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Seventeen Year old LAC lives with nineteen year old boyfriend - single rate UC minus £58 per week! 

VLMS
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Grwp Cynefin Welfare team

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Total Posts: 7

Joined: 15 June 2018

I have a question that I cannot find a satisfactory answer to so I’m wondering if you could cast your eye over this very unfair situation:

Nineteen year old man – has 17 year old partner who he wants to live with. She is defined as a Looked After Child (LAC) by Local Authority- they provided accommodation for her which she left and she went to homeless hostel and this is where she met the 19 year old. He has now been allocated a one –bed flat and is claiming UC single rate with full housing costs. The Local Auth are paying the 17 year old £58 per week please see statement from Social Worker: 


The above young person is currently receiving support from the *** 16+ Team, Social Services Department, ****Council category 3, Section 104(2), Part 6 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and has been in the care of the Local Authority since 11/03/2008 on a Full Care Order.

I confirm that XXXX is receiving a weekly allowance of £58.00 from the Department, as she is not eligible to claim Universal Credit until her 18th birthday. She has been in receipt of the allowance since she left foster care to live independently.

If further assistance or information is required then please do not hesitate to contact myself, on the above direct line, by email or ***** Social Worker.

From UC regs it seems that he can claim UC for them as a couple but will continue to receive the Single Rate AND the £58 will be deducted from the UC single rate – which seems SO unfair.

She does not fit into any category where she can claim UC i.e not pregnant, Carer etc – although she did have an ectopic pregnancy in December. The £58 doesn’t seem to fit the disregard either i.e CPAG (19-20) page 145 paid under the Wellbeing Act Wales as ***** keep describing it as money for food clothes etc.

Any ideas! Just feel really sorry for this young couple as the state is no longer paying for her accom – but is going to penalize them for living together

tbidmead
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WRAMAS - Bristol City Council

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What can be counted as unearned income for UC is listed at reg 66. I can’t see this should be counted unless perhaps it is taxable under Part 5 of the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005. I can’t see that it does but not remotely experienced with this legislation.

CHAC Adviser
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Caseworker - CHAC, Middlesbrough

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Unless I miss a trick page 145 refers to capital but this is a question about income? In which case I’d agree with tbidmead if it isn’t listed in the regulations and isn’t taxable then I don’t think this should be counted as income. Page 114 of CPAG 19/20 refers (page 116 for those playing along at home with the 20/21 version) to what counts as income for UC and there’s nothing immediately obvious that this would fall under I think. The legislation is found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/376/regulation/66

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Welfare Rights Officer, Southway Housing Trust, Manchester

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I tend to agree with both the above. These payments from the Local Authority appear analogous with Fostering Payments paid to foster parents, which are usually disregarded for means testing of benefits.

VLMS
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Grwp Cynefin Welfare team

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Total Posts: 7

Joined: 15 June 2018

Thanks all - this is good news for the couple!