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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Covid-19: Welfare benefit issues  →  Thread

UC abroad after 17th March

Ant
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Welfare rights service - Lancashire County Council

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Does anyone know about DWP guidance to close UC claims for people who left the country after 17th March? We’ve been told this is an internal document so we cannot see it. People are being advised to contact the foreign & commonwealth office. 

Our customer’s husband went to Lithuania for medical treatment. He died. His wife and children flew out for the funeral and are struggling to get back. The UC claim has been stopped. She has settled status.
DWP have advised that in these circumstances her claim could have continued but are referring this guidance that as she left UK after 17th March she has become ineligible for UC.

This contrasts with HB making extra statutory payments.
 
Thanks

Anthony

Va1der
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Welfare Rights Officer with SWAMP Glasgow

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Haven’t seen anything to that effect, and I can’t see that any amendments have been made to reg 11 (temporary absence from GB) recently, other than one regarding prisoners.

How long have they been abroad, or were planning to stay abroad? Normally allowed 2 months for bereavement grounds.

Owen_Stevens
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UC London Adviser, CPAG

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Elliot Kent
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See this for HB which deals with extra-statutory payment of HB where absences exceed normal limits:
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/16096/

I’d suggest that somebody FOI both the full HB guidance and any UC equivalent that might exist.

Ant
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Thanks very much.
That reply from Justin Tomlinson is interesting to say the least.  Beginning to wonder whether DWP are right about that guidance. We escalated the case to a partnership manager so I’ll send them a copy of the written answer & see what comes back
&
yes cannot see any amendment to reg 11
Our customer left in March 23rd (I think) so entitlement would expire 23/05. We have asked for consideration of extra statutory payments but keep coming up against this guidance.

Ant
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I sent the written answer to DWP and have now received this,

“Good news – the original claim will be reopened as it was closed in error due to the SDP (which did not exist).

Any back payments due will be made and protected characteristics will apply due to the bereavement occurring outside the UK.

I will advise you when the claim has been reopened

Regards”

No mention of the guidance previously referred to.
They had also said that the claim, which was made in November 2018, had been closed due to SDP gateway.

Anyhow, thanks again


Va1der
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Eh?
Is this still the same case?

Happy days if the claim is being reopened, but the language in that message doesn’t make any sense.

I’d raise a complaint.