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Council Tax Reduction and exempt work (UC)

Simonthewelf
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Senior Advisor - Disability Nottinghamshire

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Total Posts: 4

Joined: 28 February 2017

Hi all,

We are stumped about this one. Under the default Council Tax Reduction Scheme, exempt work is disregarded as income for people in receipt of ESA, IB, SDA or NI credits. (Paragraph 12 schedule 7, The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Scheme) (England) Regulations 2012)

We have a client who is claiming UC and undertaking what previously would be exempt work and the LA has quite correctly identified that as they receive UC there is no disregard for exempt work. It seems terribly unfair and will affect more people as migration progresses. Does anyone have any ideas as to how to challenge this?

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

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Joined: 12 March 2013

Any local authority running a David Airey scheme should be disregarding earnings from exempt work, unless they have asked for a bespoke tweak to avoid doing so.  There are a lot of them, predominantly in the south west but you find them everywhere.

Paragraph 15A of a standard Airey scheme engages the earnings disregards in Schedule 3 for UC claimants, and para 10 of Schedule 3 applies to earnings from exempt work.

If your local authority s running the pure default scheme, at least as regards income assessment, then yes it can seem a bit harsh.  It’s important to add up income from all sources including earnings and benefits before making any better off/worse off judgements, but exempt work is one of the easy ones: fully disregarded earnings = top whack legacy benefits, so a lot of those people will be down a bit on UC.

Smee
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Citizens Advice Nottingham

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Joined: 21 January 2020

Hi,

New account, I have moved from Disability Nottinghamshire and didn’t realise my account was at my old employer.

Thanks for your prompt response. I have no idea whether it is a David Airey Scheme and looking at the Councils scheme it would appear that it is not as I can’t find the paragraphs to which you refer.

I have attached the scheme details, I can’t see that it is much different from the default scheme, but if you know what to look for, and have time to do so, I would be grateful if you could advise me.

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HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

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OK, that’s a conventional default scheme as far as income in a UC case goes.

Chapter 3, Para 37 determines how income is calculated in a UC case and it completely by-passes the disregard schedules.  Schedule 7 is engaged by paras 52 and 61 of the scheme which are in Chapter 5 and you just don’t visit Chapter 5 in a UC case.

Smee
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Citizens Advice Nottingham

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Joined: 21 January 2020

Thank you very much for your time in looking at this for us.