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UC non dep deds

PhilB
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Morning guys

Any advice on this one?...…………

I have a family living in a 3 bed PRS property. £495 pcm.

There is Mum, daughter (daughter has a child) & the son all over 21 except the granddaughter obviously.

Mum & daughter are joint tenants. Both on UC, housing element is split into two (£247.50 housing costs each)

Son works full time minimum wage.

Mum is in receipt of PIP standard daily living.

UC have not applied a NDD to mums claim but have the daughters.

Firstly is this right? And if so is there any way around it?

Thank you

Va1der
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How is the property structured?
Do the daughter and child have separate facilities for instance, or is it just a “normal” house with 3 bedrooms and everything else shared?

PhilB
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Its just a normal 3 bed house everything shared

Va1der
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Sounds right to me in that case.
NDD could normally apply to either tenant (but not both), and in this case it can’t be applied to the mum because of her PIP.

Is there any reason the son can’t contribute to the rent?

PhilB
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But in reality he is mums non dep not sisters, I can see both sides but it just feels that UC have thought “we cant apply it to mums (due to her PIP) so will give it sister instead”. Doesn’t seem as though they have thought about the make up/situation at all.

The reason the mum & daughter had to do a joint tenancy was because mum & dads relationship brokedown he left & the letting agent would not re-sign the tenancy over to just mum they agreed to do it if mum & daughter did a joint tenancy.

He pays board already but now sisters UC housing costs are £99pcm instead of £247.50pcm due to the NDD.

Charles
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He can only be a non-dependent of one household whether a HCC is applied or not. However, the legislation does not specify a method of choosing which. I can’t see why they cannot request for the non-dependent to be included in the mother’s extended benefit unit.
See UC Regs, Sched 4 Para 9(2)(f), and the top paragraph on page 2 here (in particular the words “if there is no exemption”).

Charles
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PhilB - 04 December 2019 09:49 AM

He pays board already but now sisters UC housing costs are £99pcm instead of £247.50pcm due to the NDD.

Why are two HCCs being applied?

PhilB
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Its a joint tenancy so mum & daughter each have a separate UC claim & therefore 50/50 on HC’s

I’m going to type up a dispute & send it to the daughter so she can paste it to her journal & see what happens.

Thanks for all your input

Charles
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PhilB - 04 December 2019 10:33 AM

Its a joint tenancy so mum & daughter each have a separate UC claim & therefore 50/50 on HC’s

I’m going to type up a dispute & send it to the daughter so she can paste it to her journal & see what happens.

Thanks for all your input

Sorry, I wasn’t being clear. From the figures you’ve given, it sounds like they are making two deductions for non-dependents: £247.50-(2*£73.89)=£99.72. Why two?

PhilB
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Charles sorry I never even realised this was x 2 NDD’s I was under the impression the £147.78 was the rate of NDD due to sons level of earnings. I forgot it is a standard £73.89 NDD under UC, I was still thinking under old HB NDD’s.

Seems UC have got it completely wrong then. Give me strength!

Thanks

HB Anorak
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Charles - 04 December 2019 09:51 AM

He can only be a non-dependent of one household whether a HCC is applied or not. However, the legislation does not specify a method of choosing which. I can’t see why they cannot request for the non-dependent to be included in the mother’s extended benefit unit.

I think it’s a workflow lottery: whichever claim is decided first gets the non-dep.  There is nothing in para 9 to prevent the non-dep being included on the first claim, and that then blocks the non-dep from being included on the second claim.

I have just been looking at the Barnsley LHA rates to see whether the apportionment of the rent other than 50:50 would make a difference, but it won’t: one third, one half or two thirds are all comfortably within the LHA rates.

 

Charles
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HB Anorak - 04 December 2019 10:45 AM

I think it’s a workflow lottery: whichever claim is decided first gets the non-dep.  There is nothing in para 9 to prevent the non-dep being included on the first claim, and that then blocks the non-dep from being included on the second claim.

I see what you’re saying. If this is the case, and DWP refuse to move over the non-dependent, then depending on the level of benefit, it might even be worthwhile ending the daughter’s claim for one month.

PhilB
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Thanks all. I see what you’re saying if all else fails

PhilB
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Hi all, client has only just got back to me with the reply on their journal. Seems UC wont budge on moving the non dep to her mother.

