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Chapter E1: Introduction and entitlement

Contents
E1001:Introduction
E1003:Benefits replaced by UC
Who can claim
E1010:Single claimant
E1011:Joint claimant
E1012:One of a couple does not meet all the conditions
Entitlement
E1013:Basic conditions
E1014:Financial conditions
E1015:Restrictions on entitlement
E1016:Prescribed period
Basic conditions
E1024:Minimum age
E1025:Care leavers
E1028:Eligible child (England and Wales)
E1031:Relevant child (England and Wales)
E1037:Young person without parental support
E1051:Estranged
E1054:Serious risk to physical or mental health
Young person living away from and cannot be supported
E1056:by parents
E1057:Where claimant has both parents
E1071:Claimant has not reached the qualifying age for SPC
E1091:Being in GB
E1101:Receiving education
E1121:Claimant commitment
Financial conditions
E1151:Capital limit
E1153:Minimum amount payable
E1154:Income
E1171:Restrictions on entitlement
E1191:Assessment process
E1192:Awards

Chapter E1: Introduction and entitlement

E1001 Introduction

This chapter contains an overview of UC including the conditions of entitlement and
information for DMs on where to find detailed guidance.

E1002

UC is introduced in the Pathfinder area from 29.4.131. It will be introduced nationally
at a later date.
1 WR Act 12 (Commencement No. 8) Order 2013, art 3

E1003 Benefits replaced by Universal Credit E1004

UC will replace
1. JSA(IB)
2. ESA(IR)
3. IS
4. HB
5. CTC and
6. WTC
which are being abolished (1).
Note 1: JSA and ESA will continue as contributory benefits.
Note 2: CTB is also being abolished (2) and is being replaced with localised council tax
support schemes.

1 WR Act 12, s 33(1)(a) - (d) & (f) & 33(2); 2 s 33(1)(e)

E1004

However, people entitled to the benefits listed at E1003 above before the
introduction of UC will continue to receive them until
1. entitlement ends or
2. there is migration to UC.

[E1005-E1009]

Who can claim

E1010 Single claimant E1015 E1015

A single claimant is entitled to UC if they meet
1. the basic conditions and
2. the financial conditions for a single claimant (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 3(1)

E1011 Joint claimant

Joint claimants are entitled jointly to UC if
1. each of them meets the basic conditions and
2. they meet the financial conditions for joint claimants (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 3(2)

E1012 One of a couple does not meet all the conditions

Where one of a couple does not satisfy all the basic conditions, there are special
rules for how to treat such claims (1). See ADM Chapter E4: Awards, benefit unit and
maximum amount for details.
1 UC Regs, reg 3
Entitlement

E1013 Basic conditions E1024 E1101

The basic conditions (1) are met if the person
1. is at least 18 years old (see E1024)
2. has not reached the qualifying age for SPC (see E1071)
3. is in GB (see E1091)
4. is not receiving education (see E1101) and
5. has accepted a claimant commitment (see E1121).
1 WR Act 12, s 4(1)

E1014 Financial conditions E1151 E1153

The financial conditions
1. for a single claimant (1) are that the claimant's
1.1
capital does not exceed the prescribed amount and
1.2 income is such that if the claimant were entitled to UC, the amount
payable would not be less than any prescribed minimum or
2. for joint claimants (2) are that their combined
2.1 capital is not greater than the prescribed amount and
2.2 income is such that if they were entitled to UC, the amount payable
would not be less that any prescribed minimum.
Note: See E1151 et seq for further details.
1 WR Act, s 5(1); 2 s 5(2)

E1015 Restrictions on entitlement

There will be no entitlement to UC (1)
1. in certain prescribed circumstances (see E1171 et seq) or
2. if the conditions in paragraphs E1010-11 are satisfied for a period shorter than
the prescribed period or
3. for a prescribed period at the beginning of the period that the requirements in
paragraphs E1010-11 are met.
1 WR Act 12, s 6(1)

E1016 Prescribed period

A prescribed period is a period not exceeding 7 days. While this has been provided
for in primary legislation, no prescribed period has yet been put into the regulations.
Note: See E1171 et seq for further details of restrictions on entitlement.
1 WR Act 12, s 6(2)

[E1017-E1123]

