Reply To: 13 week protection

Peter Barker

Absolutely, if past entitlement at any time were an obstacle the reference to 52 weeks would be deprived of purpose.

Only thing to watch out for is when they “entered into” their current commitments. When the default private sector model is an AST, arguably a fresh set of commitments are entered into each time a new tenancy at a higher rent than before is agreed. The counter-argument is that you cannot really avoid regular AST renewals precisely because that is the default model, and the likelihood of regular increases on renewal is baked into the commitments entered into when you first move in.

See a couple of cases now where:
– a claimant has just become a pensioner, and
– they are reclaiming HB after being on UC (and in one case they had been on HB before they were on UC), and
– since they first claimed HB/UC they have never self-funded, and
– if they were on working age HB before they claimed UC, it was more than 52 weeks ago, and
– they could afford the rent when they first moved in some years ago

There seems to be nothing to prevent the 13-week protection applying in such cases if “commitments” and “entered into” have the wider meaning suggested above