End of year: Compliance Considerations
Where a post-award examination is still open on TCW at 5 April, the NTC system will recognise this and will inhibit both finalisation (issue of the Section 18 decision) and the initial decision (S14) on the following year’s entitlement. This applies whether your case is a S16 post award examination or a S15 unprocessed change of circumstances examination. However, the S17 notice will still be issued and you will have to make the S18 decision in all cases.
If an examination is held on CCMIS you will need to manually set the inhibit finalisation signal on or as close as possible to 5 April.
The decision you will make at the end of your examination can no longer be made under S15 or S16, but must be under S18 to finalise the entitlement for the year which has just gone. In all cases, you will now be responsible for
- Making the S14 decision for the following year - and
- Making the S18 decision to finalise the entitlement for the year but you should only do so once you are satisfied you have all the information you need
However, you cannot make a S18 decision until
- There has been a response to the S17 notice (S18(2)) or
- After the first specified date, if there has been no response to the S17 notice (S18(3))
For what counts as ‘a response to the S17 notice’ see CCM11110
If the claimant(s) responds to the S17 notice via the contact centre, the response will be referred to you. You should consider what the claimant(s) has said about their income and circumstances, in the light of your examination.
The claimant(s) may not respond directly to the notice because they intend to sweep everything up in the information they provide to you during the course of your examination. This is perfectly acceptable and there will be no need to follow up for a response in these circumstances.
However, you will not be able to settle the examination until the S17 notice has been issued to the claimant.