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mixed age couples - entitlement to LCWRA

barbs1000
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Hertfordshire Money Advice Unit

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Joined: 31 January 2014

I am advising a couple. She was IRO ESA (SG) which stopped on 18.10.20 as she had reached SRA. He is working age. Unfortunately, they did not claim UC until 26.10.20. No reason for backdate. They were advised of both ESA and HB stopping but took no action.

As she has enhanced PIP she will be treated as having LCWRA under Schedule 9 of the UC Regs 2013. However, looking at Reg 28, this is not one of the situations where LCWRA should be paid straight away. We cannot rely on Reg 19 of TP Regs 2014 as she was not IRO of ESA on the relevant date, the date of the claim.

It appears they will have to wait for the three months, even though she will not have to go through the WCA. It took a lot of arguing with UC, via client’s journal, and they have finally agreed with me that LCWRA should be paid but only after the three months. It has now gone to a DM. Unfortunately, I think the DWP are correct. Any advice please? Thank you

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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I think they’re stuck with the 13 week wait unless they can convince DWP to backdate UC award to date that ESA award ended.

barbs1000
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Hertfordshire Money Advice Unit

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Thanks Paul, feared that. She is disabled but partner is carer, and I can see no reason why he could not have made a claim for UC earlier.

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Obviously when claimants have an adviser they can be advised to claim UC ahead of reaching pension age to get round this.  It is completely unjust that claimants can lose £1020 because they don’t know to claim UC while the ESA claim is live. There is no reason why a claimant not receiving benefit advice would think to do this. I wonder what information is now included in the letter sent to claimants advising them their ESA will end.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Couldn’t agree more. We have seen similar cases and we have raised this more than once with DWP. They have replied by saying people affected should receive a letter about 4 months before the older partner reaches SPA setting out their options. Unfortunately, some people just decide to wait and see and seem to assume that the benefits system will be somehow joined up and don’t get any advice until after the event.

barbs1000
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Hertfordshire Money Advice Unit

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Total Posts: 31

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Couldn’t agree with you both more. Regulations need changing. I have brought it to the attention of CPAG in the hope they might take the case on.