SIBSS – Guidance on Tax and Benefits Exemptions

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SIBSS – Guidance on Tax and Benefits Exemptions

Some members have expressed anxiety and uncertainty about the impact of having to  declare any Scottish scheme payments they have received on DWP application forms for benefits and income support they are applying for from the Government.

If you are applying for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), State Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Tax Credit (UTC) please do not be concerned, under new 2017 UK legislation sponsored by the Scottish Government, any SIBSS payments received can be disregarded when calculating your income or capital (e.g. savings) that you have when applying for these.

This means that any income or grants you have or are getting from the Scottish scheme are not taken into account when DWP assess your application with them.

And for these benefits listed above, except for Universal Tax Credit,  at the moment you don’t need to mention any SIBSS payments in your DWP application form.

However, there are two specific issues to caveat around this.

Working Tax Credit/Universal Tax Credit:
Information we have received from NSS suggests that any historic issues with Working Tax Credits arising (e.g. repayment demands) should be treated in the same way as issues around the new Universal Tax Credit, i.e. lump sum payments are excempt.

Interest received on Scheme lump sums treated as ‘earnings’:
Also, please note, any interest received on lump sum payments received from the Scottish scheme may have to be declared as ‘earnings’ on any DWP forms requesting earnings details

Full  details from the SIBSS Guidance can be found here:

https://nhsnss.org/media/2102/sibss-guidance-on-tax-and-benefits-exemptions-v11-final.pdf

 

For convenience, we’ve copied the guidance, in full, below:

Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme

Guidance on Tax and Benefits Exemptions

Introduction

Any  payments  you  receive  from the  Scottish  Infected  Blood  Support  Scheme  (SIBSS) do  not  need  to  be  taken  into  account  when  calculating  your  income  tax  bill  or any entitlement  to  means-tested  benefits from  the  Department  for  Work  and  Pensions as  long as you live in the United Kingdom.  The guidance below provides more details on this and what to do if you have any problems relating to this.

Income Tax

The  Scottish  Infected  Blood  Support  Scheme  (Application  of  Sections  731,  733  and 734 of the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005) Order 2017 provides that any  regular  payments from the scheme, such as annual payments or income  top-up support, are not taxable. This means that SIBSS does not need to deduct income tax from your payments and you do not need to declare the payments in any income tax return you submit to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This  Order  does  not  cover  lump  sum  payments  or  one-off  grants  from  the  scheme because they are not subject to income tax.

Benefits
Income support, JSA, pension credit, housing benefit and ESA

The  Social  Security  (Scottish  Infected  Blood  Support  Scheme)  Regulations  2017 provide  that  any  payments  from  SIBSS  can  be  disregarded  when  calculating  your income  or  any  capital  (such  as  savings)  that  you  have  when  you  apply  for  any  of  the following means-tested benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP):

Income support

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

State Pension Credit

Housing Benefit

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

This  means  that  your  income  and  any  grants  from  the  scheme  are  not  taken  into account when DWP assesses your application. Currently you do not need to mention any SIBSS payments in your application form.

Universal Credit

The  Universal  Credit  Regulations  2013 also  allow  for  payments  from  SIBSS  to  be disregarded  when  calculating  your  income  or  any  capital  (such  as  savings)  that  you have  when  you  apply  for Universal  Credit  from  DWP.    In  this  case,  SIBSS  is  not specifically named in the Regulations, but DWP Ministers have approved the Scottish Infected  Blood  Support  Scheme  as  a  scheme  in  relation  to  ‘contaminated  blood products’  which  means  the  exemption  applies  to  anyone  receiving  a  payment  from SIBSS.

Council Tax

The  Council  Tax  Reduction  (Scotland)  Amendment  Regulations  2017 also  allows  for any payments  from  SIBSS  or  any  other  UK infected  blood  scheme  approved  by English,  Welsh  or  Northern  Irish  Ministers  to  be  disregarded  when  calculating  your income  and  any  capital  you  have  (such  as  savings)  when  you  apply  to  your  local council for a reduction in your council tax bill (formerly known as Council Tax benefit).

These  provisions  in  relation  to  Council  Tax  apply  to  beneficiaries  who  are  living  in Scotland  as  the  Regulations  only  apply  to  Scottish  Councils.    However, we expect similar regulations to come into force later in 2017 which will cover anyone living in an English, Welsh or Northern Irish local authority area.

What  to  do  if  DWP,  HMRC  or  your  Council  queries  your  income  from the scheme If  there  are  any  queries  from  DWP,  HMRC  or  your  local  Council  in  relation  to  your income  from  the  scheme  you  can  point  them  to  this  guidance  in  the  first  instance.  However,  if  you  have  any  problems  or  you  are  invited  to  a  formal  interview  then  you may wish to call or email SIBSS staff – they can provide you with a letter to confirm the payments you have received from SIBSS and confirm that these payments should be disregarded.

Contact details

If you have any queries about this information you can call SIBSS on 0131 275 6754 or email NSS.SIBSS@nhs.net.  There is also further information about the scheme on the website at https://nhsnss.org/SIBSS

 

If this article prompts any further questions please also get in touch with the Forum and we will assist in anyway we can.

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