Reply To: non dependant/dependant studying abroard

Andy Thurman

There is probably a reasonable argument for only making changes currently (for 23/24 expenditure so from date first payment of year covers) or possibly from the point he left post COVID if that can be easily established.

As any overpayment (under the principles of UE) should not be overstated, it can be argued that there would be an impractical level of proof/evidence to be able to confirm the circumstances such that this can be achieved.

In addition to the period during COVID – start/end of this, are there other, shorter, returns home? Any other changes relating to other household members?

I would definitely be minded to leave alone the period up to July 2016 where 52 week absences would be OK and Tax Credits continuation (subject to a ‘finalisation’ process reviewing circs at the end of each year) considered sufficient, at this stage, to support a QYP decision to age 20.

It would also need establishing the date of his last departure prior to July 2016 (and subsequent return) as the period of absence beginning before the rule change would still have up to the 52 weeks. The 4 week limit would then be an issue at the next departure date. This demonstrates the point above regarding the difficulty in getting the facts sufficiently for an overpayment to be confidently raised.