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Universal Credit Child Element - lives with grandparents

GCH Tenancy Sustainment
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Tenancy Sustainment Team Gloucester City Homes (GCH)

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Joined: 18 June 2020

Hi All,

I have a client who is currently claiming child benefit and child element of UC for 5 children, however 2 of them live with grandparents. She pays a monthly contribution to their upkeep. I note that child benefit can remain in payment providing the upkeep payments are more than the child benefit entitlement however cannot see anything regarding child element of UC. Does anyone know the rules around this?

Thanks in advance

Elliot Kent
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Total Posts: 3168

Joined: 14 July 2014

The test in the first place is whether the claimant is a person with whom the child “normally lives”. Where the child “normally lives” with more than one person, then it is for them to figure out amongst themselves who will claim the child element, but if they can’t agree, then it is who has the “main responsibility”.

If she has some sort of regular care of the children, then there may be a basis for her to say that the children normally live with her as well as the grandparents - and in the absence of any competing claim, that would suffice. If however they are spending no time with her at all then appropriate advice may need to be given.