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UT decision on claiming HB after UC ends

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer -, East London

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The attached decision is attracting some attention, but don’t get too excited: it dates from the old “live service” era.  The UT confirms that once a claimant had ceased to be entitled to UC with no outstanding UC issues pending, there was nothing to stop them from reclaiming HB and other legacy benefits (although in this case only for a brief period before becoming a full time student).  There was a widespread myth that there was some kind of general six-month embargo on legacy benefits after being on UC, but the UT explains this only applied to a particular set of circumstances involving earnings and/or separated couples.  Otherwise, there was nothing preventing an immediate return to legacy.

This decision does not allow HB and other legacy benefits to be reclaimed in similar circumstances now, because Article 7 of the No 23 Order contains a sweeping general ban on claiming HB, IS and Tax Credits; and ESA(ir)/JSA(ib) are now abolished if claimed by anyone (not just someone who meets the gateway conditions).  So the decision was already obsolete before it appeared.  But if there are any similar cases still in the appeal system this case should at least convince local authorities to revise their decisions refusing HB.

Thanks to Damien Peak at Bath Council for the transcript.

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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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Thank you!

I saw this case mentioned in the latest LA Welfare Direct Bulletin, and spent ages trying to find it online without success.


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I’ve uploaded it to our resources section too in case you want to be able to send a link to it