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Traveler with No Fixed Abode

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Grwp Cynefin Welfare team

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A mother has lost her SDP as her grown up sons have used her address for Care Of only. DWP will not accept that they are of no fixed abode - they are from the Traveling Community from their Father’s side ; is this group protected by Human Rights legislation? They have left the home some years ago. I am submitting a MR not sure what legislation I should refer to ? Any information would be gratefully received.

Elliot Kent
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This isn’t a human rights issue. The DWP are saying that they live at her house and she is saying that they don’t. It’s just a factual dispute. If the tribunal agrees with your client that they do/did not live at the property then she will win her appeal.

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Welfare rights adviser - Plumstead Community Law Centre

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You don’t say which benefit the mother is claiming, but across board the relevant condition for the SDP here is that

“...he has no non-dependants aged 18 or over normally residing with him or with whom he normally resides”

(See for example (Sch 2 (13) (2)(a)(ii) IS Regs)

In the IS Regs “non dependant ” is defined in Reg 3(1) (subject to listed exceptions) as

“any person ..... who normally resides with the claimant or with whom the claimant normally resides”

” Normally resides” has far more connotations of permanence than merely ” resides”

This was considered years ago by the former Commissioners   and remains good law.

Have a look at CSIS/100/1993, CIS/14850/1996 and CH/3537/2007

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Dan Manville
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Greater Manchester Law Centre

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I’ve dealt with similar a few times, albeit with a slightly different community.

I usually show fuel payments in bank statements. If someone is heating up a space other than where they’re alleged to live it’s good evidence they’re living in the warmed place, rather than where they’re alleged to live .  If they’re travellers they’ve either have coal/gas or maybe even diesel of heating oil bills; I doubt many people are managing solely on foraged wood at this time of year (although some do).

A witness statement from mum outlining the situation usually helps, as does making sure c/o is used for all correspondence going forward.