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Pension credit for self-employed
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# 1
still_game
Old 03-09-2010, 4:37 AM
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Default Pension credit for self-employed

Hi wonder if anyone knows anything about what assessment period is used for working out self-employed income. Dad is self-employed and once he'd worked out his 2009-2010 income he realised (or thought) he was entitled to PC. Applied in April just after doing the books and has been told he doesn't qualify because they have used the 2008-2009 accounting period to calculate his weekly income. Apparently it's because he asked for it to be backdated for 3 months. Not sure whether to appeal or just submit new application now - if that's backdated shouldn't it then be the 2009-2010 accounts (which are lower)? It just seemed reasonable that the most up-to-date income period would be used but I know the self-employed calculations are pretty complicated. All advice welcome......
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# 2
Benefits Bod
Old 03-09-2010, 8:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by still_game View Post
Hi wonder if anyone knows anything about what assessment period is used for working out self-employed income. Dad is self-employed and once he'd worked out his 2009-2010 income he realised (or thought) he was entitled to PC. Applied in April just after doing the books and has been told he doesn't qualify because they have used the 2008-2009 accounting period to calculate his weekly income. Apparently it's because he asked for it to be backdated for 3 months. Not sure whether to appeal or just submit new application now - if that's backdated shouldn't it then be the 2009-2010 accounts (which are lower)? It just seemed reasonable that the most up-to-date income period would be used but I know the self-employed calculations are pretty complicated. All advice welcome......
Now, for HB/CTB/IS, the amount of s/e earnings taken into account should reflect the "now" situation. I'm not sure whether the legislation is different for PC. So, my advice is to both formally appeal AND submit a new claim. In law, the two aren't really related and one doesn't affect the other.

In the appeal, argue very simply that the method of calculating earnings does not reflect the true situation as it stood at the time of your claim and that earnings should only be attributed to the period they were in respect of. If it turns out the legislation deems past income counts for "now", at least the DWP will have to address that in their response, by way of a submission, to your appeal.

NB: Anecdotally, it appears that some appeals are being treated as requests for revisions and are not being forwarded to "The Tribunals Service" (the body that arranges the Tribunals). So, if you get a letter back saying something like "We haven't changed the decision....you NOW have the right of appeal...", that is wrong. Write back, insisting you have already appealed and request that your appeal is forwarded to The Tribunals Service.

Last edited by Benefits Bod; 03-09-2010 at 8:38 AM.
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# 3
Sixtails
Old 03-09-2010, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benefits Bod View Post
NB: Anecdotally, it appears that some appeals are being treated as requests for revisions and are not being forwarded to "The Tribunals Service" (the body that arranges the Tribunals). So, if you get a letter back saying something like "We haven't changed the decision....you NOW have the right of appeal...", that is wrong. Write back, insisting you have already appealed and request that your appeal is forwarded to The Tribunals Service.
These are 2 seperate areaas & it depends what the customer asks for. If you request a reconsideration then th case is fully reassessed by a specialist decision maker & they can overturn the decision if appropriate. An appeal is a different process & you have to specifically request an appeal, if you don't - it will be treated as a reconsideration & you can only request an appeal within 1 month of the original decision.

PC would use the most up to date information provided by the customer, did your father provide up to date accounts? A lot of people will only provide the accounts for the last full tax year rather than writing up interim accounts. If this happens, the decision is made on the information the customer provided.
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Benefits Bod
Old 03-09-2010, 2:01 PM
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These are 2 seperate areaas & it depends what the customer asks for. If you request a reconsideration then th case is fully reassessed by a specialist decision maker & they can overturn the decision if appropriate. An appeal is a different process & you have to specifically request an appeal, if you don't - it will be treated as a reconsideration & you can only request an appeal within 1 month of the original decision..
I appreciate there is a difference between making an appeal and requesting a recon. Unfortunately, I have heard from a professional Welfare Rights advisor that some requests for appeals are NOT being forwarded and that appellants are being asked to appeal again (re DWP decisions).

As an aside, there are many LAs who quite deliberately deal with appeals as reconsideration requests - nothing anecdotal about that; it's first hand experience .
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Sixtails
Old 03-09-2010, 2:06 PM
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Can't speak from a LA point of view but with PC it is easier for the pension centre to treat it as an appeal anyway, recons have to be completed in the centre by an overworked specialist team who generally would rather deal with new cases. If it's an appeal, they can 'get rid of it' (not the best phrase but couldn't think of a better one!) straight away.
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# 6
anmarj
Old 03-09-2010, 8:53 PM
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in our centre it is sent to appeal but they do a reconsideration and then send it to the tribunal if it fails, but they have to advise the customer of the decision that was made at the reconsideratioin stage.

for the self employment assessment, it sound right in what they have done, I don't work on the SDM section but from what I have gathered it sounds right, you also have to understand that there are certian things which are allowed and not allowed which is different to what income and expenses work out, so they may be looking at things in a different light
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# 7
still_game
Old 03-09-2010, 9:55 PM
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Thanks for the advice - he applied within weeks of doing his accounts for the 09-10 year in April so that was his most up-to-date income then, the issue seems to be that the claim was to be backdated from January so somehow the 08-09 accounts were used. Have already asked for a reconsideration which was done pretty quickly and came back that the decision (not to award PC)was correct. Now have an appeal in - but that was put in because we thought they had used the wrong accounts, we couldn't understand why the weekly income figure was so different from what we'd calculated and couldn't get an answer on that from the office. Finally got a lovely lady on the helpline who explained about the backdating. I think maybe the best thing would be to submit a fresh claim but let the appeal go ahead and argue that the most recent income figures at the time of the claim should be used. Really appreciate all your help with this
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