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Chapter E2: Benefit unit, awards and maximum amount

Contents
E2001:Introduction
Relevant terms
E2002:Claimant
E2003:Couples
E2004:Household
Benefit unit
E2010:Introduction
E2011:What are the basic conditions for UC
E2012:Single claimant
Couples - joint claimants
E2013:Both meet all the basic conditions
E2015:One member of a the couple does not meet all the basic conditions
E2016:One member is over pension age or in education
E2017:One member is under 18 or not in GB
E2018:One member does not accept their claimant commitment
E2020:One member of the couple is not entitled to UC
E2021:One member is a prisoner or member of a religious order
E2030:Temporary absence
E2031:Income and Capital
E2040:Polygamous marriage
E2042:Members of a polygamous relationship
E2050:Unconnected adults
Care home, Abbeyfield home, independent hospital or other similar
E2070:accommodation
E2073:Sheltered accommodation
Definitions
E2090:Child
E2092:Qualifying young person
E2094:Approved training
E2095:Non-advanced education
Awards and maximum amount of UC
E2100:Introduction

Assessment period
E2110:General
E2112:New award entitlement from 31st of a month
E2113:New award entitlement from 29th or 30th of a month

Entitlement before the date of claim
E2114:Initial assessment period
E2116:Amount of award for initial assessment period
Repeat award without a claim
E2120:Single claimant
E2121:Joint claimants - two become one
E2124:Joint claimants - one becomes two
E2126:Joint claimants - couple split up
Maximum amount
E2130:General
E2131:Rates of allowance - adults
E2132:Rates of allowance - children
E2133:Amounts
E2140:Couple, but single person award appropriate
E2141:Polygamous marriage
Run on after death
E2142:Couples
E2143:Children
E2144:Disabled person
E2145:Non-dependant
Adjustment of maximum amount
E2150:General rule
E2151:Unearned income
E2160:Earned income
E2163:Higher work allowance
E2164:Lower work allowance
Effect of capital on UC maximum amount
E2170:When capital does not effect the UC maximum amount
E2171:When the claimant cannot get benefit
E2172:Assumed income from capital
E2173:Who gets what and when

Chapter E2: Benefit unit, awards and maximum amount

E2001 Introduction

This chapter gives guidance on the constitution of a benefit unit.
Relevant terms

E2002 Claimant

A
claimant (1) means either a single claimant or each of joint claimants.
1 WR Act 12, s 40

E2003 Couples

Couple (1) means
1. two people who are married to, or civil partners of, each other and are
members of the same household or
2. two people who are not married to, or civil partners of,each other but are
LTAMC.
1 WR Act 12, s 39(1)

E2004 Household

Household is not defined in legislation. It should be given its normal everyday
meaning, that is a domestic establishment containing the essentials of home life (1).
Household may refer to people held together by a particular kind of tie, even if
temporarily separated (2). People living in one dwelling (for example a house, flat or
caravan) do not necessarily live together in the same household.

1 R(SB)4/83; 2 Santos v Santos [1972] All ER 246

E2005

To be members of the same household means that they
1. live in the same house, flat, apartment, caravan or other dwelling place and
neither normally lives in another household and
2. both live there regularly, apart from absences necessary for employment, to
visit relatives, etc.

E2006

People living in one dwelling are not necessarily living together in the same
household. Examples are
1. lodgers or students who necessarily share a single gas/electricity supply etc.
and may have an arrangement to share costs for items such as food and
cleaning materials or
2. two people who are married to each other or who are a civil partner of each
other who separate and refuse to leave the home.

Example

Andy and Aniza are estranged and continue to live in the same house. They do not
financially support each other or share domestic and social activities. One partner is
reluctant to leave, until a satisfactory financial agreement has been reached with the
other partner. They each have separate households.

E2007

Two people who are neither married to each other nor a civil partner of each other
may be members of the same household. See ADM ch E4 for the considerations of
whether they share a household.

[E2008-E2009]

Benefit unit

E2010 Introduction

In most cases the UC benefit unit will comprise of all the people in a household. A
UC benefit unit can consist of
1. a single claimant (see E2012) or
2. members of a couple (see E2013)
that meet all the basic conditions for UC and any child or qualifying young person for
whom either or both are responsible (see ADM chapter F1).
This applies even if any of these people are temporarily living away from the other
members of the benefit unit, for example to work or visit relatives.

E2011 What are the basic conditions for UC? E2041 E2042

A person meets the basic conditions (1) who
1. is at least 18 years old and
2. has not reached the qualifying age for SPC and
3. is in GB and
4. is not receiving education and
5. has accepted a claimant commitment.
1 WR Act 12, s 4(1)

E2012 Single claimant E2010 E2050

A benefit unit can consist of a single claimant where that person
1. meets all the basic conditions for UC and
2. they are
2.1 not a member of a couple or
2.2 in some circumstances, a member of a couple but the other partner do
not meet all the UC basic conditions (see E2017 & E2021).
This benefit unit may also include any child or qualifying young person, for whom the
claimant is responsible (see chapter F1).

