Fun with Housing Benefit: Hunt the Houseboat!


S

Sue

Mr Grumpy came into our office at 4:30pm on the day of our weekly
payment run, demanding a payment on account and quoting the Regulations.
He's self employed (not as an artist) and lives on a 45ft narrow boat.
A payment on account was arranged.
That was in mid-September.

At least six of our team leaders, managers, appeals officer etc were
involved in getting partial information about his self-employment,
referring his boat rent, dealing with his appeal, finding they'd got to
refer the mooring charge separately, referring the mooring charge,
dealing with his redetermination request on the boat rent, dealing with
his complaint about our service, etc, etc.
I listened sympathetically to them but Mr G wasn't my problem.

Until I found they'd paid the claim without a property reference.
Jobsworth, mate, because it screws up the links between claims and
referrals. It hadn't got a property reference because the boat wasn't
registered for Council Tax. I asked whether they were sure it was in
our area, because the marina named on the claim isn't.
They said they were absolutely sure it was in our area, and would get it
registered for Council Tax. That was a fortnight ago.

On Thursday they asked Me to find it a property ref. I asked where
exactly was it and they were vague. I asked if it was at the lock
island and they said Yes, it's at the lock island (the two narrow boats
there are 70ft ones). I asked if it was moored behind Tesco and they
said Yes, it's behind Tesco (you can only stay overnight there and it's
free). They kept passing me from one to another.
I asked again whether they were sure it was ours and they said Yes, oh
yes, the Rent Officer says it is.

I spoke to the Council Tax inspector and he shook his head and said it
wasn't worth registering boats because as soon as they get the bill
they're off. I thought of the appeals and complaints and
redeterminations and I said "Yes please!" so he went and looked
downriver and I went and looked upriver under the ring road.
Houseboat not found.

On Friday we checked Google Maps' satellite picture of Darkside for
moorings. There was one last boatyard and the out-of-area Marina, which
we saw has a section for narrow boats. Giggle Maps is good.

I went and visited the boatyard: they said No. I rang the Rent Officer
and asked why she thought it was ours? She said, Because you referred
it to us! She agreed the boat is in the out-of-area Marina. She thinks
the boundary must run through the Marina but it doesn't.

Mr Grumpy came to us from the same district the Marina's in.
He appealed and so on there too. They won't want him back.

We agreed the team leader would ring Northward and check that they
accept the Marina's all theirs. If they do we'll waft Mr Grumpy off to
them with a speed and efficiency that'll surprise him.
 
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M

mart2306

Mr Grumpy came into our office at 4:30pm on the day of our weekly
payment run, demanding a payment on account and quoting the Regulations.
He's self employed (not as an artist) and lives on a 45ft narrow boat.
A payment on account was arranged.
That was in mid-September.

At least six of our team leaders, managers, appeals officer etc were
involved in getting partial information about his self-employment,
referring his boat rent, dealing with his appeal, finding they'd got to
refer the mooring charge separately, referring the mooring charge,
dealing with his redetermination request on the boat rent, dealing with
his complaint about our service, etc, etc.
I listened sympathetically to them but Mr G wasn't my problem.

Until I found they'd paid the claim without a property reference.
Jobsworth, mate, because it screws up the links between claims and
referrals. It hadn't got a property reference because the boat wasn't
registered for Council Tax. I asked whether they were sure it was in
our area, because the marina named on the claim isn't.
They said they were absolutely sure it was in our area, and would get it
registered for Council Tax. That was a fortnight ago.

On Thursday they asked Me to find it a property ref. I asked where
exactly was it and they were vague. I asked if it was at the lock
island and they said Yes, it's at the lock island (the two narrow boats
there are 70ft ones). I asked if it was moored behind Tesco and they
said Yes, it's behind Tesco (you can only stay overnight there and it's
free). They kept passing me from one to another.
I asked again whether they were sure it was ours and they said Yes, oh
yes, the Rent Officer says it is.

I spoke to the Council Tax inspector and he shook his head and said it
wasn't worth registering boats because as soon as they get the bill
they're off. I thought of the appeals and complaints and
redeterminations and I said "Yes please!" so he went and looked
downriver and I went and looked upriver under the ring road.
Houseboat not found.

On Friday we checked Google Maps' satellite picture of Darkside for
moorings. There was one last boatyard and the out-of-area Marina, which
we saw has a section for narrow boats. Giggle Maps is good.

I went and visited the boatyard: they said No. I rang the Rent Officer
and asked why she thought it was ours? She said, Because you referred
it to us! She agreed the boat is in the out-of-area Marina. She thinks
the boundary must run through the Marina but it doesn't.

