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Claimants already getting SDP

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Tara CAC
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How would that work within legislation? Dwp sdp team said no but hb were the ones who suggested canceling the uc claim

     
HB Anorak
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How it would work in legislation is really very simple indeed - so simple I can paste the entire regulation right here in this thread.  In the UC Transitional provisions Regs 2014 there is a new Reg 4A:

4A.  No claim may be made for universal credit on or after 16th January 2019 by a single claimant who, or joint claimants either of whom—
(a) is, or has been within the past month, entitled to an award of an existing benefit that includes a severe disability premium; and
(b) in a case where the award ended during that month, has continued to satisfy the conditions for eligibility for a severe disability premium.

There are also amendments to the No 9 and No 23 Orders ensuring that such people may claim legacy benefits instead.

     
Pete at CAB
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I don’t think that there is any doubt at all regarding the 16th January changes but can a claimant withdraw a UC claim after it is completed and in payment? -I thought that this was the principle of the ‘lobster pot’ - once UC is claimed you can’t go back to legacy benefits. If this is indeed the case then presumably Tara’s client will be told that they will have to carry on with UC and wait for the government’s ‘compensation’ scheme to kick in.


     
HB Anorak
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The answer to that is in the wording of the various commencement orders, such as this example from the No 24 Order (which covers more postcodes than any of the others so the chances are that wherever you are in GB this is your Order):

Day appointed for the coming into force of the universal credit provisions
3.—(1) The day appointed for the coming into force of the provisions of the Act listed in Schedule 2 to the No. 9 Order, in so far as they are not already in force, in relation to a claim referred to in paragraph (2), and any award that is made in respect of the claim ...

Day appointed for the abolition of income-related employment and support allowance and income-based jobseeker’s allowance
4.—(1) The day appointed for the coming into force of the amending provisions, in relation to a claim referred to in paragraph (2), and any award that is made in respect of the claim …

So UC commences and means-tested JSA/ESA are abolished for the purpose of the claim and any award arising from it.  If the claim is rejected, or the award ends, the commencement/abolition no longer has effect.  If you then make a further claim and belong to a group who at that time is not allowed to claim UC, these provisions do not recommence and so you go back to legacy benefits.

     
Tara CAC
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HB Anorak - 01 February 2019 03:13 PM

The answer to that is in the wording of the various commencement orders, such as this example from the No 24 Order (which covers more postcodes than any of the others so the chances are that wherever you are in GB this is your Order):

Day appointed for the coming into force of the universal credit provisions
3.—(1) The day appointed for the coming into force of the provisions of the Act listed in Schedule 2 to the No. 9 Order, in so far as they are not already in force, in relation to a claim referred to in paragraph (2), and any award that is made in respect of the claim ...

Day appointed for the abolition of income-related employment and support allowance and income-based jobseeker’s allowance
4.—(1) The day appointed for the coming into force of the amending provisions, in relation to a claim referred to in paragraph (2), and any award that is made in respect of the claim …

So UC commences and means-tested JSA/ESA are abolished for the purpose of the claim and any award arising from it.  If the claim is rejected, or the award ends, the commencement/abolition no longer has effect.  If you then make a further claim and belong to a group who at that time is not allowed to claim UC, these provisions do not recommence and so you go back to legacy benefits.

So essentially she just cancels the uc claim and new rules mean esa isn’t abolished due to sdp so she can make a new claim?

Is this just prior to the end of her first assessment as mentioned? Otherwise she’d be excluded from the new rules due to being in receipt of uc in the last 6months?

Ahhhh just realised any longer and she wouldn’t have been in receipt of sdp within the last month!

     
HB Anorak
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Yes, this only works if the whole end to end UC experience lasted less than a month.

HB claimants in supported accommodation who are on UC could switch back to legacy benefits after longer than a month if the HB applicable amount has an SDP. The six month rule you referred to only applied in “live service” which has gone now, and even then it only applied when UC ended because of earnings.

     
JoW
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I’m hijacking post for related query…

We see people when they are signing for a new property with us. We fairly regularly come across scenarios where a new tenant potentially would be entitled to SDP but aren’t actually getting it because either they didn’t know about it or that they will only become entitled to it on moving into our property as previously living with someone else but will be living alone or someone else is claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after them..

I am thinking first two scenarios are relatively straightforward as long as ringing up ESA/IS etc and asking for SDP is enough to enable them to then claim HB for rent from that date?

Usually the scenario is more complicated i.e. tenancy starts the same day so normally we would need to do a UC claim (if no housings costs previously) there and then and at that point in time the new tenant is not entitled to SDP BUT if their carer gives up Carer’s Allowance tenant could then get SDP. This can take a while to get sorted (particularly if Carer doesn’t want to give up Carer’s allowance). This potentially could take more than the month that HB can be backdated for.  Also potentially the tenants circs could change in the meantime in other ways ie someone else move in with them meaning SDP no longer payable.

We are nervous about delaying a claim for housing costs/UC as if the tenant doesn’t follow up things promptly or their circs may change such that they end up not getting SDP and having no claim in for help with rent through UC or HB?

What approach/how far are others going to keep people on legacy benefits?

      [ Edited: 7 Feb 2019 at 11:33 am by JoW ]
Chris Jones
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We also have concerns and I’m basically echoing the point raised above from JoW in the hope someone has an alternative solution

We have lots of tenants moving in with us and on the first day of their tenancy would now be entitled to an SDP because they are now living alone for example. However what do they do? They can’t say they are on an SDP or have been eligible for one in the last month because they simply weren’t so therefore cannot claim HB when they move in.

I know of one in particular who has claimed UC upon moving in and now want to try and get an SDP and I just can’t see a way back for them now.

