How much is the TSDPE eroded by?
Is it the net loss or the total amount of the new element?
The answer is – it depends!
The regulations are a little unclear, so we asked the DWP Policy Team.
Their reply (see below) indicates that they treat the replacement of the LCW Element with the LCWRA differently to other changes.
Swapping from the LCW to LCWRA Element – the TSDPE is eroded by the net increase.
Freya is single and gets UC which includes the LCW Element and the TSDPE. Following a review Work Capability Assessment, she is found to have LCWRA. Her LCW Element is replaced by the LCWRA Element.
The DWP will treat this as a relevant increase to her health-related element and the TSDPE will be eroded by the net increase of £214.74 (the difference between LCWRA £343.63 and LCW £128.89).
But this will only apply where the LCW to LCWRA is for the same claimant – not the other member of a couple!
Lou and Saira have a joint UC claim. Their UC includes the LCW Element for Lou and the TSDPE of £405. Saira has undergone a Work Capability Assessment and has been found to have LCWRA. As a couple they can only have one health related element – Lou’s LCW Element is replaced by Saira’s LCWRA Element.
The full amount of the new LCWRA Element erodes the TSDPE to £61.37.
So, to compare the amounts of LCW/LCWRA and the TSDPE:
Before the change they had £405 TSDPE and £128.89 LCW = £533.89.
After the change they have £61.37 TSDPE + £343.63 LCWRA = £405.
So they have lost £128.89 overall!
For other changes, TSDPE is eroded by the whole amount of the new element / increase to the element – so the actual gain not the net gain once the loss has been considered.
Tony is a single UC claimant. His UC includes a Carer Element and the TSDPE. He has just had a Work Capability Assessment and has been found to have LCWRA. So, his Carer Element is replaced by the LCWRA Element (he cannot get both).
The DWP will look at the actual increase – ie the full amount of the new LCWRA Element. So, his TSDPE is completely eroded.
Tony has lost both his TSDPE of £285 (completely eroded by the LCWRA Element) and has also lost his Carer Element (replaced by the LCWRA Element). So his total losses are £448.73. He has only gained the LCWRA Element of £343.63 – so he has an overall loss of £105.10!
Cherrie claims UC as a single claimant. Her UC includes the TSDPE of £120. Six months after moving onto UC, two changes occur within the same assessment period. She becomes responsible for her granddaughter – so a Child Element of £237.08 is added and she loses her LCWRA on re-assessment.
The DWP will look at the actual increase – ie the full amount of the new Child Element. They will not take account of the loss of the LCWRA Element. So, her TSDPE is completely eroded.
What the DWP Policy Team told us:
Where a claimant, who has been determined by a decision maker to have limited
capability for work (LCW), has a change to their health condition and is
subsequently determined to have limited capability for work and work related
activity (LCWRA), this will be treated as a relevant increase to their health related
element, rather than the addition of a new Universal Credit element. This means
the transitional element (TE) would be reduced by the amount of the increase from
the LCW rate to the new LCWRA rate. In cases like this, the TE would be reduced
by £214.74 (£343.63 (LCWRA) minus £128.89 (LCW)).
You also asked: if it is the ‘net effect’ would it be the same if they lost the carer
element and gained LCWRA? Or even had a decrease in rent/child elements etc. In
this situation, the LCWRA addition would be treated as a new element, as it is not
an increase from one health related element to another, therefore the TE would be
reduced by the amount of the LCWRA addition.
With regards to the point about decreases in rent/child elements, reductions or
removals of other elements do not affect the rate of the TE being paid.