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Old style ESA claimant takes in homeless person who has to claim UC (FS)- affect on benefits

 

EKS_COTTON
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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Joined: 10 March 2014

Hello all

This post concerns both UC (FS) and CESA in the context of a lodger.

My client is getting CESA and has about £15k in savings.  She has just been awarded PIP standard rate daily care following appeal hearing so will be applying for SDP (under legacy benefit rules - ‘one composite benefit’).  Her area is now a UC FS area.

She has taken in a homeless person.  He is sleeping on her couch and she is feeding him.  He is a recovering drug user and getting help in that respect.  I don’t think he will qualify for CESA, so will have to claim UC (limited capability for work).

Questions:

- If the arrangement is informal, will he still be ignored as not a non-dependent for SDP purposes?

- What will happen with his UC claim in respect of housing costs?  Can he claim for shared accommodation costs if he doesn’t have the exclusive use of a bedroom?  Can he claim even though it is not a formal arrangement?  From what I have read, UC housing costs can only be claimed if you are liable for rent.

- If he then starts to receive money for rent, how will this affect her C/IR ESA?  Will be ignored (ESA Sch 8 para 19 ESA Regs)

Any thoughts gratefully received.

EKS