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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

Simultaneous UC and PC for mixed-age couple

Philippa D
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Weymouth & Portland Citizens Advice

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I’ve encountered a mixed-age couple who are getting UC and PC simultaneously (unclear which was claimed first but both were claimed before 15/5/19). Raises immediate concerns about overpayment because I’m sure they cannot get both at the same time. Except ... I cannot find the legislation that says so.

CPAG handbook clearly states you cannot get UC and PC at the same time but provides no source. Does anyone know if there is an actual legislative provision that prohibits claim UC and PC simultaneously?

 

Charles
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Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014, Reg 5(1).

Philippa D
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Weymouth & Portland Citizens Advice

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Thank you! I must have missed that one

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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We’ve seen a few of these, generally where PC-entitled people approach the LA seeking HB and get told it’s been abolished and they must claim UC instead.

The whole system is a joke and no-one at DWP, from Couling down, seem the slightest bit bothered about it.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Advise them to ask for the UC award to be closed down at end o next AIP, don’t give a reason and do screenshot the confirmation of closure.

Then go back to LA, tell them they’re idiots and get the HB claim stuck in.

Rebecca Lough
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Hi Paul,

Does the UC claim not kill off PC? We’ve had a few where they make a UC claim and the PC isn’t killed off in the process (I presume because the communication channels are not great) but I have assumed that re-claiming HB isn’t possible because of the UC claim.

Is that wrong?

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Rebecca Lough - 14 February 2020 03:17 PM

Hi Paul,

Does the UC claim not kill off PC? We’ve had a few where they make a UC claim and the PC isn’t killed off in the process (I presume because the communication channels are not great) but I have assumed that re-claiming HB isn’t possible because of the UC claim.

Is that wrong?

We’ve managed to get UC award shut and PC award continued if you follow what I said above.

HB Anorak
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Rebecca Lough - 14 February 2020 03:17 PM

Hi Paul,

Does the UC claim not kill off PC? We’ve had a few where they make a UC claim and the PC isn’t killed off in the process (I presume because the communication channels are not great) but I have assumed that re-claiming HB isn’t possible because of the UC claim.

Is that wrong?

The act of claiming UC does not kill off PC, unlike the way that it kills off working age legacy benefits.  But the wording of Reg 5 of the UC (TP) Regs means that a successful UC claim resulting in an award of UC will kill off PC: UC “trumps” PC in these circumstances.  Therefore if the UC claim has not proceeded as far as a decision awarding UC, it isn’t too late to back out and stay on PC.

Unfortunately, if there is an award of UC, this I think puts the kibosh on PC and, with it, any chance of getting back onto HB as well.  While it might be appallingly bad advice to signpost someone who is already getting PC to claim UC, there is no legal reason why they cannot claim it if that’s what they really want to do (unless they have an SDP in their HB award).

The only way out of it, which I am not convinced is legit, is to retrospectively relinquish the UC award and voluntarily accept an overpayment for every penny paid - “please make it so that I was never entitled to this money I don’t want it”.  Uniquely in the case of PC, this would rescue the award and then, if the PC predates 15 May last year, an HB claim would be enabled too.  This retrospective relinquishment, if indeed it is a thing at all, would not work for other legacy bens because they are zapped by the act of claiming UC which cannot be undone.  Only PC survives until there is actual UC entitlement.

If people have managed to persuade DWP to let them do this in PC cases, as Paul’s post suggests they have, that is good news.  But really such claimants should never ever touch UC with a ten foot pole: if you have a pre-May 2019 PC award as a mixed age couple, for heaven’s sake keep it that way.