A two week ‘run-on’ of HB was introduced in 2018, followed by similar ‘run-on’s of Income Support, Income-Related ESA and Income-Based JSA in 2020.
The idea was to ease the transition onto Universal Credit for those who had previously been in receipt of legacy benefits and either naturally migrate or voluntarily migrate onto UC (ie these ‘run-ons’ work differently for those who are claiming UC because they have received a migration notice).
But the rules are not always straightforward, and many could have missed out. These claimants could now request the run-on and, if entitled, receive a lump sum of the benefit/s they’ve missed out on.
Because these ‘run-ons’ are disregarded as income when a UC claimant’s entitlement is assessed, they would receive the full benefit of the payment.
A HB claimant should receive a two week HB run-on – assessed as if they are on UC (in other words maximum HB) as long as there is no gap between the date their HB award ended and the date their UC award began.
The only exceptions would be where they are becoming a couple with someone on UC (as this is not classed as a new claim for UC) and where they are moving out of ‘specified’ or ‘temporary’ accommodation (as these claimants are specifically excluded from the two week run-on).
Where someone may have missed out:
Move to a new LA area
There are two reasons why someone may have missed out on the two week HB run-on when they moved LA area:
- The Regulations state that the payment must be paid directly to the claimant (not the landlord). However, if the HB for their old address was being paid to their landlord, the HB Office may not have the claimant’s up to date bank account details to make the payment.
- Some HB Offices believe that the HB award has to be ending because of the claim for UC and not for any other reason. This is not the case – as long as the UC award at the new address started the day after the HB ended at their old address then they should be entitled.
An Income Support claimant should receive a two week run-on of their Income Support award if there is no gap between the date their IS award ended and the date their UC award started.
The only exception would be where they are becoming a couple with someone on UC (as this is not classed as a new claim for UC).
Where someone may have missed out:
The DWP misunderstand the rules
It appears that sometimes the DWP apply their own rules:
- We have heard of a claimant who was refused an IS run-on because during the two-week run-on period they had a change in their circumstances that would have stopped their IS award. However, we believe the IS run-on can be awarded even if the claimant would no longer be entitled to IS during the run-on period.
- Saying that there is no run-on because the claimant’s Income Support award was not brought to end by the claim for UC. There is nothing in the Regulations that supports this view. As long as the UC award started the day after the IS award ended it does not matter why the IS award ended.
How the process works
It appears that when someone makes a claim for UC, this triggers a check to identify if existing benefits are in payment and if they are a to-do is generated for a specialist team to complete^.
This would work for many claimants.
However, this may mean that some Income Support claimants miss out, for instance
- if they made their claim for UC the day after their award of Income Support stopped.
- if there was originally a gap between their Income Support ending and their UC starting but that gap has since been filled either
- by the DWP agreeing to start their UC award from the day after their Income Support stopped, or
- the IS Department agreeing to re-open their claim and change the termination day to the day before their UC started.
Income-Related ESA / Income-Based JSA
The rules for IR-ESA and IB-JSA claimants are slightly different. The Regulations say that these benefits are ‘abolished’ two weeks after the claim for UC is made, as long as the claimant in is receipt of IR-ESA / IB-JSA on the date they make their claim for UC.
In other words, the claimant must still be entitled to IR-ESA / IB-JSA on the day they make their claim for UC, and the ‘run-on’ rules extend the termination date by up to 2 weeks. This means that even if the claimant meets the criteria for the run-on, if the claimant stops meeting the eligibility criteria for IR-ESA / IB-JSA then the award will end before the two weeks has been reached.
Generally, the process as outlined above will work for these claimants.
But watch out for those Income-Related ESA / Income-Based JSA claimants whose IR-ESA / IB-JSA award ended before they claimed UC but:
- the DWP have agreed to start their UC award from a day when they were still entitled to IR-ESA / IB-JSA, or
- the ESA / JSA Department has agreed to re-open their claim and they remained entitled to IR-ESA / IB-JSA right up to the day they claimed UC.