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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Housing costs  →  Thread

SMI loan 39 weeks wait. Can IS and UC be linked to count for the time?

JAS1
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Hello,

Think this is only the first or second time I’ve had some interested in the SMI loan.

Client was on IS for 6 years then moved to UC in March this year after an issue with Carers Allowance. They challenged and were successful and IS was backdated up to start of UC claim.

If they apply for the SMI loan can the 39 week waiting period start from their IS claim? Or will it start from the UC claim? Not sure if the two can be linked and the time added up

Thanks

Joel

[ Edited: 8 Jul 2019 at 01:00 pm by JAS1 ]
Charles
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Reg 21 of the Loans for Mortgage Interest Regulations 2017 provides for linking the two.

JAS1
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That’s great thanks.

It mentions the UC award needs to be continuous, not sure if it is relevant but the IS was broken but then reinstated. Presume this still counts as continuous.

Charles
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Should be fine. Your client needs to have been entitled to IS in the month leading up to the UC claim, and it has now been established that they were. The 39 week waiting period can then start from the first day of that IS award.

I’m just thinking now though, if the claimant was on IS for 6 years, why have housing costs not been included until now? This may affect the operation of the linking rule?

JAS1
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I am not sure actually. I don’t think they ever got SMI payments before it was abolished. I didn’t get chance to check it thoroughly with them and haven’t spoke nto them again yet. How would it affect it do you think?

Elliot Kent
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If your client was not getting SMI when they should have been, it may still be possible to request that it is paid for historical periods. This is because there is no time limit in which to request a supersession to include SMI (see SK v SSWP (JSA) [2013] UKUT 138 (AAC) and JR v SSWP (ESA) [2018] UKUT 28 (AAC)).

I recently ran a case in which, after about a year of to-ing and fro-ing, about £7k of historic SMI on old ESA claims was paid out clearing the client’s mortgage arrears. So it is well worth considering.

Charles
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JAS1 - 10 July 2019 04:31 PM

I am not sure actually. I don’t think they ever got SMI payments before it was abolished. I didn’t get chance to check it thoroughly with them and haven’t spoke nto them again yet. How would it affect it do you think?

The transition rules allowing linking between legacy benefits and UC only apply if either there was already entitlement to an SMI loan at the date of the UC claim, or there was no entitlement due to the waiting period. If there was no entitlement for a different reason, the waiting period would only start from the date of the UC claim.
As Elliot says though, if there was no entitlement simply due to not having requesting it, they should be able to get it included for past periods.

JAS1
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I did not realise there was no limit to backdating. Interesting, thanks.

If they just contact JC+ and ask for it what is the likelihood of the call agent knowing about that?

If it was a lot of back and forth in your case Elliot, it sounds like it might be better to request it in writing?