Underlying Entitelment for student with PFA partner

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    Need some advice on underlying entitlement.

    Overpayment runs from May 2010 to April 2011
    Claimant was a full time student with a partner with no recourse to public funds until October 2010. They have a dependant child.
    Claimant was signed off sick for the duration of the claim.
    Claimant received NHS bursary.
    Partner did not start work until April 2011.

    As I understand this: May to Oct 2010 no underlying entitlement as neither claimant is eligible to make a claim. Claimant is full time student who is not in an eligible group, and partner is a PFA with no recourse to public funds.

    From October 2010 partner gains indefinite leave to remain. as claimant is still an ineligible student; can we switch claimant and partner and include as part of our underlying entitlement calculation that the partner made a claim in his name, or must we always keep claimant the same?

    Kevin D

    The flaw here is that the “partner” was never the claimant and the LA has no power to determine who the claimant is unless there was a dispute in the first instance about who was claiming. Even if you could switch the claimant (“A”) and partner (“B”), “B” would have no overpayment in any case so it would be impossible to apply underlying entitlement.

    In my view, any overpayment is always that of the claimant so any underlying entitlement must be considered in the context of the claimant and no other person.


    If the claimant was signed off sick throughout the claim, there is a good chance that one of subparas (c) to (ea) of Reg 56(2) would cover them for at least part of the period. Had the claimant been sick for any time before becoming a student? They are eligible after 196 days on the sick. If claimant was a student from may 2010 all the way through to April 2011, and sick throughout that time as well, they must have been eligible from end of November 2010 at the latest.

    Chris Robbins

    I couldn’t resist posting this because it is one of my favourite words.
    Have you checked whether the student was intercalating while off aick? I.e. had they got agreement from the college to suspend their course of study.

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