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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Benefits for older people  →  Thread

Becoming mixed age couple and losing HB

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Stainsby
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Charles - 03 February 2020 01:40 PM

No, I’m not aware of any challenges to this.

The argument is basically that the legislation DWP rely upon to terminate HB in these circumstances is here. The relevant section reads:

(2) ... where entitlement under the Housing Benefit SPC Regulations as part of a mixed-age couple begins on or after the appointed day and where the awards are made-
...
(b) at any time, under the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, to a person who is a member of a mixed-age couple, where the award subsequently ceases to be subject to those Regulations and becomes subject to the Housing Benefit SPC Regulations;

I understand that to mean that the award had to originally have been made to a mixed-age couple, which wasn’t the case here.

In fact, when this Order was made, I thought if anything DWP were relying on a different subparagraph for these cases (Art 6(2)(a)), but it appears not.

I now have a case where my client “aged” into a mixed age couple.  The Council continued to pay on the basis that he no longer received ESA but received state retirement pension.

They now say he has been overpaid and that the overpayment is recoverable.  That is easy to challenge

I would really like to go for a challenge on the entitlement issue, but I am still unsure that the argument will stick

 

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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If you do have a go, please let us know how you get on Derek (and good luck).

CA Adviser
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Hello, we have a couple where the younger claimant is on ESA. Older claimant reached SRP in January 2021. They receive HB. Older claimant had claimed her SRP in October 2020 but despite this it has not been paid until this week. ESA and HB have continued. ESA has notified them of an O/P of 10 weeks of SRP.
This would appear to be correct under the Regs as the younger partner is on income-related ESA so HB can continue until entitlement to the ESA ends. The ESA award should include a pensioner premium, yes?

Ianb
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CA Adviser - 12 May 2021 01:14 PM

..as the younger partner is on income-related ESA so HB can continue until entitlement to the ESA ends. The ESA award should include a pensioner premium, yes?

That would be my interpretation also.

CA Adviser
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Thanks Ian

AdviserAmy
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Cl lives on his own and receives ESA with SDP, PIP DL and HB/CTR. Partner lives elsewhere and is in PT work. She receives PIP DL. She will reach SRP age in September and will receive full new SRP. They want to move in together.
Trying to think it through and would appreciate help.

If they move in together before she reaches SRP age, the HB can continue after SRP age as he is the claimant. He can add her to the ESA claim to give couple SDP, potentially couple carer premia (if he is in receipt of cbESA) and then pensioner premium when she reaches SRP age.

If they move in together after she reaches SRP age, HB would end under the mixed age couple rules. ESA can continue with her added to the claim with a pensioner premium as it is the age of the claimant which is relevant for ESA rather than the age of the partner, no?

They could stay on the ESA without claiming for UC for housing costs.
Or claim UC with LCWRA element for him, and carer element for her plus housing costs element plus couple transitional SDP (assuming she had been added to the ESA claim for a period before claiming to establish entitlement to the couple SDP)?

HB Anorak
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Even if they move in together after she reaches SPC age they could (subject to amount of pension income) remain on HB.  This is because HB only terminates under Article 6(2)(a) where the award to the couple would be under the HB(SPC) Regs and, if the younger partner remains entitled to ESA(ir), it won’t be.  If there is no income other than SRP and possibly ESA(c), they should still get ESA(ir) and that means they remain on working age HB.

Charles
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AdviserAmy - 01 June 2021 08:49 AM

If they move in together before she reaches SRP age, the HB can continue after SRP age as he is the claimant. He can add her to the ESA claim to give couple SDP, potentially couple carer premia (if he is in receipt of cbESA) and then pensioner premium when she reaches SRP age.

The HB would continue even if she had been the claimant. The main requirement is that there should be a working-age benefit in place - which there is (the ESA).

If they move in together after she reaches SRP age, HB would end under the mixed age couple rules. ESA can continue with her added to the claim with a pensioner premium as it is the age of the claimant which is relevant for ESA rather than the age of the partner, no?

Not necessarily. The ESA would continue, and therefore the HB claim remains under the working-age rules, and can continue.

They could stay on the ESA without claiming for UC for housing costs.
Or claim UC with LCWRA element for him, and carer element for her plus housing costs element plus couple transitional SDP (assuming she had been added to the ESA claim for a period before claiming to establish entitlement to the couple SDP)?

Might not be so simple to get a Carer Element as well as couple transitional SDP, but it could perhaps be done. This has been discussed on another thread.

EDIT: You got there first this time, Peter!

AdviserAmy
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Many thanks to you both for your responses.