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Irish couple returning to the UK and resuming UC claim; questions

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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Joined: 10 March 2014


Seeking a bit of clarification as to the optimal date to make a UC claim for a Irish couple who were living in the UK from sept 2019 and claiming UC prior to Covid 19 – they then went back to Ireland in July 2020 to live with family for financial reasons.  Now planning to come back to the UK in September 2021; one will work (employment and self-employment, registered for SE in the UK from 2019), the other is going to undertake a postgraduate certificate in education which will include paid work.

Is the first date that they can claim UC the date that they return to the UK or are there any special rules given they are in the CTA, which they seem to think makes a difference?

As far as I can tell from the rules, they will need to be in the uk (present) when making the claim, and will have the right to reside – not 100% clear on whether both exempt from HRT due to their right to reside as worker and student?

Any thoughts/input welcome.

Many thanks,

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer -, East London

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What they need is a right to reside anywhere in the whole UK/Irish Common Travel area, and to be in fact habitually resident in the CTA.

Being Irish gives them a right to reside in Ireland, so that satisfies the R2R test; and having lived nowhere apart from the UK or Ireland, they are obviously habitually resident within the CTA as well.

Only things to consider are optimising the apportionment of student income and timing of salary payments - same as any other claimant.