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Responsibility for a child and the 3 child rule for HB / UC

Chrissum
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WRAMAS, Bristol City Council

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Total Posts: 137

Joined: 24 August 2017

Snappy title again!
Can’t find this situation on my trawl so would be grateful for some guidance if possible please.
Situation - client has 3 children with her former partner, now living separately due to DV. Client receives CTC for all 3 children but CB for only one in a joint custody arrangement. Client gets SDP. Client moves back into LA area on the 30th November and claims HB on the 12th December (it is unclear as to whether she was advised to do this or did so off her own back - appears to declare receipt of 3xCB. HB decision made on 17th January that she is not entitled and should claim UC as she is only responsible for 1 child. HB claim subsequently accepted this week due to SDP but only backdated to 16th January when SDP gateway appeared.
Client cannot claim UC now because of the SDP gateway and, presumably, can’t claim retrospectively for the period between November and January. My research reveals that in incidences of shared care for HB purposes, it is only the CB receipt that is looked at and no other factors, so it looks as if HB are correct to say go away.
Any thoughts? I am thinking that she has been caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, though arguably if she had revealed the true CB situation at date of claim, it would have been rejected outright then, but there might be a possible equalities issue here as it would appear that her issues have arisen as a result of DV and of being a lone parent.

HB Anorak
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benefits consultant/trainer, hbanorak.co.uk, east london

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HB can be backdated one month, to commence before 16 January as I explain here.  That will help.

She should also appeal against the earlier decision refusing the first HB claim.  This is a long shot, but she should point out that Article 7 of the No 23 Order permits an HB claim where the climant would be prevented from claiming UC, and that she would have been so prevented because she is responsible for three children in accordance with UC Reg 4 which does not rely on Child Benefit as a “tiebreaker” (unlike HB).  I have no idea whether this is arguable on the facts, but the Child Benefit arrangements are less important in UC than they are in HB when it comes to shared custody. She has nothing to lose from the appeal because it’s too late to get UC backdated for that period.

If the appeal succeeded, and if she is on a legacy DWP benefit, HB would run from the start of the tenancy because the claim was made within a month.

Chrissum
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WRAMAS, Bristol City Council

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Total Posts: 137

Joined: 24 August 2017

That’s brilliant. Thanks very much for that.