Can a council recover a bedroom tax DHP? No no no!

Local councils are not content with totally ballsing up the original bedroom tax decision they now seek to recover the DHP they awarded to the pre 1996 exempt cases that would not have had to make if they hadn’t ballsed up in the first place.

According to the DHP guidance and the law they are not able to recover a DHP in these circumstances either and so this is yet another example of maladministration by these buffoons.

The latest one hot on the heels of St Helens (see here) is Wirral Council and their letter is below and under this I have composed a quick draft response that anyone who is pre-1996 exempt may care to consider to send to their council should they embark on this errant path.

The letter

wirral dhp recovery



Address etc

Your refs:

Dear Malcolm Flanagan,

You will not be making arrangements to recover the DHP referenced in your letter dated 22 Janaury 2014 as I am asking you review this errant fait accompli decision .

I contend that this DHP for any period before the above date is not recoverable and this is supported by paragraph 5.10 of the DHP guidance manual issued by DWP in April 2013 and the wording there stems from law in the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations which were made under S69 of the Child Support Pensions and Social Security Act and at regulation 8(2).

The DHP awarded at the time was a correct decision and under the above references is not recoverable.  I did not misrepresent the position when applying for a DHP or did I fail to disclose any material fact.  The DHP claim was awarded correctly at that time.

I also note and consider your letter deficient in law as you have not advised that I have a right of review to the above decision which is stated in the above referenced DHP guidance manual at paragraph 3.15 and also at 6.3.

I also maintain that your fait accompli letter above is maladministration (see 6.1) and that the review I have as my right needs to be completed by another person (see 6.5).  I also note that this apparent decision contains a right to Judicial Review and see para 6.1 of the referenced DHP guidance above.

I await you comments by return and specifically to any authority and reasoning you maintain you have that this DHP is recoverable


Yours etc





8 thoughts on “Can a council recover a bedroom tax DHP? No no no!

  1. If the person paid the DHP does not pay the money back, it means someone in a similar position can not get assistance from the limited pot of money.

    The decent thing to do is to pay the DHP back.

      1. The DWP have helpfully published statistics showing local authority spend of DHP for the first 6 months of the year.

        Wirral had only committed 26% of their government allocation halfway through the year. As the spreadsheet shows committed cash not cash spend, at the half year they had probably actually spent a lot less.

        Bear in mind that a local authority is allowed to spend up to 2.5 times their government allocation (anything over the government allocation comes from local authorities own funds) and that the DWP put another £40million up for local authorities to bid for, final deadline in a couple of days time.

      2. Any over payment that is recovered can be allocated to another person, it does not automatically go back to the DWP who pays out these budgets to councils.

  2. I would of thought so, HOWEVER the added problem there Is of course that any monies NOT used by (likely 1st April I’m sure someone will correct me if I am incorrect 🙂 ) will NOT be reissued the following year, effectively meaning their DHP budget falls by the total they have left (hence the incomprehension as to why ALL LAs won’t pay out their DHP funds) the whole thing is a mess, BUT I’ve said all along that whilst DHP is a discretionary payment it’s also a limited fund thus one would think that any adding to it can’t be a bad idea so long as there is sufficient time to then redirect funds to appropriately needy and of course vunerable tenants prior to their cut off date to fully ensure they get the TOTAL allocation of funds due and don’t jepordise this payment by doing so (hope that makes sense I think it does)

    Search “Bedroom Tax Chat” on Facebook ….. For the “original, First and best support, guidance and information portal on Bedroom Tax and associated issues ….

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