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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Housing costs  →  Thread

Earnings Disregard

 

VivienneWRO
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Welfare Rights Officer - Barrhead Housing Association

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Joined: 10 April 2018

Hi

Can someone please tell me if the earnings disregard in housing benefit should be awarded if a tenant is employed but currently on maternity leave?

Kind Regards


Viv

     
Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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Are they getting SMP?

     
VivienneWRO
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Welfare Rights Officer - Barrhead Housing Association

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Yeah they are in receipt of SMP . Only £97.00 per week as hours were 16 before having baby.

     
Prisca
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benefits section (training & accuracy) Bristol city council

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The additional earnings disregsard is applicable where:-
i) The 30 hour element is awarded in WTC
OR
ii) claimant/partner is aged at least 25 yrs old and works on average 30 hours pw
iii) claimant/partner works on average 16 hours pw and they are responsible for a dependant child/young person
iv) for working age claims claimant/partner works on average 16 hours pw and their applicable amount includes a disability premium or the work related activety component or the support component
v) for pension claims claimant/partner works on average 16 hours pw and the employed person satisfies the conditions for the disabled or long-term sick earned income disregard.

Employment for the items ii) to v) above excludes Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Leave -

so unless she’s getting the 30 hour element in her working tax credits she will no longer get the earnings disregard as SMP doesnt count as being in remunerative work. However, she will still continue to qualify for Childcare costs disregard, if she had those immediately prior to starting her maternity leave

     
Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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But the main earnings disregard should apply, as SMP is earnings.

     
VivienneWRO
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Welfare Rights Officer - Barrhead Housing Association

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Thanks the reply I got from the local authority was :-

Good Morning

“Thank you for providing a mandate. I can confirm that the reason the £25.00 disregard is not included is that Ms is in receipt of Maternity benefit, not earnings so disregard would not apply”

I find it odd, as my benefit system calculates as her being entitled to it. But thank you for your help.

Viv

     
Mr Jim
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Asylum & Roma Team, Social Work Services, Glasgow City Council

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See page 436 Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits handbook 2019/20 tenth bullet point.

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

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Refer them to Reg 35(1)(i) of the HB Regs 2006: the definition of earnings clearly includes SMP.

There are two possibilities explaining the Council’s decision:

- they are confusing “earnings” with “remunerative work”.  RW is required in order to get the extra £17-odd disregard (unless the equivalent WTC element is in payment), but the normal flat rate disregards, which would appear to be £25 in this case, apply to “earnings”
- it isn’t SMP, it’s Maternity Allowance