allowed either, and that they have to make a fresh claim. This is likely to be months down the line though, so they may lose out many months of benefit.
Even if you were to argue that advance claims are not caught by Art 7(8) (due to Art 7(8)(b)), I think it may be difficult to argue that Reg 83(12) can apply to an advance claim.
If it is true that the LA have treated your clients as having made an advance claim, I would suggest making another claim for HB immediately after 30th June anyway, and include in the claim that they would like to claim for the prior month too.[ Edited: 28 May 2020 at 04:16 am by Charles ]
Thanks Charles - really helpful as always.
Luckily I have a really good relationship with a lot of the decision makers at the local authority, so I will discuss with them in advance to head off any problems.