Special Benefit issue

We found some people would have been better off financially if they'd moved from Special Benefit to Temporary Additional Support after 1 April 2006.

We thought Special Benefit clients couldn't move to Temporary Additional Support. We got this wrong. We're sorry for this and we're fixing it. We want all our clients to get all the help they need.

Who's affected by the Special Benefit issue

You may be affected if you got Special Benefit after 1 April 2006.

If you're still getting Special Benefit

We'll arrange to meet with you if you're still getting Special Benefit and might be better off moving to Temporary Additional Support.

We'll talk about your situation and help you work out what's best for you. You can bring a family member, friend or advocate with you, and take some time before you decide if you want to stay on Special benefit or move to Temporary Additional Support.

If you used to get Special Benefit check if you're owed money

If you used to get Special Benefit, you can use the payment errors enquiry form to see if you're owed money. It won't say how much you're owed.

If you're owed money you can use the form to submit your enquiry. We can process it and pay the money we owe you.

Unfortunately, our staff can't tell you if you're owed money or how much it is.

Information

The payment errors enquiry form will tell you if you're owed money - it won't say how much you're owed. We'll write to you to confirm your payment.

The payment errors enquiry form will also let you know if we owe you money for the Accommodation Supplement error.

  • Checking payment errors for someone else

    You can also use the payment errors enquiry form to check to see if we owe someone else money when:

    • they're not a current client
    • a person has died.

    The form will tell you if the person you're making an enquiry for is on the list of clients who may be affected and you can apply for them. It won't say how much they may be owed.

  • How payments may affect your benefit or allowance

    If you're getting a benefit or allowance from us, it won't be affected for 12 months from the date we make any payment to you because of the Special Benefit issue.

    If you:

    • still have this money after 12 months, you'll need to tell us and it will be counted for any benefits or payments that are asset tested
    • invest the money you get and earn interest, after 12 months you'll need to tell us and this will be counted as income.
  • Working for Families and Special Benefit payments

    Your payment won't affect your Working for Families payment because Special Benefit payments aren't counted as income for Working for Families.

  • Impact on your taxes

    You won't have to pay tax on this payment because Special Benefit payments aren't taxable. Any income you earn on it (for example interest) will be taxable.

  • Review rights

    If you don't understand or agree with a decision we've made, please talk with us so we can explain it.

    You have the right to ask us to review a decision you think is wrong. You can use the application form on our website, or write to us. We need to get your request within three months.

    If you have a good reason why you can't ask us to review a decision within three months, get in touch. We may still be able to review the decision.

    You can find out more on the review of a decision page of our website, or you can give us a call on 0800 559 009.