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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

Backdating of Carer Element

CaroleL
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Pembrokeshire Citizens Advice. Community Advice Team. Senior Caseworker

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Can someone please clarify if its correct that if a UC claimant claims Cares Allowance and entitlement is backdated to date the person they care for is awarded the qualifying benefit [and they have claimed CA within 3 months of the decision] that the carer element is only included in the assessment period they notify UC.  And no backdating awarded?

What if they have notified UC they were caring previously but not entitled to the carer element until decision on qualifying benefit received?  Shouldn’t the carer element then be backdated?

Also is payment of CA no longer offset to avoid overpayments as it was for legacy benefits?

Confused…..

Elliot Kent
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This is a fairly common issue.

No there does not seem to be any offsetting of overpayments and underpayments in these cases.

What happens is that the CA is paid and the system automatically identifies this and creates a UC recalculation for the affected period which results in an overpayment of UC relative to the CA they just received.

Whilst the fact that the person has been awarded CA for that period necessarily means that they also had a CE entitlement for that period, this is not automatically picked up - so they are just left with the full overpayment.

In order to resolve this, what needs to happen is that the Case Manager needs to refer the question of backdating of the CE to a Decision Maker as they need to consider whether there was good reason for the ‘late’ reporting of the change.

In the cases I have dealt with, there has never been any issue with the DM accepting that there were good reasons (usually in these cases it is just a result of waiting for the person’s PIP entitlement to be determined which is something they could not have reported sooner) but it is often something of a fight actually getting the Case Manager to refer the question in the first place.

[edit for clarity]

[ Edited: 19 Jan 2022 at 11:03 am by Elliot Kent ]
seand
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Welfare rights officer - Dunedin Canmore HA, Lothians

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Just to add to Elliot’s advice - the CA is a ‘qualifying benefit’ for the Universal Credit. This means that there should not be a need to give a good reason for late notification of the award, nor any time limit that it must be notified in for the UC award to be revised or superseded. The Carer Element should be awarded from the first assessment period that the CA was awarded in

CaroleL
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Pembrokeshire Citizens Advice. Community Advice Team. Senior Caseworker

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Thank you Seand and Elliot. 
Will now seek reviews on the cases affected.

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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CaroleL - 18 January 2022 03:55 PM

What if they have notified UC they were caring previously but not entitled to the carer element until decision on qualifying benefit received?  Shouldn’t the carer element then be backdated?

Even if CA has not been claimed getting the carer element backdated in these situations should be OK. What is a problem is getting carer element backdated if CA not claimed and caring responsibilities not previously reported.