Example 1

Karen lives in her parent's household having just returned from university. She is
now looking for work and claims UC. Karen is a single claimant and forms her own
benefit unit.

Example 2

Jane and Tom are married and living together in a rented flat, Jane is aged 17 and
Tom aged 19. They claim UC but Tom is required to claim for himself as a single
person because Jane is under 18 years old and as such does not satisfy the basic
conditions.

Example 3

Leonard and Howard are brothers, aged 20 and 21, who are in the process of buying
flat that they will share. Leonard claims UC. Leonard and Howard are not a couple
and as such Leonard forms his own benefit unit and claims as a single person.
Couples - joint claimants

E2013 Both meet all the basic conditions E2010

A benefit unit consists of joint claimants where the two people are members of a
couple and both meet all the basic conditions (1) for UC. This benefit unit also includes
any child or qualifying young person, for whom they are responsible (see chapter ).
1 WR Act 12, s 4(1)
Note: this includes where one or both members are 16 or 17 and fall within the
circumstances where the minimum age of 16 applies.

Example

Kevin and Tanya claim UC. They are married and have four children and they all live
together in a local authority property. The UC benefit unit comprises of Kevin, Tanya
and all four children.

E2014

The requirement for both members of the couple to meet all the basic conditions of
UC is modified in the circumstances described in E2015 - E2021.

E2015 One member of the couple does not meet all the basic conditions E2014

The modified circumstances where one member of the joint claim couple does not
meet all of the basic UC conditions arises where they are
1. over pension age (1) (see E2016) or
2. in
education (2) (see E2016) or
3. under
183 (see E2017) or
4. not in GB (4) (see E2017) or
5. a person who has not accepted a claimant commitment (5) (see E2018).
1 UC Regs, reg 3(2)(a); 2 reg 3(2)(b); 3 reg 3(3)(a); 4 reg 3(3)(b); 5 WR Act 12, s 4(1)(e).

E2016 One member is over pension age or in education E2015 E2015 E2050

Where one member of a couple meets all the basic UC conditions but the other
member of the couple does not meet the basic UC condition because
1. they have reached the qualifying age for SPC (1) (see ADM Chapter E1) or
2. they are receiving education (2) (see ADM Chapter E1)
then that ineligible person is treated in the same way as if they had met the UC basic
conditions and will remain part of the benefit unit (3). The UC standard allowance for a
couple is awarded (and, if appropriate, any elements).
1 WR Act 12, s 4(1)(b); 2 s 4(1)(d); 3 UC Regs, reg 3(2)(a) & (b)

Example 1

Bernie and Fabiana are married and living together in a rented flat. Bernie is aged 72
and Fabiana is aged 54. They claim UC. Bernie does not meet all the basic
conditions for UC because he is over pension age however he is treated as if he had
met all the conditions and the UC standard allowance for a couple is awarded.

Example 2

Jane and Tom are married and living together in a rented flat, Jane is aged 19 and
unemployed whilst Tom, aged 20, is studying for a degree. They claim UC. Tom
does not meet all the basic conditions for UC because he is receiving education
however he is treated as if he had met all the conditions and claim as a joint claim
couple can progress.

E2017 One member is under 18 or not in GB E2012 E2015 E2015 E2031 E2140

Where one member of a couple meets all the basic UC conditions but the other
member of the couple does not meet the basic UC condition because
1. they are under 18 years old (1) and do not fall within any of the circumstances (2)
where a person may be entitled from the age of 16 (see ADM Chapter E1) or
2. they are not in GB (3) (see ADM Chapter E1)
then the claim is treated as that of a single person and the benefit unit (4) will be
comprised of the claimant that does meet all the UC conditions (and any child or
QYP for whom the claimant is responsible). The UC standard allowance for a single
person is awarded (and, if appropriate, any elements).
1 WR Act 12, s 4(1)(a); 2 s 4(3); 3 s 4 (1)(c); 4 UC Regs, reg 3(3)(a) & (b)

Example

Jane and Tom are married and living together in a rented flat, Jane is aged 17 and
Tom aged 19. They claim UC; however Tom is required to claim for himself as a
single person because Jane is under 18 years old and as such does not satisfy the
basic conditions.
Note: If Jane fell into one of the prescribed circumstances (1), for example if she was
pregnant and within 11 weeks of her expected date of confinement or perhaps if she
had regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person
then Jane and Tom could make a joint claim as a couple because Jane would now
fall into one of the prescribed circumstances where the minimum age of 16 applies.
1 UC Regs, reg 8