Basic conditions
Minimum age

E1024 E1013 E1025 E1037

There are circumstances when the minimum age for entitlement can be 161. These
circumstances are where a person
1. has LCW (2) (see ADM Chapter G2: Limited capability for work) or
2. is awaiting assessment for LCW and has a medical certificate (3) saying that the
person is not fit for work or
3. has regular and substantial caring responsibilities (see ADM Chapter F6:Carer
element) for a severely disabled person (4) or
4. is responsible for a child (5) (see ADM Chapter F1: Child element) or :
5.
is a member of a couple either of whom is responsible for a child or a
qualifying young person (but only where the other member of the couple
satisfies the conditions in E1013 above) or :
6.
is pregnant and it is 11 weeks or less before her EWC or :
7.
was pregnant and it is 15 weeks or less since her ADC or :
8.
is without parental support.
1 UC Regs, reg 8(1); 2 reg 2(1); reg 27; 3 SS (Med Ev) Regs; Sch 1, Part 1;
4 UC Regs, reg 30; 5 reg 2(1); reg 4

E1025 Care leavers

Where a person falls into any of the categories in E1024 3., 6., 7., or 8. above and is
also a care leaver, they cannot satisfy the minimum age condition as a 16 year-old (1).

1 UC Regs, reg 8(2)

E1026

Care
leaver (1) means
1. in England and Wales, an eligible child (2) or relevant child (3) or
2. in Scotland, a person under the age of 18 to whom an LA in Scotland is
obliged to provide assistance to (4) and who since the age of 14 has been
looked after by an LA for a period or periods totalling 13 weeks or more
(excluding any period when the person has been placed with a member of
their family).
1 UC Regs, reg 8(4); 2 Children Act 1989, Sch 2, para 19B; 3 s 23A;

4 Children (Scotland) Act 1995, s 29(1)

E1027

Legislation defines a child who is "looked after" as one who is in LA care (i.e. subject
to a care order or supervision order) or who is provided with their accommodation by
their LA (1).
1 Children Act 89, s 22; Children (Scotland) Act 95

E1028 Eligible child (England and Wales)

An eligible child is a child who
1. is aged 16 or 17 and
2. has since the age of 14, been looked after by the LA for a period of at least 13
weeks, or aggregated periods amounting to at least 13 weeks, which ended
after the child reached the age of 161.

1 Children Act 1989, Sch 2, para 19B(2)

E1029

The exception to this is where
1. an LA has placed the child in a pre-planned series of short-term placements,
none of which individually exceed four weeks (although they may amount in all
to 13 weeks) and
2. at the end of each placement the child returns to their parents, or the person
who has parental responsibility for the child (1).
1 Children Leaving Care (England) Regs, reg 3(2) & 3(3);

Children Leaving Care (Wales) Regs, reg 3(2)(a)

E1030

In Wales there is one further exception where
1. a child is subject to a care order and
2. has been placed with a carer or family under relevant legislation (1) and has
stayed for at least 6 months (2).
1 Children Act 1989, s 23(4); 2 Children Leaving Care (Wales) Regs, reg 3(2)(b)

E1031 Relevant child (England and Wales) E1032 E1033 E1034

A relevant child is a child who is aged 16 or 17
1. who
1.1 is not being looked after by an LA and
1.2 was an eligible child before ceasing to be looked after by an LA or
2. is not subject to a care order and
2.1 on reaching 16 was detained or admitted to hospital and
2.2 immediately before had been looked after by an LA for a period or
periods amounting to at least 13 weeks, which began after the child
reached age 141.
1 Children Act 1989, s 23A(2); Children Leaving Care (England) Regs, reg 4(1) & 4(2);

Children Leaving Care(Wales) Regs, reg 4(1) & 4(2)

E1032

The 13 weeks referred to in E1031 2.2 above do not include any periods where the
child was
1. looked after by an LA on any period of pre-planned short term placements
which individually lasted for four weeks or less and
2. at the end of each placement the child returned to the care of their parents or
the person who has parental responsibility for the child (1).

1 Children Leaving Care (England) Regs, reg 4(3); Children Leaving Care (Wales) Regs, reg 4(2A)

E1033

"Detained" in E1031 2.1 above means detained in a remand centre, a young
offenders institution or a secure training centre or other institution as a result of a
court order (1).

