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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Income support, JSA and tax credits  →  Thread

IS - Couples claim permutations

 

James Craig
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Generalist Adviser at Citizens Advice Hammersmith & Fulham

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Wife is currently claiming IS at the couples rate as carer for her husband, who gets DLA at the highest rates for Care and Mobility.

Client has (apparently) recently asked for her CA to be stopped, as she may no longer be able to provide the necessary care for her husband. She herself gets PIP (DL) at the standard rate, but is appealing for more.

The result of the above will presumably be that IS stops eight weeks after CA stops. If husband, who may despite his disabilities be more capable of caring for his wife than she is of caring for him, were to claim CA as her carer, presumably that would not enable the IS claim to be “transferred” from wife to husband - rather it would be a brand new IS claim which normally can’t be made any more?

However:

Apparently you can still claim IS if you get the severe disability premium (https://www.gov.uk/income-support). So if the SDP is applied for during the few remaining weeks of the wife’s IS claim (because husband is eligible for it now that no one gets Carers Allowance as his carer), would that be enough for him to be able to say he gets the SDP and so remains entitled to make a claim for IS?

 

     
Charles
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A couple of recent threads answer your question:

https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/14146/#66361

https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/13872/P75/#66468

To summarise:

1) Yes, the IS award is ‘hers’. He would have to make a fresh claim (if he could).

2) Even if an SDP is included now that wouldn’t help, as it only helps the claimant. He is not the claimant (even though the SDP is in respect of him).

3) Even if she gives up the CA, if she is still regularly and substantially engaged in caring for her husband, that is enough for her IS entitlement to continue.

     
Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Why isn’t the wife already claiming one SDP if both receive a qualifying benefit and only one of them has someone claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after them?

     
James Craig
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Thank you for replies. It may well be that the wife is getting the SDP - I don’t yet have the full details of their situation - but that wouldn’t help the husband make a fresh claim for IS. However, someone has pointed out elsewhere that, if the wife has indeed been claiming the SDP, she should then be able to claim ESA when her IS comes to an end.

     
Charles
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I was going to say that but didn’t, because I thought you preferred to stay on IS. ESA will mean putting her through a WCA, and even if she gets put in the support group, they’ll still be over £10/week worse off.

If the third point I made above is applicable, I think that’s the better option.

     
James Craig
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Thank you Charles, I will bear your suggestion in mind.

     
Ianb
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Just gone back to the regulations http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/10/regulation/2/made

“Restriction on claims for universal credit by persons entitled to a severe disability premium

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.”http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/10/regulation/2/made”

It says “or joint claimants either of whom”, therefore my reading of this is that even if you are switching claimant they are excluded from claiming UC if an SDP is in payment (or has been but entitlement would remain) and must remain on legacy benefits.

      [ Edited: 4 Mar 2019 at 03:28 pm by Ianb ]
Charles
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You’re 100% right! The problem I had thought occured here is only relevant for cases where the non-claimant is now not a partner with the legacy-benefit claimant.
So it shouldn’t be an issue to change the IS claimant.

     
Ianb
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Glad to see you posting here, Charles. You’ve had a busy weekend!

     
Charles
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Thank you!
Scratching a long-festering itch caused by not being able to post in the past - it’ll be out my system soon!