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natural migration for ex-student with children

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Welfare Benefits, ParagonCHG, Surrey

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Joined: 13 February 2014

The LA are insisting that the end of a course of study / student income is a change of circs for which they can end an HB claim.  Student is a single parent (was also a carer but child’s DLA ended) so since the end of student income just gets CTCs and CB and is benefit capped due to affordable rent. No-one advised them to claim UC as a jobseeker at the time so she hasn’t and it would now be very financially difficult to do so until she has found work.

Guidance for HB DMs says natural migration occurs moving from employment to unemployment due to needing to claim JSA. Does this apply from student income to unemployment? If someone chooses not to claim as a jobseeker, especially as they would be no better off (due to benefit cap) and continue to receive tax credits, is the position the same. Are they treated as having made a claim as a jobseeker even if they haven’t?

many thanks



Elliot Kent
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The only rule which HB need to be aware of is that entitlement will cease if UC is claimed. Otherwise the award is administered as before. It is not their job to police who does or doesn’t claim UC.

If nothing has changed which would result in an end to HB entitlement but for UC, and no claim for UC has been made (and stop notice sent) then the LA just need to carry on assessing and paying HB as normal.

A point which I and others have made many times on these forums is that trying to think about these things in terms of UC “triggers” or similar just introduces unnecessary confusion which appears to be the issue here.

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Benefit Advisor, HARC East Sussex

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Elliot is abslutely correct. What he said is clarified to LAs in “Circular A7/2018 (revised) Universal Credit full service areas: guidance for local authorities” in particular Annex A.