sorry PFA again (Income Support, student partner’s income)

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    Just when I really thought I had this sussed one of my managers is advising a strange course of action on a pfa.

    The claimant gets IS, DWP have stated he has been treated as a single person, his wife lives in the same house and is a student she has a grant of £4000 per year and has £13,000 capital.

    It is my understanding that DWP calculate the IS by disallowing any premiums on his applicable amount for his wife but will consider her income. They are therefore not actually treating him as single but are treating him as a married person but not awarding any premiums for her.

    Once the claim comes though to us it comes as a straight forward IS claim. I thought we therefore had to assess his claim on the basis of IS but include his wife in the household. As IS overides any other income then the claim will be paid on the basis of IS.

    My manager has advised our assessor of 2 options.
    1) input his income as JSA(C) and then include her income or
    2) input him as a 50% share.

    I was convinced that we were not able to do this but all I’m getting is the”its not fair argument” and we should take her income into account.

    Could someone please clarify if my stance is correct and if not should we be using either of her options (I would be very unhappy with option 2 as it just appears incorrect)

    Debbie P

    Carol Meredith

    Debbie, for what it is worth I totally agree with you. He is on IS you pay him as being on IS with his wife in the household. Effectively gets max HB/ CTB.



    [quote:586990dd83]I was convinced that we were not able to do this but all I’m getting is the”its not fair argument” and we should take her income into account[/quote:586990dd83]

    But as you correctly state, the DWP would have already taken her income into account when calculating his Income Support. Presumably he is getting a reduced amount because of tariff income from (her) capital.


    Totally agree. And what’s this it’s not fair argument? 😈
    As Benefits professionals, it is not for us to decide “what is fair”. 🙄
    The regulations are our arbiter, not whether we can get round them because they are not “fair”.
    I would be asking your boss under what regulation he / she is going to be basing the decision, and if they can’t tell you, reminding them (very politely, of course) that we are bound by the relevant regs 8)


    There is a very high error rate by local DWP offices in these cases. Everyone above has correctly observed that the treatment of mixed-immigration status couples in IS involves a modified “special cases” applicable amount but everything else is normal.

    I suspect an error in this case and to cover yourself I think you should query it. I would ask:

    – on what basis is the claimant eligible for IS? Incapable of work? Looking after disabled person? Because he sure isn’t a lone parent, in case that’s what they thought.

    – has the partner’s grant income and tariff income been taken into account? Because it appears to exceed the modified applicable amount in this “special case” (i.e. it’s going to be more than £60 a week after disregards).

    If DWP still insists that the claimant is entitled to IS, you are covered against any future overpayment: the reason would be plum DWP error.

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