1 Children Leaving Care (England) Regs, reg 4(4)(a); Children Leaving Care (Wales) Regs, reg 4(3)

E1034

"Hospital" in E1031 2.1 above means (1)
1. a health service hospital within the meaning of certain legislation (2) or
2. a care home (3).
1 Children Leaving Care (England) Regs, reg 4(4)(b); Children Leaving Care (Wales) Regs, reg 2;

2 NHS Act 77; 3 Care Standards Act 2000, s 3

E1035

Where a child has been placed with a person or family under the relevant legislation (1)
and has stayed for six months, the child is not a relevant child, despite falling within
the definition (2). This applies whether or not the six month period began before or after
the child ceased to be looked after by the LA (3).
1 Children Act 1989, s 22C; 2 Children Leaving Care (England) Regs, reg 4(5);
Children Leaving Care (Wales) Regs, reg 4(4);
Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care (Scotland) Regs, reg 13;
3 Children Leaving Care (England) Regs, reg 4(6); Children Leaving Care (Wales) Regs, reg 4(5);
Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care (Scotland) Regs, reg 13

E1036

In England only, where the child ceases to live with the person or family, they should
be treated as a relevant child (1).
1 Children Leaving Care (England) Regs, reg 4(7)

E1037 Young person without parental support

A person is without parental support in E1024 8. above where the person is not
being looked after by a local authority and
1. has no parent or
2. cannot live with their parents because
2.1 the person is estranged from their parents or
2.2 there is a serious risk to the person's physical or mental health or that
the person would suffer significant harm if they lived with their parents
or
3. is living away from their parents and neither parent is unable to financially
support them because that parent
3.1 has a physical or mental impairment or
3.2 is detained in custody pending trial or awaiting sentence or in prison or
3.3 is not allowed to enter or re-enter GB (no specific prohibition order is
necessary)1.

1 UC Regs, reg 8(3)

E1038

Parent (1) includes any person acting in the place of a parent.
1 UC Regs, reg 8(4)

[E1039-E1050]

E1051 Estranged

Estranged is not defined in legislation and should be given its ordinary, everyday
meaning (1) of alienated in feeling or affection. Examples of when young people are
estranged from their parents include where they
1. have no intention or wish to live with them or
2. have no wish for any prolonged physical or emotional contact with them or
3. the parents feel the same way towards the young person.
A young person may be estranged even though the parent is providing some
financial support. However it takes more than the young person saying that
estrangement exists. It must also be shown that the young person of necessity has
to live away from the parents because of estrangement.

1 Cozens v. Brutus [1972] 3WLR 521

E1052

Estrangement should be determined using the young person's statement. There is
no requirement to corroborate such evidence or contact parents. The young person
should be believed unless their statement is self contradictory or improbable.

E1053

Estranged also includes estrangement from a community home or foster parents
where the young person has been placed by the LA. The existence of a care order
does not mean that the young person cannot be estranged from the LA. The DM
should have regard to the young person's circumstances to determine if
estrangement exists. The young person has of necessity to live away from the LA.
The DM should find out the reasons why the young person cannot live in
accommodation provided by the LA.

E1054 Serious risk to physical or mental health E1057

Whether the young person is at serious risk to their physical or mental health and
has to live away from their parents is a question of fact. The DM will need to
determine the degree of risk in each case taking into account that the danger
1. need not be from the parents
2. includes any form of danger to their physical or mental health which causes
the young person to live away from their parents (1).
The DM should accept the evidence from the young person or representative unless
there is stronger evidence to the contrary or the evidence is self contradictory.

1 R(IS) 9/94

E1055

Examples of serious risk might be where the young person
1. has a brother/sister who is a drug addict and this poses a risk to the young
person who is exposed to the drugs at the parental home or
2. has a history of mental illness which is made worse by the parent's attitude or
3. suffers from chronic bronchitis which is made worse by the damp conditions at
the parent's home and
there is a serious risk that the young person's health will be adversely affected by
staying in the parent's home.

E1056 Young person living away from and cannot be supported by parents

There is no definition of what constitutes a physical or mental impairment so it
should be given its normal everyday meaning. The DM should have regard to
whether the impairment has a substantial effect on a person's ability to carry out
normal day-to-day activities. Some examples of what this could cover are people
who are

registered as disabled with the LA
paraplegic
mentally
ill
polio
victims

suffering with rheumatoid arthritis and have difficulty with day to day tasks.
This list is not exhaustive.

