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Capital disregards - jointly owned property - partner no longer a lone parent

mand74
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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

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Total Posts: 21

Joined: 2 November 2011

Hi

I have a client who is a veteran with disabilities and was married living in a jointly owned property (no mortgage estimated value £300k) with their dependent daughter,  They divorced in June 2021 and as far as I can gather an informal agreement was made that he would not pursue his interest until the child turns 18. 

He was on a joint UC claim but has now moved address (a distance away, not that relevant but close to family support) and is now a single claim with LCWRA included.  The issue I have is about disregarded capital as he has advised that a few days after he moved out his ex moved in a new partner.

Looking at the capital disregard rules that I can find, if she was still classed as a lone parent the capital would be disregarded but assume now there is no argument for that. 

Is the only way there is an argument for it is if she is a lone parent or that a court order has been issued that states the property cannot be sold until the child is 18?

So is his only option to get legal advice about a court order as above or on pursuing his interest now.  He mentioned that their daughter has mental health issues and he wants to give her continued stability for the time being.  I wonder if he pursues this he can argue he is exploring ways to get his entitlement and then capital is disregarded?

He currently has a weird deduction for savings on his UC award but I think this is because he has not informed them of physical savings he had that have reduced. as he believes his entitlement would be approx £150k if the property was sold.

Thanks for any pointers

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

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It is disregarded for the first six months after he moved out under para 5(a) of UC Schedule 10.  I first thought the daughter’s health issues might help, but I see that para 2 of Schedule 10 is drafted more narrowly than the legacy benefit equivalent and would only cover the daughter if she is assessed as having LCW.  But Reg 48(2) allows DWP to extend the six-month disregard where reasonable and I think it could be argued that it is reasonable where a child in the home would have been covered by Schedule 10.2 if she were an adult.

If DWP buys that, you won’t have to get into arguments about valuation which attract a wide variety of opinions.

mand74
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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

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Total Posts: 21

Joined: 2 November 2011

Thanks.  Lets hope the DWP accept reasonable argument, they don’t seem to have picked up on it yet but could well be within the 6 months disreagrd for now.  I will see how this goes.

Thanks again