What do the rules say?
From April 11th 2018, new UC claimants who were on Housing Benefit immediately before their UC claim was made and whose HB ended due to the claim for UC are entitled to a 2 week Transition to UC Housing Payment.
BUT not everyone claiming UC after being on HB will be entitled.......this is because the HB award has to be ending because of the claim for UC.
So, for instance, claimants moving out of specified accommodation or temporary accommodation - who find they are having to make a new claim for UC - will not be entitled to this two week run-on because their HB can continue to be paid (UC claimants living in 'specified' or 'temporary' accommodation can get HB - so the claim for UC will not end their HB).
And, where the claimant is making the claim for UC following the death of a partner - if the HB is ending because it was their partner that was the HB claimant - they will not be entitled to the two week HB run-on. This is because the HB is not ending because of their claim for UC - but rather because of the death of the partner.
Also watch out for those with a gap between their HB ending and UC starting - even if this is just a matter of days. The HB must have ended because the claimant has made a new claim for UC and no other reason.
How much will a claimant get?
Where entitled, the HB for this two week period will be awarded on the basis that the claimant is a UC claimant (even if their UC award has not been decided yet).
Because the rules are that anyone on UC is entitled to maximum HB (ie UC is a 'passport' benefit for HB), the amount of HB paid during the two week 'run-on' period will be the maximum HB regardless of the claimant's income ie rent minus ineligible services, minus Bedroom Tax reduction, minus non-dependant deduction, minus on-going deductions for the recover of an overayment, and - initially - minus Benefit Cap too!
Doesn't it just reduce the claimants first UC award £1 for £1?
No. The Transition to UC Housing Payment is not counted as income for UC purposes.
For more information and some examples please click here