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Work allowance and cancer treatment

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Welfare Rights Adviser: Macmillan Support Line

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Joined: 1 October 2020


Theory- treatments such as chemo and radiotherapy mean someone should be treated as having LCWRA and a work allowance should apply from the start of their UC claim while WCA is being completed PROVIDED “... the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant should be treated as having limited capability for work and work-related activity.”(

Practice- work allowance is only applied after WCA has been concluded

Cannot find guidance in an obvious place in ADM to state how the theory can be made practice as it doesn’t seem to feature as an issue that needs consideration. So only way I can see to dealt with this is to argue this point with the regs. It seems to be the case that only by completing the WCA will they then accept the claimant has LCWRA.

Anyone have any suggestions or comments about this situation as it can be quite hard to explain the theory and practice to a first-time cancer patient who hasn’t claimed UC before? Main issue being where they won’t qualify for a payment of UC for the first three months until WCA complete.

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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Once the WCA decision (which is not actually a WCA at all) is made the WA should be backdated to the start of the claim but realistically it cannot be applied until that decision has made in case the SoS is not satisfied that the automatic entitlement rules apply. If it was applied and then it was determined that the SoS was not satisfied there would have been an overpayment of UC which claimant would then be liable to pay back. Pre pandemic decisions on entitlement in these cases often took less than three months (helped by the fact that the ‘WCA’ referral should be made on day 1 of the claim rather than the usual day 29).