Reply To: Universal Credit and new partner on ESAIR

Peter Barker

It sounds as if DWP has taken the expedient view that they have never become a couple for benefit purposes. Certainly that’s the case since February because they are living apart and unlikely to resume living together within 6 months. And perhaps the brief time they lived together before she went into hospital was not long enough for them to establish the stability associated with being a couple, or even to establish a household (which is a prerequisite for being a couple).

You could take the same view, except for 6 months read 52 weeks. You could take the same view for CT liability as well if you have any influence over that, on the basis that either she did not have status in the hierarchy of residents to make her jointly liable, and/or she did not become resident there in the first place. And likewise interpretation of the word “reside” for non-dep purposes as well.

I think you can justify leaving things as they are.