E1057 Where claimant has both parents

Where the young person has both parents then
1. both parents have to satisfy the conditions in paragraph E1054 above
2. the parents do not have to satisfy the same conditions. For example, the
father may be in prison and the young person is estranged from their mother.
Note:
1. and 2. above apply where more than one person is acting in place of the
parents. For example, both sets of grandparents.

[E1058-E1070]

E1071 Claimant has not reached the qualifying age for state pension credit E1013

Where a claimant has reached the qualifying age for SPC, they will not satisfy the
basic condition for entitlement to UC (1).The qualifying age for SPC (2) is
1. for a woman - pensionable age or
2. for a man - the age which would be pensionable age for a woman born on the
same day as the man.
Note: See DMG Chapter 75: Retirement pension, for guidance on pensionable age.
1 WR Act 12, s 4(1)(b) & (4); 2 SPC Act 02, s 1(6)

[E1072-E1090]

E1091 Being in Great Britain E1013

One of the basic entitlement conditions for UC is that the person is in GB (1). Guidance on
1. whether a person is to be treated as being or not being in GB (2)
2. how to deal with Crown servants and members of Her Majesty's Forces
posted abroad (3) and :
3.
temporary absence from GB (4)
is to be found in ADM Chapter C1: Universal credit.
1 WR Act 12, s 4(1); 2 UC Regs, reg 9; 3 reg 10; 4 reg 11

[E1092-E1100]

E1101 Receiving education E1013

One of the basic entitlement conditions is that the person is not receiving education
(see E1013 4. above). For the purposes of this condition, a qualifying young person
is to be treated as receiving education (1). For detailed guidance on receiving
education see ADM Chapter H6: Students.
1 UC Regs, reg 12(1)

[E1102-E1120]

E1121 Claimant commitment E1013

A claimant commitment is a record of a claimant's responsibilities in relation to an
award of UC and is to be prepared, reviewed and updated as the Secretary of State
thinks fit (1). Full guidance is to be found in ADM Chapter J1: Claimant commitment.
1 WR Act 12, s 14

[E1122-E1150]

Financial conditions

E1151 Capital limit E1014

For the purpose of the financial conditions in E1014 1.1 and 2.1, the capital limit for
1. a single claimant and
2. joint claimants
is 16,0001.

1 UC Regs, reg 18(1)

E1152

Where a claimant is a member of a couple but makes a claim to UC as a single
person, the claimant's capital is to be treated as including the capital of the other
member of the couple (1). See ADM Chapters H1: Capital and H2: Capital disregards
for full guidance on the treatment and calculation of capital.
1 UC Regs, reg 18(2)

E1153 Minimum amount payable

For the purpose of the financial conditions in E1014 1.2 and 2.2, the prescribed
minimum amount payable would not be less than one penny for an assessment
period (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 17

E1154 Income

Full guidance on the treatment and calculation of different types of income can be
found in ADM Chapter H3: Earned income - employed earnings, ADM Chapter H4:
Earned income - self-employed earnings and ADM Chapter H5: Unearned income.

[E1155-E1170]

E1171 Restrictions on entitlement E1015 E1016

Where a person is
1. a member of a religious order who is fully maintained by their order
2. a prisoner or
3. serving a sentence of imprisonment detained in hospital
they are not entitled to UC (1), subject to certain exceptions. Full guidance on this can
be found in the ADM Chapter E3: Special cases.
1 UC Regs, reg 19(1)

[E1172-E1190]

E1191 Assessment process

Once the entitlement conditions have been satisfied, the DM should then
1. identify the benefit unit
2. calculate the UC maximum amount
3. calculate the amount of UC a benefit unit is entitled to
4. calculate the UC payment.

E1192 Awards

An award is calculated by reference to
1. a standard allowance (1)
2. an amount for responsibility for children and young persons (2)
3. an amount for housing (3) and
4. amounts for other particular needs or circumstances (4).
Note: See ADM Chapters E2: Awards, benefit unit and maximum amounts F1: Child element F2: Housing costs element: general F3: Housing costs element: eligible rent F4: Housing costs element: home finance payments F5: Work capability elements F6: Carer element F7: Child care element for full guidance on elements of the award.
1 WR Act 12, s 1(3)(a) & 9; 2 s 1(3)(b) & 10; 3 s 1(3)(c) & 11; 4 s 1(3)(d) & 12

[E1193-E1999]