Local Authority Cases

Coventry City Council v Vassell [2011] EWHC 1542 (Admin); 2011 WL 844057;http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7191:high-court-rejects-appeal-over-failure-to-convict-benefit-claimant-for-non-notification-&catid=1:latest-stories;





Instructed by Gary Lesin-Davis of EAD Solicitors, Ben recently appeared for the successful Respondent in an appeal by way of case stated. The case concerned section 112(1A) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992. The High Court (Hickinbottom J) held that:

(i) “prompt notice” would not require a conditional prospective change in circumstances to be notified to a local authority;

(ii) “failure” to give prompt notice in paragraph (d) required mens rea (i.e. knowledge);

(iii) furthermore, the local authority is required to provide a benefit claimant with relevant information on how to notify a change of circumstances in clear terms or, as here, the actus reus will not be made out; and

(iv) the local authority has to prove that the benefit claimant knew that the change in
circumstances would (and not merely could) affect his entitlement to benefit for the
offence to be made out.