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Passporting benefits

 

MaggieB
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Dorchester CAB

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gov.uk says UC will still passport to free school meals (and other benefits) does anyone know what the proposed earnings limits will be - as currently apply for health costs? will they be the same?

     
Jon Blackwell
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There was a written answer on this (re England only) on Friday :-

“We plan to launch a public consultation on eligibility for free school meals under Universal Credit later in 2016, with a view to having the necessary regulations in place for the end of the year, when the roll out of the full Universal Credit Service to a broader claimant base will be well under way.

While this work is on-going, any child whose parent or guardian is receiving Universal Credit will continue to be entitled to free school meals.”

( http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-17/20634/  )

... so presumably the thresholds not have not been decided and could be different from the health benefits thresholds.

 

     
stuart
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a year on from the last post on this and still no decision about thresholds for free school meals in UC… from a written answer yesterday -

‘... the Department for Education is working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions, other Government departments and other interested parties to establish new criteria for determining entitlement to benefits-related Free School Meals as the roll-out of universal credit (UC) progresses. No decision has been taken yet, and our proposals on this matter will be announced in due course. As an interim measure, all pupils whose parents are in receipt of UC are currently entitled to free school meals.’

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-06/58944

     
stuart
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Meanwhile… in Northern Ireland a consultation was launched yesterday considering a £14,000 universal credit income threshold for free school meals and uniform grants.

https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/consultation-free-school-meals-and-uniform-grants-eligibility-criteria

     
stuart
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New regulations for Scotland (in force from 1 August) set a universal credit earnings limit for free school meals and early learning and childcare at £610 in the assessment period immediately preceding the application.

The Welfare Reform (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

     
BrianD
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Welfare Rights Officer, East Renfrewshire Council

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The Welfare Reform (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 SI 2017 No 82 amended both the Education (School Lunches) (Scotland) Regulations 2009 and the Provision of Early Learning and Childcare (Specified Children) (Scotland) Order 2014, which imposed a duty on the LA under Section 47(1) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (the 2014 Act) to provide a minimum amount of child care for specified children. The specified children where those whose parents where in receipt of qualifying benefits

SI 2017 82 –  limits free school meals to people with UC and an earning limit of £610 per assessment period, (this is actually slightly more generous than current CTC/WTC)

In terms of child care – it doesn’t alter the earning limits for payment child care element as such, it alters who a LA must provide early years learning support to, its limited to the usual benefit groups with the new addition of earners on UC up to £610 per assessment period; again a more generous settlement as WTC was not a qualifying benefit in the past.

in terms of Health Benefits for our English cousins, the NHS list it as:

Eligibility criteria:

You qualify if, on the date you claim help with health costs:

a) you receive Universal Credit and either had no earnings or had net earnings of £435 or less in your last Universal Credit assessment period;
or
b) you receive Universal Credit, which includes an element for a child, and/or you (or your partner) had limited capability for work and work-related activity, and you either had no earnings or had net earnings of £935 or less in your last Universal Credit assessment period

     
MartinB
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Part of the problem for our homeless outreach teams, is that there appears no cover for the interim period whilst the UC claim is made…. so you have a scenario whereby a client would be entitled to free school meals whilst on a legacy benefit and on UC but you cant get it for the period whilst the UC claim is assessed….. which is of course the period of greatest financial shock.

This feels wrong, but unless I am missing something (err quite possibly) this is the case and is causing hardship.

Its a particular issue for our homeless teams .......as we are full service, and the loss of homes is triggering natural migration and forcing new claims for UC when we rehouse.

Are we missing something? 

Is there a way around this?

     
stuart
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stuart - 05 June 2017 10:29 AM

New regulations for Scotland (in force from 1 August) set a universal credit earnings limit for free school meals and early learning and childcare at £610 in the assessment period immediately preceding the application.

The Welfare Reform (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

These regulations were drawn to attention of the Scottish Parliament by the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee for being made using powers from an ‘unusual or unexpected’ statute (the Welfare Reform (Further Provision) (Scotland) Act 2012 instead of using powers under the relevant education and childcare statutes). Whilst not invalid for this reason, the Committee says that this resulted in the provisions in the regulations introducing a UC earnings limit for free childcare being subject to a downgraded level of scrutiny.

https://digitalpublications.parliament.scot/Committees/Report/DPLR/2017/6/20/Subordinate-Legislation-considered-on-20-June-2017#Introduction

 

     
Billy
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Hi has this been a problem for families ?  ’  so you have a scenario whereby a client would be entitled to free school meals whilst on a legacy benefit and on UC but you cant get it for the period whilst the UC claim is assessed….. which is of course the period of greatest financial shock’