Child lives abroad?

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    We received a claim from a man who had been living in France. He basically returned to the UK because the DWP stopped his income support. We originally turned him down as not habitually resident, (in 2007). His wife continued to reside in France so that their son could continue his education in France. His parents also live over there and they had all bought a property together which they wanted to restore and develop for rental to tourists. He and his wife resided in part of this property with their son. Initially he said that his wife and son would join him when the academic year was over and his son would then go to school in the UK. This changed abrubtly when he discovered that he could claim Income Support for his whole family whether they were in the UK or not. They then decided that it was in their son’s best interest to continue his education in France. The case went to Tribunal and the decision re HRT was upheld. It was later overturned at Upper Tribunal.
    Mr rented a 2 bedroom property, (owned by his father but we won’t get into that) and wants the 2 bedroom rate. I have allowed the 2 bedroom rate when his son was here, (came over in July when school was closed), but Mrs and son then returned to France in September so that he could go back to school.
    Do you think I should allow the 2 bedroom rate for the whole period, i.e. treat the son as part of the claimant’s household even when he is in France? feel that the son’s main residence is in France and he and Mrs visit during the school holidays.
    Any opinions? Sorry if it’s a bit confusing but it was a very complex case. Is anyone aware of any relevant decisions?


    Membership of a family – regs 19 to 21.

    From what you have said, I think it is clear that the child is not part of the father’s household and I am doubtful if the 2 bed rate would apply.

    It is certainly arguable that the 2 bed rate should not have been awarded whilst the child was here on holiday but I am not going there.

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