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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Benefits for older people  →  Thread

HB and transition to mixed age couple.

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Total Posts: 930

Joined: 24 November 2017

Couple with younger partner claiming IS and HB claim in older partners name.
Housing Benefit Circular 9/2019 is clear:

“Where the younger partner is in receipt of Income Support (IS), Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based) (JSA(IB)), Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) (ESA(IR)), the couple will not be required to claim UC and can continue to receive working age HB if they have an existing claim until there is a relevant change in their circumstances which ends entitlement to those benefits. They will have to claim UC if they need further help with their housing costs.”

Seems to make no difference who is claiming the HB, if younger partner continues to receive IS then the HB claim can continue.

However I have been trying to make sense of the substituted paragraphs etc in all the regulations to understand the legislative basis to allow this to happen.

Is this right:
HB only terminates under The Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 31 and Savings and Transitional Provisions (Amendment)) Order 2019 (SI 2019/935) Article 6(2)(a) where the HB award to the couple would become subject to the HB(SPC) Regs.

The existing HB award is under HB Regs and when one partner reaches pension age would generally become subject to the HB(SPC) Regs but because the younger partner still gets IS this doesn’t happen due to the exclsuion contained in regulation 5(2) of those regs. Therefore the terminating provision does not apply and the existing HB award under the HB Regs continues.

Have I got that right?

[ Edited: 8 Dec 2021 at 05:00 pm by Ianb ]
Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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Yes, except that the relevant provision DWP consider applies is Art 6(2)(b) of The Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 31 and Savings and Transitional Provisions and Commencement No. 21 and 23 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions (Amendment)) Order 2019 (SI 2019/37).

See also Reg. 5 of the working-age HB Regs.

I’ve never liked the wording of Art 6(2) of the No. 31 Commencement Order, and am not convinced it covers this case (due to the wording “to a person who is a member of a mixed-age couple”), but DWP definitely intended it that way. I do think they would likely win at Tribunal by arguing for a purposive reading of the Regs.

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Total Posts: 930

Joined: 24 November 2017

Thanks Charles
Thanks for flagging the HB Regs too.

Has definitely given me a headache today trying to get it clear in my head to support argument with local authority.

(I am puzzled by the reference to UC in regulation 5(2) of the HB SPC Regs and 5(1)(b) HB Regs.)

[ Edited: 8 Dec 2021 at 05:01 pm by Ianb ]