Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Changes from April 2019
On 8th April 2019 the Work Allowance for claimants with dependent children and those where they or their partner have a Limited Capability for Work, increased by £83.33 per month.

This means that working parents and those with a Limited Capability for Work where they (or their partner) are working are better off by up to £52.50 per month.

It also means that some people may be able to claim help for the first time - see below.

Unfortunately, the government has kept the Work Allowance for other claimants ie those without children or who have not been found unfit for work - at £0 – meaning their UC is reduced by 63% of the whole of their net monthly earnings.

This change will take affect from the beginning of the Monthly Assessment Period following the date the new Regulations take effect unless the claimant's Assessment Period starts on that day - this ensures that they cannot benefit from the new law from a date before that new law took effect.

This is confirmed in the DWP guidance:


So if someone whose Monthly Assessment Periods run from 18th of one month to 17th of the next, the new work allowance would come into effect during the MAP 8th March - 17th April and therefore they would not have the new higher work allowance for that MAP, but they would for the second and subsequent MAPs

Anyone looking to make a new claim for UC towards the end of March who would have some earnings included in their first MAP and who is entitled to the work allowance, may be better off by delaying their claim by a few days - but a better off calculation needs to be done.

Getting the Work Allowance backpaid when claimant found to have a Limited Capability for Work
The Regulations are not explicit on this - however we would argue that the Work Allowance should be included from the Monthly Assessment Period in which the 'relevant period' started. 

Our argument is based on Reg 35(9)(b) of the UC etc Decisions and Appeals Regs:


The argument would be that....

Reg 22 of the UC Regs 2013 says the Work Allowance applies where the claimant/joint claimant has a Limited Capability for Work.

ie. to get the Work Allowance, there is no requirement for the claimant to have a LCW/LCWRA Element included in their UC assessment - just that they have a Limited Capability for Work.

The DWP might argue that Reg 35(9)(a) of the UC etc D&A Regs means that the Work Allowance cannot be applied until the start of the Monthly Assessment Period after the 'relevant period' has ended. 

But we would argue that Reg 35(9)(a) does not apply when looking at when the Work Allowance should apply from, because Reg 28(1) of the UC Regs 2013 (to which Reg 35(9)(a) refers) is about the period for which the LCWRA Element is not to be included - it is nothing to do with the Work Allowance. 

Therefore, by default, Reg 35(9)(b) applies - ie the Work Allowance should be backdated to the MAP in which the Relevant Period started - when the application for the supersession was made (the medical evidence was provided / referral for Work Capability Assessment was made).

We suspect that if the claimant wants to go for this, they may need to take it to appeal.

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