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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit migration  →  Thread

mixed age couples and retaining LCW / LCWRA

Cordelia
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Welfare rights officer - Wrexham Council Welfare Rights Team

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What should happen in this situation?

A couple are about to become a mixed age couple, as the gentleman is about to reach state pension age.  He is currently on ESA.  We have advised them to claim UC just before he reaches pension age, to ensure they get the two weeks HB run on.  As long as he makes his claim in time I’m fairly confident that his LCWRA status will transfer from ESA to UC. 

But what would happen if he didn’t claim UC until after he noticed his HB stopping?  (I’m sure many people won’t appreciate that approaching pension age means they need to claim UC.)  Would he have to start the work capability assessment process from scratch?  Or should his LCW status survive the ending of his ESA claim?

Some clients will be protected because they receive PIP, but not all.

Our local Jobcentre Service Innovation Lead thinks that the LCW status dies with the ESA claim.  Administratively it probably does, as ESA will close their case once the person moves onto a pension.  But from a legal perspective is that right?

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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I think this is correct. The legislation requires that there was entitlement to ESA on the date of the UC claim. Now, there is never entitlement to ESA on the date of claim for UC. However, the Interpretation reg explains that what this means is that there would have been entitlement to ESA on the date of the UC claim if not for the UC claim. In your case there would not have been entitlement on that date.

Pete at CAB
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Childrens Centre Adviser, CAB, Camborne

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Charles - 03 September 2019 04:37 PM

I think this is correct. The legislation requires that there was entitlement to ESA on the date of the UC claim. Now, there is never entitlement to ESA on the date of claim for UC. However, the Interpretation reg explains that what this means is that there would have been entitlement to ESA on the date of the UC claim if not for the UC claim. In your case there would not have been entitlement on that date.

To follow that forwards does this also mean that the SRP aged person will have to have (or theoretically will have to have)  LCWRA assessments until the younger half of the couple reaches SRP age?

Charles
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It would seem so. Perhaps they’ll extend this policy to LCW/LCWRA assessments?

Killie
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Generalist adviser - Calderdale Citizens Advice, West Yorkshire

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If a mixed age couple pensioner on UC has standard rate Daily Living component of PIP, they’ll be treated as having LCW - but does this confer any advantage given someone of SRP age doesn’t have work-related requirements in any event? No LCW element is paid as the claim is made after April 2017.

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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That’s true. They could potentially gain from a work allowance.

Cordelia
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Welfare rights officer - Wrexham Council Welfare Rights Team

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It gets worse.  I’ve just come across another couple.  The older partner was on irESA which ended when he reached pension age.  There was a three week gap before they managed to claim UC.  The older partner gets PIP enhanced daily living.  UC have decided that he can be treated as having LCWRA but that he needs to serve a three month assessment period before they will add the LCWRA element.