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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

Transferring Severe Disability Premium from ESA to Universal Credit

BHCAC
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Welfare Benefits Caseworker- Bosnia and Herzegovinia Community Advice Centre

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Joined: 23 August 2023

Hi

I have a client whose Housing Benefit ended as she left the UK and did not inform them- so to claim housing costs she would now need to apply for UC as we cannot find any grounds for appeal ( she also did not declare income from an overseas pension).
She is currently in receipt of Income Based ESA and my understanding is that if she applies for UC this will end.
I believe the Severe Disability Element of UC can be carried over to UC?
Also, she is likely to be eligible for the LCWRA element of UC but would she need to go through the assessment process and waiting period before this was awarded?

Many Thanks

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

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A couple of questions:

- How long was she outside GB, and for what reason?
- Did the Council make the decision to end her HB before or after she returned to GB?
- Does she have contribution-based ESA as well as income-related?
- Does her ESA include a support component?
- Does the ESA department know that she was absent from GB?

I wouldn’t necessarily write off any hope of salvaging the HB and getting things back how they were.  But I’m worried that there is ticking time-bomb on the ESA side.

BHCAC
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Welfare Benefits Caseworker- Bosnia and Herzegovinia Community Advice Centre

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Hi HB Anorak

How long was she outside GB, and for what reason?
A total of about 26 weeks in the last year- for various reasons, some was for medical treatment but still think she would have had to inform them?


- Did the Council make the decision to end her HB before or after she returned to GB?
After, we just had the decision letter, claim was ended from May- when she first left UK for over 4 weeks


- Does she have contribution-based ESA as well as income-related?
No Contribution based ESA and not eligible.

- Does her ESA include a support component?
We think so, looking at her amount received it looks like it but she did not have an award letter so she is going to look for it or get in touch with them to confirm.

- Does the ESA department know that she was absent from GB?
Yes, she advised them ( as well as PIP which she was also getting) and they have advised that they will be seeking an overpayment ( as well at the £10k overpayment HB made!)  We are awaiting confirmation of overpayment of ESA and PIP- also some concern they may take further legal action?

Many Thanks

past caring
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Welfare Rights Adviser - Southwark Law Centre, Peckham

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BHCAC - 26 March 2024 11:50 AM

Hi HB Anorak

How long was she outside GB, and for what reason?
A total of about 26 weeks in the last year- for various reasons, some was for medical treatment but still think she would have had to inform them?

This reads as if there was more than a single absence and that the absences together totalled ‘about 26 weeks’ - is that the case?

In any event, for both HB and ESA, absolute precision is required. What is needed for each absence is the exact date of departure and return, the reason for each absence,  the exact date of intended return if different to the date of actual return (i.e. if the claimant’s returned at a date later than originally intended) and the reasons for any delay in returning.

Whilst it might be best for a claimant to inform DWP/LA of a proposed absence and the reasons for it - if only to try to avoid benefit being suspended and terminated - their not doing so does not, by itself, provide the legal basis on which an award can be terminated. If the absence is one which falls into one of the permitted categories of absence, entitlement continues, regardless of whether the LA or DWP were informed. Of course, it may then take an appeal to get things sorted out…...