Hi Kelly,
You are due arrears of £73.89 for the assessment period 31.10.19 - 29.11.19 as we applied the non dependant deduction in respect of your mother which was incorrect. Your correct housing element should be £173.61 per month which includes 1 non dependant deduction for your brother Shane. The payment of £73.89 will credit to your bank account later today.
We have checked again with our accuracy team and your housing costs are correct.
We have applied the non dependant deduction to your housing costs as Shane is expected to contribute towards your rent. If your mother is in receipt of PIP - a deduction would not be applied to your mother’s claim for Shane, but as you do not fall into an exempt category we have to apply the deduction to your claim.
We have copied the guidance below:
‘Exemptions from the Housing Cost Contribution

There is no deduction where a single person renter or any joint renter is:
●registered as blind
●in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component at the middle or highest rate
●in receipt of Attendance Allowance
●in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
●is entitled to a payment of the above benefits but not receiving it
●in the case of PIP - a person not receiving it because they are in hospital

Instances where a Housing Cost Contribution is not applied

The HCC is not applied where the non-dependant is:
●under 21 years of age
●in receipt of Pension Credit
●in receipt of a specified benefit paid on account of disability (mainly the middle or higher rate care component of DLA, the daily living component of PIP, Armed Forces Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance)
●entitled to the above specified benefits but not currently in receipt due to being in hospital
●in receipt of Carers Allowance
●responsible for a child aged under 5
●a person temporarily absent due to imprisonment
●a member of the armed forces away on operations:
●who is the son, daughter, step-son or step-daughter of a renter or joint renters, and
●resided with the renter or joint renters immediately before leaving to go on operations, and
●intends to return to reside with the renter or joint renters at the end of the operations.’
Regards,
Debbie

Charles
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Do you happen to know who claimed UC first, the mother or the daughter?

PhilB
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Yes Charles, the mother already had a current claim to UC. The daughter had to come off I/S to claim UC to get the housing costs. So the mother

Thanks

Charles
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And I assume the non-dep was already living there and over 21 before the daughter claimed UC?

If so, I think you should MR/appeal this. As the mother had an existing claim, the non-dep would already have been included in that claim (despite not attracting any deduction), and shouldn’t therefore have been included in the daughter’s. See HB Anorak’s post above. See my earlier post for a link to the regulations, and DWP guidance on this.

PhilB
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Yes Charles both non deps ie daughter & son both over 21 & both were already living there therefore neither attracting a NDD. Its only as daughter has become joint tenant that the son has attracted a NDD from the daughter (his sister)

Charles
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Ok, then I would certainly proceed to MR/appeal on the above grounds.

PhilB
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Thanks Charles will do.

I’ll let you all know how it goes

Cheers

Carolyn McA
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PhilB - 23 January 2020 08:53 AM

Hi all, client has only just got back to me with the reply on their journal. Seems UC wont budge on moving the non dep to her mother.

Hi Kelly,
You are due arrears of £73.89 for the assessment period 31.10.19 - 29.11.19 as we applied the non dependant deduction in respect of your mother which was incorrect. Your correct housing element should be £173.61 per month which includes 1 non dependant deduction for your brother Shane. The payment of £73.89 will credit to your bank account later today.
We have checked again with our accuracy team and your housing costs are correct.
We have applied the non dependant deduction to your housing costs as Shane is expected to contribute towards your rent. If your mother is in receipt of PIP - a deduction would not be applied to your mother’s claim for Shane, but as you do not fall into an exempt category we have to apply the deduction to your claim.
We have copied the guidance below:
‘Exemptions from the Housing Cost Contribution

There is no deduction where a single person renter or any joint renter is:
●registered as blind
●in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component at the middle or highest rate
●in receipt of Attendance Allowance
●in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
●is entitled to a payment of the above benefits but not receiving it
●in the case of PIP - a person not receiving it because they are in hospital

Doesn’t ‘any joint renter’ in the above mean that because there is one person on the tenancy entitled to an exemption from the HCE, there should be no deduction for your client? That’s how I read it anyway; using ‘any’ instead of ‘a’ implies that the provision applies to the tenancy/rent as a whole, and not just the particular claimant’s share of it.
Probably naive of me to expect words to have their usual meanings I guess!

Charles
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“Joint renter” in this context refers to joint claimants. See Paragraph 1(2) here.

Carolyn McA
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Thanks Charles - that certainly makes a difference.