The following FAQs are taken from a document that the DWP issued to social housing providers:
Will there be any flexibility in the existing rules around backdating if a claimant declares a change in housing costs late?
Changes can only be backdated to be the beginning of the current assessment period, and this will not change in relation to the 2020 rent change exercise. However a claimant may submit an appeal against this as per the normal business processes. We urge all landlords to work with their claimants to ensure that changes are declared at the earliest appropriate opportunity.
Will claimants still receive a to-do to declare housing costs?
Yes - We will begin issuing to-do’s to claimants as planned.
For claimants with monthly housing cost liability the To-do will be available from 1st April 2020
For claimants who have non-monthly housing cost liability the To-do will be available from 6th April 2020.
The timing of this will depend on their Assessment Period end date.
The To-do includes a built-in tolerance, meaning that only those where there is a definite need to double check a declared change will need subsequent verification.
How will landlords best support vulnerable claimants who require support to report changes if we are unable to do this face to face
In line with current government advice, we recommend supporting claimants via non-face to face channels such as over the phone. Communications issued to landlords 13th March 2020 provides details on the Claimant To-do, including what information is asked as part of the To-do.
How can landlords access the portal from home?
This will depend on how individual landlords IT is setup, however we have temporarily removed the IP Address restrictions to support greater use of homeworking during the current period and allow landlords to maximise their ability to verify claimants housing costs.