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Mixed age couple - ir ESA to c-ESA

Rebecca Lough
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Welfare rights - Greenwich Council

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Total Posts: 162

Joined: 23 November 2018

Hi there

Hoping someone can help.

Scenario where couples are ageing into a mixed age couple and the younger partner is getting ESA-ir top up of c-ESA at the point of the ‘conversion’. However, once partner’s state pension is in payment, it wipes their ESA-ir entitlement and they’re paid the c-ESA amount.

Does this cease the protection of not having to claim UC?

Thanks all

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Joined: 7 January 2016

Are they getting HB as well? Is that what you’re meaning in reference to being protected from claiming UC?

Rebecca Lough
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Welfare rights - Greenwich Council

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Total Posts: 162

Joined: 23 November 2018

Hi Paul. Thought I replied earlier but obviously not! Yes sorry poorly worded - they are getting HB and is her now c-ESA enough to keep them on HB.

Many thanks

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Oh dear, I think it looks likely that the HB award should terminate.

Reg.5 of the HB Regs 2006 (the working-age regs) provides:

Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit
5.—(1) These Regulations apply to a person who—

(a)has not attained the qualifying age for state pension credit; or
(b)has attained the qualifying age for state pension credit if he, or if he has a partner, his partner, is a person on universal credit,] on income support, on an income-based jobseeker’s allowance or on an income-related employment and support allowance.
(2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (1), these Regulations shall not apply in relation to any person if he, or if he has a partner, his partner, has attained the qualifying age for state pension credit.

So when the income-related ESA award ended, the working-age regs no longer apply so the HB award would need to be made under the pension-age regs. As a result, under Art.6(2)(b) of CO31, the HB award must therefore terminate.

Transitional provision: termination of awards of housing benefit
6.—(1) The awards of housing benefit referred to in paragraph (2) are to terminate on the day referred to in paragraph (3), subject to paragraph (4).

(2) The awards are those where entitlement under the Housing Benefit SPC Regulations as part of a mixed-age couple begins on or after the appointed day and where the awards are made—

(b)at any time, under the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, to a person who is a member of a mixed-age couple, where the award subsequently ceases to be subject to those Regulations and becomes subject to the Housing Benefit SPC Regulations;

That’s how I see it anyway.