Decision details

Housing Benefit War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Disregard Policy

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decisions:

The Director of Finance submitted a report reviewing the arrangements for Housing Benefit made in respect of Section 134 8(a) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, entitling local authorities to modify any part of the Housing Benefit scheme to provide for the disregarding of prescribed war disablement pensions or war widow’s pensions.  Attached to the report at Appendix 1 was War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Disregard Policy.

 

The report explained that prior to the introduction of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, there had been a statutory £10.00 per week disregard on War Disability and War Widows pensions in calculation of income for means tested social security benefits including Housing Benefit.  The Social Security Administration Act 1992 had allowed councils to disregard up to 100% of war pensions above the £10.00 per week disregard and the Council had agreed to disregard war pensions in full at some point in the 1990s.  From April 2004, the Government had agreed to subsidise 75% of the discretionary disregard councils made if the amount did not exceed 0.2% of the total Housing Benefit subsidy received. This meant that the Council only paid for 25% of the discretionary disregard.

 

In 2021 a number of councils had been asked by external auditors to provide evidence that they had passed resolutions disregarding War Pensions and War Widow(er) Pensions from Housing Benefit. Many councils no longer had the original documentation confirming the disregard and the auditors had agreed to accept the historic position but insisted that councils re-affirm their policy.  The report therefore recommended that the Committee re-affirm the discretionary disregards for War Pensions and War Widow(er)’s Pensions in order to safeguard the finances of war pensioners and war widow(er)s.  Adoption of the policy had already been factored into the budget projections and operation of the Benefits Service and the administration of claims in 2022/23.

 

Resolved –

 

          That the Council continue to disregard the whole of any incomes prescribed in the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (War Pension Disregards) Regulations 2007 and that the Housing Benefit War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Disregard Policy attached at Appendix 1 be approved for the 2022-23 subsidy year and subsequent years.

Publication date: 23/01/2023

Date of decision: 15/12/2022

Decided at meeting: 15/12/2022 - Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: