Housing Benefit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey Labour, Vauxhall

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, under what circumstances local authorities are permitted to suspend housing benefit payments.

Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey Labour, Vauxhall

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it is his Department's policy that an award of housing benefit should be suspended when Permitted Work is reported as a change of circumstance.

Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey Labour, Vauxhall

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance his Department gives to local authorities on steps to take when a claimant of housing benefit who retains an award of employment and support allowance reports a change of circumstance in the form of Permitted Work.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Guidance to local authorities on permitted work and how it affects Housing Benefit is provided in the Housing Benefit Guidance Manual, Chapter BW2, specifically paragraphs W2.141 and following. A link is provided below.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236962/hbgm-bw2-assessment-of-income.pdf

There is no specific suspension rule relating to permitted work cases. Decision makers have general powers to suspend any payment of Housing Benefit, in whole or part, when there is an issue about whether the conditions for entitlement are or were fulfilled, or a question arises about whether a decision to award HB should be revised or superseded. This might be exercised where, for example, the decision maker needs further information from the claimant in order accurately to assess Housing Benefit entitlement. It is not an obligatory power; the decision maker may decide whether or not to suspend, based on the circumstances of the case. Guidance is in the Housing Benefit Guidance Manual, Chapter C8. A link is provided below.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236976/hbgm-c8-suspension-and-termination.pdf

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