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About to become a mixed age couple: When best to claim UC?

CHAC Adviser
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Caseworker - CHAC, Middlesbrough

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So this is the first of these that we’ve come across in the wild so I’m just wondering tactically how best to approach it.

We’ve got a couple currently the elder member claims ir-ESA in the Support Group and gets PIP SDL and SM. Their partner is claiming CA for looking after them. They also have HB and CTS. The older member of the couple hits State Pension age in November. So we’ve advised them already that at that point a claim for UC will be required as the HB and ESA will both end but what I’m wondering is when is best to claim it?

By my reading of CPAG (page 73) if they claim UC whilst the ESA claim is still live (i.e. before he hits state pension age) then his Support Component should transfer over and they’ll get the LCWRA component straight off the bat (in theory!). But if we wait until he hits pension age presumably his ESA will end when his State Pension kicks in and then when they claim UC he would have to go through a WCA to get the LCWRA component (as he doesn’t meet the criteria for Schedule 9 (5) of the UC Regs)?

So, tactically, does it make the most sense for them to claim UC in the week before he reaches pension age? Or am I missing something? It’s quite a big deal as the LCWRA component seems to be the difference between them being worse off to the tune of £30pw or being better off by the same amount!!

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

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There is also the two-week run-on of legacy benefits which only applies if the claimant has entitlement on the day of the UC claim.  That’s another reason to claim just before reaching SPC age.

Charles
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HB Anorak - 17 September 2020 11:48 AM

There is also the two-week run-on of legacy benefits which only applies if the claimant has entitlement on the day of the UC claim.  That’s another reason to claim just before reaching SPC age.

Peter, did you ever see this thread? What do you think about it?
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/16369/

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

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No, hadn’t seen it - will have a look and come back later