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Child element qualifying young person

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Harlow Advice Centre

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Joined: 1 March 2019

I have a client who has accepted responsibility for her niece who is 17.  Social Services are involved.
Because the niece has moved area she has had to give up her college course and has been told that she can start again locally in September. In the meantime she is not in education. CB has provision for interruptions like this but I cannot see anything similar in UC. Have I missed something?
Also, if the local college accept her application now for a course that starts in September (I don’t know if colleges do this) , will that be sufficient for UC purposes?

Many thanks

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Welfare rights worker - Contact a Family, Glasgow

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I pretty sure that there is no equivalent in UC to the temporary interruption rules found in CB and CTC. Regulation 5 of the UC regs defines who is a qualifying young person and it makes clear that they must be “enrolled on, or accepted for…” a course of full time non advanced education.

I think that someone who is temporarily unable to attend their course but who remains enrolled on it, should be able to argue that they continue to count as a qualifying young person for UC.  However, I think that this would only work while they remain enrolled on a course – once they lose their place they stop being a qualifying young person even if they intend to resume education at a later date.

I’m not 100% about the situation where someone has been accepted but not yet started a course. But looking at the regs I would have thought you should be able to argue that UC child elements should be paid so long as they have ‘enrolled or been accepted’ onto a relevant course even if it’s not yet started.


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Welfare rights adviser - Plumstead Community Law Centre

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UC Reg 5(1) provides

Meaning of “qualifying young person”
5.—(1) A person who has reached the age of 16 but not the age of 20 is a qualifying young personfor the purposes of Part 1 of the Act and these Regulations—
(a)up to, but not including, the 1st September following their 16th birthday; and
(b)up to, but not including, the 1st September following their 19th birthday, if they are enrolled on, or accepted for, approved training or a course of education—
(i)which is not a course of advanced education,
(ii)which is provided at a school or college or provided elsewhere but approved by the Secretary of State, and
(iii)where the average time spent during term time in receiving tuition, engaging in practical work or supervised study or taking examinations exceeds 12 hours per week.

Note 5(1)(b) “.....or accepted for approved training or a course of education”

If she has been accepted for a course in September there is a strong argument that she is a qualifying young person

There is no explicit provision in Reg 5 that is equivalent to Reg 6 of the Child Benefit (General) Regs 2006 (interruptions ) so for UC the young person must either remain enrolled on a course of have been accepted for a course.

Reg 5 does not set any time limits for starting the course after being accepted for it ( the time limit under the CHB Regs for periods of interruption is generally six months)

[ Edited: 7 May 2021 at 05:23 pm by Stainsby ]