Mr Grumpy came to us from the same district the Marina's in.
He appealed and so on there too. They won't want him back.

We agreed the team leader would ring Northward and check that they
accept the Marina's all theirs. If they do we'll waft Mr Grumpy off to
them with a speed and efficiency that'll surprise him.
Oh yes, narrowboats are so much fun.
Its one way to travel and get some charges paid for though. :)

Martin <><
 
N

Niteawk

Sue said:
Mr Grumpy came into our office at 4:30pm on the day of our weekly payment
run, demanding a payment on account and quoting the Regulations. He's self
employed (not as an artist) and lives on a 45ft narrow boat. A payment on
account was arranged.
That was in mid-September.

At least six of our team leaders, managers, appeals officer etc were
involved in getting partial information about his self-employment,
referring his boat rent, dealing with his appeal, finding they'd got to
refer the mooring charge separately, referring the mooring charge, dealing
with his redetermination request on the boat rent, dealing with his
complaint about our service, etc, etc.
I listened sympathetically to them but Mr G wasn't my problem.

Until I found they'd paid the claim without a property reference.
Jobsworth, mate, because it screws up the links between claims and
referrals. It hadn't got a property reference because the boat wasn't
registered for Council Tax. I asked whether they were sure it was in our
area, because the marina named on the claim isn't.
They said they were absolutely sure it was in our area, and would get it
registered for Council Tax. That was a fortnight ago.

On Thursday they asked Me to find it a property ref. I asked where
exactly was it and they were vague. I asked if it was at the lock island
and they said Yes, it's at the lock island (the two narrow boats there are
70ft ones). I asked if it was moored behind Tesco and they said Yes, it's
behind Tesco (you can only stay overnight there and it's free). They
kept passing me from one to another.
I asked again whether they were sure it was ours and they said Yes, oh
yes, the Rent Officer says it is.

I spoke to the Council Tax inspector and he shook his head and said it
wasn't worth registering boats because as soon as they get the bill
they're off. I thought of the appeals and complaints and redeterminations
and I said "Yes please!" so he went and looked downriver and I went and
looked upriver under the ring road.
Houseboat not found.

On Friday we checked Google Maps' satellite picture of Darkside for
moorings. There was one last boatyard and the out-of-area Marina, which
we saw has a section for narrow boats. Giggle Maps is good.

I went and visited the boatyard: they said No. I rang the Rent Officer
and asked why she thought it was ours? She said, Because you referred it
to us! She agreed the boat is in the out-of-area Marina. She thinks the
boundary must run through the Marina but it doesn't.

Mr Grumpy came to us from the same district the Marina's in.
He appealed and so on there too. They won't want him back.

We agreed the team leader would ring Northward and check that they accept
the Marina's all theirs. If they do we'll waft Mr Grumpy off to them with
a speed and efficiency that'll surprise him.

I presume the boat has a permanent mooring site, how long has he lived on
the boat? what happened with his claim for HB or should that be BB ;) This
chap must have paid CT at some stage, cant you trace him through this
channel. WTF is going on! Gawd all mighty, its not rocket science to
establish a few basic facts as to ones living arrangements.
 
A

anthonyberet

Niteawk wrote:
I presume the boat has a permanent mooring site, how long has he
lived on the boat? what happened with his claim for HB or should that
be BB ;) This chap must have paid CT at some stage, cant you trace
him through this channel. WTF is going on! Gawd all mighty, its not
rocket science to establish a few basic facts as to ones living
arrangements.
You don't actually need to have a permanent mooring site to claim HB on
a houseboat mooring. He probably wont have piad CT, but in any case that
is academic as he has moved his boat.
 
F

fido

Niteawk wrote:



You don't actually need to have a permanent mooring site to claim HB on
a houseboat mooring. He probably wont have piad CT, but in any case that
is academic as he has moved his boat.
Many decades ago (!) I worked for the DHSS. We used to have a
traveller come in regularly to make a claim for benefit. He used to
park his caravan in a lay-by near the county boundary. After
establishing he was in Worcestershire we started to process his
claim. However the Worcs police used to come along and move him on.
(This was in the days before the police forces were merged). He just
simply nipped over the county boundary and parked in a lay-by. The
police were happy because he was out of their area. When he next came
into the office, hopefully to collect his money, he proceeded to tell
us about his enforced move. We then had to inform him that as he was
now out of our area he would have to travel all the way to Hereford
and claim there. I felt sorry for him as he was very baldy affected by
arthritis. Unfortunately the Hereford office couldn't do anything for
him as they had to officially request his papers from us (this was BC
- before computers) and receive them before they could pay him. And
yes, you've probably guessed what then happened, the Herefordshire
police moved him on he nipped back over the border into
Worcestershire.
 
