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Definition of severely disabled for UC carers element

 

Jon (CHDCA)
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Welfare Benefits, Craven CAB, N Yorks

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We have seen more than one UC claimant who is not getting CA, but have declared that they provide regular/substantial care for a disabled person, and are receiving a carers element in their UC. Which is fine, except that the cared-for person is not on Middle Rate Care DLA (in one case the caree was on LRC, in another on no DLA/PIP at all). This looks like a UC overpayment situation. However, the ADM confuses the issue, at F6030, by presenting an apparently non-exhaustive list of people who might be defined as “severely disabled”:

“Severely disabled person” is not defined for this aspect of the UC regulations but it could be taken to mean a person for whom
1. AA or
2. the care component of DLA at the highest or middle rate
[...] is payable.

So it “could be taken to be” someone on MRC, but perhaps could be taken to be someone on a lower rate of disability benefit too??

They seem to be saying that regs 29-30 do not place a restrictive definition on the “severely disabled person” side of the caring equation, they only define the person “who has regular and substantial caring responsibilities”.

This seems like an odd reading of reg 30(1), which says that the carer needs to “satisfy the conditions for entitlement to a carer’s allowance or would do so but for the fact that their earnings have exceeded the limit prescribed”. Surely those conditions of entitlement include that the disabled person is on the right disability benefit? Or, is the ADM referring to something else?