SDP vs CA + SDP Gateway
I have a client who is unfit for work, receives PIP SR DL.
Client was on partner’s ESA and HB claim until mid-Feb,when partner passed away.
Client’s partner was receiving CA for the client.
ESA claim ended. Has reported change of circs to HB.
Client now lives alone with dependent grandchildren.
In mid-march, we advised client to confirm with HB that an SDP was in the applicable amount and then make a new claim to ir-ESA.
Client did this but whilst waiting for confirmation from HB and decision from DWP, the client’s daughter put in a claim for CA. The CA is now in payment.
HB have now come back and said client isn’t eligible for SDP (because of the CA).
The client’s options now are either 1) submit a claim for UC, 2) get daughter to retract CA claim, and then go back to HB and DWP and tell them she is entitled to SDP again.
With option 1, the family are slightly better off overall but the money is split between client and daughter, with option 2, the client is better off, but the daughter loses out. The client prefers that she stay on legacy benefits and receive the SDP than her daughter receive CA.
However, i want to advise how long it might take to close the CA claim, get SDP reawarded in HB and sort out the ESA claim. Anybody got any ideas about the feasibility of this?
Note: this is all on the assumption that HB doesn’t end when the partner dies. I can’t get a clear answer whether this is the case or not from the resources i have available.[ Edited: 20 Mar 2020 at 02:14 pm by Liam C ]
If you are saying both the HB and ESA were claimed by the deceased partner, and your client was not at that time personally a claimant of either HB or ESA, you have a problem: she cannot make her own new claim for HB because she isn’t already on ESA and she cannot make her own new claim for ESA because she isn’t already on HB. There is an unfortunate lacuna in the SDP gateway - it doesn’t cover people who were a partner on someone else’s claim.
The deceased partner’s HB most certainly does end.
Thanks for the reply.
So as i now understand it, a HB claim can only be made by a single claimant or one of a couple. (Reg 82 HB Regs 2006).
So if the deceased person was the person who made the HB claim, then the claim ends, leaving the surviving partner to have to make a new claim? [But if the surviving partner was the person who made the HB claim, then they can continue as a single claimant?].
I already get that if this is the case, then the SDP gateway doesn’t apply, as there’s no legacy benefit for the surviving partner to be entitled to an SDP in.
Liam[ Edited: 20 Mar 2020 at 05:09 pm by Liam C ]
Yes, that’s how it is. Just one member of the couple “owns” the HB award in the claimant role, if s/he dies that award ends.
But if the surviving partner was the ‘owner’ then her claim would continue?
The Council sent my client a change of circs form and said the HB was suspended after she reported the death through ‘tell us once’. So this suggested to me that she still had a claim. She submitted the change of circs confirming the death and that she had no earnings. Now they are telling her they need to see proof of her DWP benefits / nil income before they re-award HB. They implied this was because they needed to see if SDP was in place. This suggested to me that they were treating her as making a new claim. I asked them if this was the case and they said ‘no’. It wasn’t possible for me to ascertain from the claimant whether she was the ‘owner’ of the claim or her deceased partner. In another phone call the council implied that they would reinstate the award if she proved her nil income - suggesting she is the ‘owner’. Goes to show there’s no point on relying on the HB department to tell you anything.
However, I’ll still have to phone them on monday and ask them if the claimant is/was the ‘owner’ or not.
If it’s a no go i’ll assist the client with the UC claim and try to get up to 1 month backdate based on the HB confusion.
Ah, that is promising. It sounds a lot like they have her as their “customer” - it’s her HB award. Otherwise they would have just ended it. In that case, she has a route to ESA and SDP. HB is the key - you need to establish whether she is the HB claimant.
Thanks - the next steps are clearer to me now.