S

Sue

In the Extra Info section of the HB claim form
anthonyberet <[email protected]> said:
Niteawk wrote:

You don't actually need to have a permanent mooring site to claim HB on
a houseboat mooring. He probably wont have piad CT, but in any case
that is academic as he has moved his boat.
He moves about. He's been in the Northward district before, in a small
town several miles upriver, and somewhere up the canal in West Poverty
district.

West Poverty admit they cravenly did everything he demanded, since
they'd heard how he behaved in Northward and they haven't the resources
to deal with a barrage of complaints and appeals.

As to his HB claim, we got Northward to admit the Marina was theirs and
we've sent it off to them. Our Benefits Manager saw him in town the
other day, and his company's registered office is at Murder & Murder the
solicitors in Darkside, so we don't think he's moved.
 
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N

Niteawk

anthonyberet said:
Niteawk wrote:

You don't actually need to have a permanent mooring site to claim HB on
a houseboat mooring. He probably wont have piad CT, but in any case that
is academic as he has moved his boat.
Well he must moor it somewhere and that costs money, rent if you like,
should be easy enough for him to produce receipts to this effect.
 
N

Niteawk

fido said:
Many decades ago (!) I worked for the DHSS. We used to have a
traveller come in regularly to make a claim for benefit. He used to
park his caravan in a lay-by near the county boundary. After
establishing he was in Worcestershire we started to process his
claim. However the Worcs police used to come along and move him on.
(This was in the days before the police forces were merged). He just
simply nipped over the county boundary and parked in a lay-by. The
police were happy because he was out of their area. When he next came
into the office, hopefully to collect his money, he proceeded to tell
us about his enforced move. We then had to inform him that as he was
now out of our area he would have to travel all the way to Hereford
and claim there. I felt sorry for him as he was very baldy affected by
arthritis. Unfortunately the Hereford office couldn't do anything for
him as they had to officially request his papers from us (this was BC
- before computers) and receive them before they could pay him. And
yes, you've probably guessed what then happened, the Herefordshire
police moved him on he nipped back over the border into
Worcestershire.
Now this is a different ball game entirely, a caravan if its not on an
official site can cause problems, I dont suppose you can claim HB for a
caravan that moves all over the place.
 
N

Niteawk

Sue said:
In the Extra Info section of the HB claim form


He moves about. He's been in the Northward district before, in a small
town several miles upriver, and somewhere up the canal in West Poverty
district.

West Poverty admit they cravenly did everything he demanded, since they'd
heard how he behaved in Northward and they haven't the resources to deal
with a barrage of complaints and appeals.

As to his HB claim, we got Northward to admit the Marina was theirs and
we've sent it off to them. Our Benefits Manager saw him in town the other
day, and his company's registered office is at Murder & Murder the
solicitors in Darkside, so we don't think he's moved.
I am amazed councils actually have to ask each other who is responsible for
what area. Dont you use county boundary maps any more?
 
F

fido

Now this is a different ball game entirely, a caravan if its not on an
official site can cause problems, I dont suppose you can claim HB for a
caravan that moves all over the place.
He wasn't claiming HB, he was claiming what was called Supplementary
Benefit in those days. (Now called Income Support or Pension
Guaranteed Benefit)
 
A

anthonyberet

Sue said:
In the Extra Info section of the HB claim form


He moves about. He's been in the Northward district before, in a small
town several miles upriver, and somewhere up the canal in West Poverty
district.

West Poverty admit they cravenly did everything he demanded, since
they'd heard how he behaved in Northward and they haven't the resources
to deal with a barrage of complaints and appeals.

As to his HB claim, we got Northward to admit the Marina was theirs and
we've sent it off to them. Our Benefits Manager saw him in town the
other day, and his company's registered office is at Murder & Murder the
solicitors in Darkside, so we don't think he's moved.
I gues the test of which authority has the marine is which collects the
non-domestic rates and controls planning. (Hopefully they are the same...)
 
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A

anthonyberet

Niteawk said:
Well he must moor it somewhere and that costs money, rent if you like,
should be easy enough for him to produce receipts to this effect.
Yes thats right. He needs to pay something on his mooring to get HB. The
key word in my post is 'permanent'.
 
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A

anthonyberet

Niteawk said:
I am amazed councils actually have to ask each other who is responsible
for what area. Dont you use county boundary maps any more?
Yes but not in the benefits dept generally. They usually rely on the
list of properties in the borough which is maintained by the council tax
dept. This is why a houseboat mooring causes a problem.
 

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