Would the only tactic in these situations be to adjust the legacy benefit first, as in declare a change of circumstance saying you live alone, get the SDP in JSA/IS/ESA and then claim HB? Which I know is what JoW has suggested but with the risk that this could take a long time. It’s the only way I can see that this works.

But if a claimant has claimed UC (like our tenant above), is there any realistic possibility to go back? I note the point raised above in this thread that you can cancel your UC if your UC lasted less than a month (which would be fine in this case) but surely your IS/JSA/ESA wouldn’t just reinstate automatically (or would it?) so you can then adjust it to include the SDP?  Therefore even if the claimant successfully cancelled the UC (if you could find the right person to do this), it seems to me that they couldn’t then just re-claim legacy benefits here as they still cannot say they had an SDP within the last month.

Thanks
Chris

     
Timothy Seaside
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The thing about claiming UC for a month is very specifically limited in time around the introduction of the SDP Gateway restriction in Reg 4A. And it’s a bit more complicated than that.

But your solution - allowing the tenant to move in, so that they became entitled to the SDP in their ESA is valid, and will continue to be valid under Reg 4A. I would personally disagree that there is any need to wait more than a day to claim HB. I would argue that the claimant is entitled to the SDP as soon as they are living alone (and with nobody getting CA) - obviously this is easier to prove where it’s already in payment, but it doesn’t change the fact. You will probably have some work explaining to some HB departments that they are able to accept a new claim in these circumstances, but they are usually quite helpful (in my experience) and should accept it - they can always sit on it until the SDP is confirmed by ESA, but you can be confident that it will all turn out okay in the end (barring some intervening event).

 

     
Pete at CAB
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Chris Jones - 08 February 2019 04:07 PM

We also have concerns and I’m basically echoing the point raised above from JoW in the hope someone has an alternative solution

We have lots of tenants moving in with us and on the first day of their tenancy would now be entitled to an SDP because they are now living alone for example. However what do they do? They can’t say they are on an SDP or have been eligible for one in the last month because they simply weren’t so therefore cannot claim HB when they move in.

I know of one in particular who has claimed UC upon moving in and now want to try and get an SDP and I just can’t see a way back for them now.

Would the only tactic in these situations be to adjust the legacy benefit first, as in declare a change of circumstance saying you live alone, get the SDP in JSA/IS/ESA and then claim HB? Which I know is what JoW has suggested but with the risk that this could take a long time. It’s the only way I can see that this works.

But if a claimant has claimed UC (like our tenant above), is there any realistic possibility to go back? I note the point raised above in this thread that you can cancel your UC if your UC lasted less than a month (which would be fine in this case) but surely your IS/JSA/ESA wouldn’t just reinstate automatically (or would it?) so you can then adjust it to include the SDP?  Therefore even if the claimant successfully cancelled the UC (if you could find the right person to do this), it seems to me that they couldn’t then just re-claim legacy benefits here as they still cannot say they had an SDP within the last month.

Thanks
Chris

I have followed the route set out in the fourth paragraph with complete success, in this particular case the cl.  didn’t need the HB right away so we sent in the ESA3 and within a couple of weeks he had a call from the Council to ask if he wanted to claim HB! (It seems like they were notified about the SDP before he was actually paid).

It may be that some clients might prefer to make a few rent payments from their other benefits (or some other source) on the grounds that in the longer term this is likely to be offset by the extra £40 +pw from legacy benefits as compared to UC

     
HB Anorak
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Timothy’s suggestion of a protective HB claim works - if you are 100% confident that the SDP will be awarded eventually, even if it takes longer than a month, putting in an early HB claim guarantees no gap in benefit when the dust settles.  It won’t matter if there is a change of circumstance after that date because the HB claim has already been made.  The Council will probably wait for DWP to confirm SDP entitlement - it isn’t really for them to determine the amount of a benefit that is administered by DWP: I think the SDP must be formally determined by DWP as part of the ESA awarding decision.

     
Chris Jones
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Thank you for the replies, so useful. I’m going to try and keep a close eye on these ones coming through. It tends to only reach our team when it has all gone wrong in the first place.

I also made a claim for HB for a person with an SDP in ESA in Harrow recently. The online claim system basically rejected that this was possible and kept directing me to claim UC for the housing costs. Obviously I still pressed ahead with the CTS questions and lodged the claim. Sadly the form automatically removed all the HB specific questions so it isn’t a complete claim. I’m confident it will be ok eventually but it just highlights the confusion even a straightforward application of this new criteria has caused.

     
Mart
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Having identified many claimants not receivivng the SDP, I am concerned that they may miss out on backdating!

     
Ianb
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Chris Jones - 11 February 2019 10:01 AM

.. it just highlights the confusion even a straightforward application of this new criteria has caused.

I’ve recently helped a client make a claim for legacy ESA on grounds they have SDP in an existing HB award. Response from ESA claim line -“I’ve never heard of an SDP in an HB award”! To be fair they did then take the claim but even so one might hope that they had been briefed on this.

     
Timothy Seaside
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Ianb - 11 February 2019 05:26 PM

I’ve recently helped a client make a claim for legacy ESA on grounds they have SDP in an existing HB award. Response from ESA claim line -“I’ve never heard of an SDP in an HB award”! To be fair they did then take the claim but even so one might hope that they had been briefed on this.

My most recent one (I’ve had three) involved the JCP who were very helpful with ending the UC and pressing ESA to accept the new claim. Eventually we got the claim accepted, and then I got a phone call from ESA because they were worried that there must have been an overpayment because if the claimant was getting SDP in HB and IS, surely that means they got paid it twice, no? I explained how an SDP in HB works, but it took about 15 minutes before he was satisfied that he understood. I think it’s understandable - their concept of an SDP is of giving away extra money as income, the HB concept of an SDP is of taking away extra money from income.