E2018 One member does not accept their claimant commitment E2015

Where
1. a claim is made by members of a couple jointly and
2. one member of the couple does not meet the basic UC condition because
they have not accepted, or are not exempt from providing a claimant
commitment (1) (see ADM Chapter E1)
then the whole claim fails and there is no benefit unit (1) (see ADM Chapter E1).
1 WR Act 12, s 3(2)(a)

Example

Kevin and Tanya claim UC. They are married and have four children and they all live
together in a local authority property. Tanya has accepted her commitment. On the
day that he is due to accept his claimant commitment, Kevin phones the Jobcentre
to say that he cannot attend because his washing machine has broken and an
engineer is due to fix it that day. The DM does not treat Kevin as having accepted
his claimant commitment because it is not unreasonable to expect Kevin to arrange
with Tanya to deal with the engineer. As one of the couple does not meet the basic
condition of having a claimant commitment the UC couple claim fails.

[E2019]

E2020 One member of the couple is not entitled to UC

Where one member of the joint claim couple is not entitled to UC (1) because they are
1. a
prisoner (2) or
2. a member of a religious order (3)
then there are other rules which have a bearing on the claim or structure of the
benefit unit (see E2021).
1 WR Act 12, s 6; 2 UC Regs, reg 3(3)(c); 3 reg 3(3)(d)

E2021 One member is a prisoner or member of a religious order E2012 E2014 E2020 E2031 E2140

Where one member of a couple meets all the basic UC conditions but the other
member of the couple does not meet the UC entitlement conditions because they are
1. a prisoner (see Chapter E3030) or
2. a member of a religious order (1) (see Chapter E3010)
then the claim is treated as that of a single person and the benefit unit (2) is comprised
of the claimant that does meet the UC conditions and any child or qualifying young
person The UC standard allowance for a single person is awarded (and, if
appropriate, any elements).
1 UC Regs, reg 19(1) (EN 12); 2 reg 3(3)(c) & (d)

Example

Rosie and Jim submit a claim for UC. Rosie advises that Jim will be absent from the
household for a short period as he has been sentenced to 3 months in prison. Rosie
is required to claim UC for herself as a single person because Jim is a prisoner and
as such he does not satisfy the entitlement conditions.

[E2022-E2029]

E2030 Temporary absence

A person who is living away from their partner ceases to be treated as a member of
a couple and part of the same benefit unit where they are
1. absent from the household or
2. expected to be absent from the household
for 6 months (1) or more.
Note: Different rules apply where that temporary absence is from GB see ADM
chapter E1
1 policy 2.4.4 UC Regs, reg 3(6)

Example 1

Huw is claiming UC. He and his wife Isobel and their three children are all part of the
same household/benefit unit. Isobel is involved in a road accident and is admitted to
hospital. She needs prolonged treatment and rehabilitation and is expected to be in
hospital about 4 months. Because Isobel's absence is not expected to last for more
than 6 months the DM treats Isobel as part of Huw's household during her absence.

Example 2

Huw is claiming UC. He and his wife Isobel and their three children are all part of the
same household/benefit unit. Isobel is involved in a road accident and is admitted to
hospital. She needs prolonged treatment and rehabilitation and is expected to be in
hospital about 6 months. The DM continues to treat Isobel as part of Huw's
household during her absence. After 4 months Huw reports that Isobel's treatment is
progressing slower than expected and she will be in hospital for at least another 4
months. The DM decides Isobel is no longer a member of Huw's benefit unit
because it is now known that her total absence is expected to be in excess of 6
months, as they are no longer a joint claim couple the award is terminated. The
termination is effective from the first day of the assessment period in which Huw
reported Isobel's slower progression. To continue receiving benefit Huw will have to
make a new claim. Isobel will be entitled to UC as a single person without the need
to submit a claim.

Example 3

Huw is claiming UC. He and his wife Isobel and their three children are all part of the
same household/benefit unit. Isobel is involved in a road accident and is admitted to
hospital. She needs prolonged treatment and rehabilitation and is expected to be in
hospital about 10 months. The DM decides Isobel is not a member of Huw's benefit
unit from the outset of Isobel's admission to hospital, this also means that their joint
claim is terminated and Huw will have to re-claim UC to continue receiving benefit
for himself and his children. Isobel is entitled to UC as a single person without the
need to make a claim from the first day of the assessment period in which she was
admitted to hospital.

