Bill irvine

Registered with Property118.com
Wednesday 7th August 2013


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 107

Bill irvine

13:50 PM, 29th July 2021, About 12 hours ago

Next Step ICE complaint?

Hi DSR

It is, but is not accessible in one composite document. Instead, you need to examine a range of Statutory Instruments, Upper-tier caselaw and DWP guidance produced on gov.uk and its Advice to Decision Makers Guide. Great reading for insomniacs!

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Bill irvine

12:41 PM, 29th July 2021, About 13 hours ago

Next Step ICE complaint?

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 29/07/2021 - 11:17
Hi Mick

As I explained in my earlier post "backdating" is a term normally attached to "New" claims, where for some reasons the claimant/tenant delayed making their online claim.

In such cases, relating to UC, backdates can only be awarded in prescribed situations. DWP doesn't have the same discretion used by councils. That's, most probably, why your requests have been refused.

DSR's situation is completely different, as there is in place, an existing award of UC where the housing costs element is missing due to the tenant failing to provide a copy of his TA. In these situations, if the tenant cooperates by providing the info, within 1 month, the award will be revised to allow payment of the HCE. If he/she delays beyond the month, they'll be asked to explain why before a decision is made about the effective date of the revised award.

Revision can also apply to cases where DWP has wrongly assessed the claim from the outset. One such case, I was involved with, produced a one off award of £25000 for a disabled tenant https://universalcreditadvice.com/news/tenant-rejects-dwp-advice-and-is-rewarded-by-25000-windfall/

Revision can also apply when DWP decide to suspend a claim (pending investigation of the facts). Once the information has been provided, sometimes months later, the revised decision normally restores the award in full, resulting in substantial payments.

In the case of overpayments, I challenge these on a regular basis, on the basis the Decision Maker had no grounds for revising the decision to stop payment and try and recoup the overpayment from my landlord client on the basis - "they could reasonably have known their tenant had vacated". The onus is on the Council or DWP to prove heir case in these circumstances.

So, contrary to your suggestion, "backdates" and/or retrospective "revisions" can be achieved if you know the prescribed rules and associated criteria and can present the facts and evidence succinctly.

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Bill irvine

10:16 AM, 29th July 2021, About 16 hours ago

Next Step ICE complaint?

Hi DSR

"Backdating" is a term used in new claims where the claimant requests payment prior to the date of their actual claim. In your case, that's not relevant.

Your tenant is already receiving UC but missing his "housing costs element" because he failed to validate this. Normally DWP will give the tenant up to 1 month to supply the information and if they don't payment is withheld. If the tenant can justify not providing the requested information timeously, DWP should pay going back to the date it was withheld or suspended. If the Decision Maker refuses to do that it's your tenant who must challenge this. Unlike Housing Benefit, landlords don't have any appeal rights in this situation.

Assuming the Decision Maker agrees to make the retrospective revision, any arrears due should be paid to you. If they don't pay you, then you should complain to ICE that your tenant's rent arrears and potential threat of eviction is partially caused by DWP failing to act on the information you forwarded (TA).

The situation you're experiencing is on the increase as DWP is now instructing its staff to review claims where evidence of the "housing costs" were not asked for because DWP was operating a policy of "Trust & Protect" as part of its COVID relaxations. T & P meant they simply accepted what tenants told them, including in cases of illegal sublets, where, in some cases, the legal tenant and their illegal sub-let tenant received payment of "housing costs" without any need for validation. How crazy is That?

Unsurprisingly, overpayments in 2020/21 increased to £6 BILLION representing 14% of what was being paid out. Shocking figures but DWP's Director General defended his department's decision by stating T & P was appropriate during COVID and those who perpetrated overpayments/fraud could expect a tap on the shoulder. They could have avoided much of this if they had just asked landlords to confirm their tenants' names, continued residence and rent charge.

So, look out from overpayment demands from DWP's Debt Recovery teams, because they've already started the process of reviewing & revising such claims. They're also pursuing the recipient of the HCE on the basis "they could reasonably have known an overpayment was occurring". Every one I've challenged on behalf of clients has been successful. I've just submitted 3 appeals on behalf of one client totalling £33K.

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Bill irvine

8:32 AM, 20th July 2021, About A week ago

Next Step ICE complaint?

DSR

Yes, you could pursue with ICE but only after you’ve completed DWP’s two stage complaints process, evidenced with stage 2 outcome letter.

Your case is different to most I deal with, where payment of the HCE is repeatedly received and misused by delinquent tenants. ICE’s view of this is, the landlord is NOT entitled to compensation even where it concludes DWP has been guilty of maladministration.

In your case, it appears the HCE has been “suspended” due to DWP asking for verification and insisting this must be provided by the tenants. This insistence is misplaced as both the UC regulations and guidance permits contact with the landlord to secure this. Councils do the same when administering Housing Benefit.

So, having provided the TA to the Partnership Manager, DWP has all the verification they need to “revise” the decision to suspend and reinstate the HCE.

Councils and Housing Associations have access to a UC portal and can now verify, for example, annual rent increases, when their tenant fails to do so. Consequently, there can be no justification refusing to accept your confirmation of the TA.

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Bill irvine

19:50 PM, 25th February 2021, About 5 months ago

Can I report this to the police for fraud as UC might not do anything?

Reply to the comment left by Jaye at 25/02/2021 - 16:17
Hi Jaye

Yes, the designated manager for the area of the property.

If you Google "Group Director & Service Leader Contact list – August 2020 ... you'll secure a list. Scroll down to find those nearest. Name and email provided.

In the subject matter insert "Complaint & Compensation" nothing else. In the body set out what's happened; how DWP has failed you; causing wholly unnecessary rental loss of £xxxxx; and repossession. This is exactly what the APA scheme was designed to avoid.

Bill... Read More