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HB to UC Mixed age couple

VRW
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Livin Housing

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Joined: 25 November 2019

Im hoping someone can help either point me in the right direction or tell me its a losing battle

i have a MAC were on MRS -IRESA, PIP, MR - State RP and a small occ pension

end of march 2021 the HB was suspended as they had received notification that the IRESA was changing to CBESA - tenants rang and spoke to council and were advised of this and were then told to make a claim for UC and provided the details - which they did do and HB ceased 5/4/21.

As of today UC has not been paid as there have been several ID issues with UC and they are currently dragging their feet

I rang and spoke to ESA and they confirmed there was no communication on their end to the LA and the IR would have continued if the UC claim had not gone in.

so my question is is there anyway of getting them back onto HB - it was her ESA that was passporting them so was working age rather than pension age - im only asking as they will be significantly worse off on UC and if they hadnt received the info from LA and told to make the claim for the UC as HB could have been reinstated as there was no change in circs (MR has been retired for 5yrs, IRESA would have continued and occ pen is minimal)

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

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I think their only hope is that the UC claim has not progressed sufficiently to satisfy s4(1) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, which in turn means there is no need for HB to terminate under Reg 8 of the UC Transitional Provisions Regs.

But even then they have a further problem in that the act of claiming UC results in the abolition of ESA(ir) under the relevant local commencement order - and for this purpose the UC claim does not even have to get as far as satisfying s4(1).  If ESA(ir) has been abolished, that means HB would terminate anyway under the MAC rules: working age award migrates to HB(SPC) Regs and Article 6(2)(b) of the No 31 Order kicks in*.  They will therefore have to hope that Mrs has somehow managed to avoiding completing the series of steps that amount to a claim for UC, and that her ESA(ir) has not been abolished.

They might have grounds for a complaint about faulty advice - it depends what information led the Council to conclude that their ESA(ir) was ending and whether the Council acted correctly on that information as it appeared to them.  or there might be grounds for complaint about whoever it was that gave the information to the Council.  If there is a well-founded complaint, the remedy could be compensation equal to the difference between what they would have got on HB and ESA and what they end up getting on UC.

*Unless they have been on HB since before Mr reached pension age and Charles is right about the correct way to interpret Article 6(2)(b) (only applies where award was originally made to an MAC) - don’t know whether Charles has potential test cases in the pipeline on that issue

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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This is so frustrating, we’re hearing regular reports of really dodgy advice from LA’s leading to these kind of situations and where people don’t seek independent advice before acting on this “advice”,, finding themselves much worse off than previously and with no way back.

VRW
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thank guys for the responses

its just so frustrating when you know the claim should never have ended but people take what the LA say at face value and not realise that they are talking a lot of rubbish

im going to challenge and try and get it reinstated i may not get anywhere but the tenant has lost over £300p/m because of the LA advice - tenant is willing to go through the blood sweat and tears to see if we can actually get anywhere with it

weve had a couple weve managed to get reinstated im hoping this is going to be another

**edit** also after a bit more digging on our end it appears that they have been receiving full HB for the past few years with no UO applied (they live in a 3 bed property and only 2 of them with no exemptions) which makes me think actually they were in receipt of pension age HB and it was just the IR that passported to full and not the reduced rate if they didnt have the IR

[ Edited: 10 Jun 2021 at 04:28 pm by VRW ]
Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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If they were entitled to IR-ESA it would have been working age HB - see Reg 5 of the working age regs, and of the pension age regs.

Working age HB also exempts those who are pension age, or with a partner who is pension age, from the bedroom tax. See Reg. A13(2)(d).