E2031 Income and Capital

Where the benefit units described above at E2017.1 and E2021 consist of
1. a single person and
2. if appropriate, any child or qualifying young person for whom they are responsible
the amount of UC awarded to that benefit unit claimant will still have regard to any
earned income, unearned income and capital of the disregarded member of the
couple (1). See E2161 for the work allowance and 65% calculation appropriate to
earned income.
1 UC Regs, reg 3(3) & 18 & 22(3) (IN 2)(EN 11)

Example

Jill arrives in the UK from South Africa and moves in with her boyfriend Pete. She
does not have an offer of a job but helps out in the shop for an hour or two when she
can, for which she is paid 20 per week. The couple claims UC immediately on her
arrival. Jill is a PSIC and treated as not in GB, the joint claim is treated as that of a
single person and the benefit unit comprises of Pete. The UC maximum amount is
made up of the standard allowance for a single person less a proportion of Jill's
earnings.
Note: see E2150 for how to calculate the proportion of earnings to be deducted.

[E2032-E2039]

E2040 Polygamous marriage L3163

Polygamous marriage means (1) any marriage in which
1. one of the parties to it is married to more than one person and
2. the ceremony took place in a country which allows polygamy.

1 UC Regs, reg 3(5)

E2041 L3163

Where there are more than two people that are party to a polygamous marriage
living in the same household then the two people that will form the benefit unit shall
be the two that were first married to each other (1) (if they meet the entitlement
conditions). Any other subsequent party to the polygamous marriage will have to
claim UC as a single person and form their own benefit unit, subject to meeting the
basic conditions described at E2011.
1 UC Regs, reg 3(4)

Example

Abdul, Alkha and Fatima are parties to a polygamous marriage and make a claim to
UC. Fatima is Abdul's second wife. The claim to UC is treated as a claim to UC by
Fatima and she will form a benefit unit. Abdul and Alkha (his wife he married first)
will have to make a fresh claim to UC to form their own benefit unit.
Note: The amount of UC awarded to the couple in this situation will not have regard
to any income and capital received and possessed by the disregarded members of
the polygamous marriage.

E2042 Members of a polygamous relationship

When a claimant has a relationship similar to marriage with two or more people,
none of them can form an unmarried couple. The DM should treat each member of
the relationship as a single claimant or, if appropriate, lone parent.

Example 1

Alan, Bronwyn and Carol live in the same home but are not married to each other.
Alan who is aged 31, claims UC and states that he is in a multiple relationship with
both Bronwyn and Carol. He is treated as a single claimant and is awarded the
standard allowance for a person aged 25 or over. Bronwyn and Carol will also have
to each make a separate claim as a single adult and form their own benefit units,
subject to meeting the basic conditions described at E2011.
Note: If Alan was married to Bronwyn but states that he is also in a relationship with
Carol then Alan would be treated as a member of a couple with his wife Bronwyn
and awarded the standard allowance for a couple. Carol would be treated as single
and would have to make a claim for herself.

[E2043-E2049]

E2050 Unconnected adults

Any person who is
1. living in the same dwelling and
2. not part of the claimant's benefit unit (and not a person mentioned in E2016)
will be unconnected and will be able to form a benefit unit in their own right if they
meet the entitlement conditions.

Example 1

Bill and Ben are brothers, aged 20 and 21, living together in a house. They are
unconnected adults and will form benefit units in their own right.

Example 2

Abdul, Alkha and Fatima are living in the same household, they are parties to a
polygamous marriage and make a claim to UC. Fatima is Abdul's second wife. The
claim to UC is treated as a claim to UC by Fatima, she is an unconnected adult and
will form a benefit unit on her own. Abdul and Alkha (his wife he married first) have
to submit a further claim and they will form a separate benefit unit, subject to
meeting the basic conditions described at E2012.

[E2051-E2069]

E2070 Care home, Abbeyfield Home, independent hospital or other similar accommodation

Where both members of a couple are permanently in
1. a care home or
2. an Abbeyfield Home or
3. an independent hospital or
4. sheltered accommodation
the normal rules as to whether they are members of the same household and
therefore the same benefit unit apply. Each case should be decided on its facts.
For people to be members of the same household they have to share a domestic
establishment. A domestic establishment requires a reasonable level of
independence and responsibility for the occupants.

E2071

Whether members of a couple who are permanently in a care home, Abbeyfield
Home, independent hospital or other similar accommodation are members of the
same household is a question of fact and degree. DMs should establish all the facts
of the particular case. DMs may find it useful to consider whether the couple (1)
1. decide how their days will be structured. For example do they decide (even by
default) at what time to get up, have meals, go to bed etc.
2. decide how the accommodation they live in is to be arranged. For example,
do they decide which room is to be the dining room, the living room etc.
3. can decide who can come and stay with them, and for how long?
4. can insist that other people do not enter their accommodation without
permission?
5. can decide the decor and furnishing of their accommodation?
6. have some facilities for preparing food and making tea, coffee and other hot
drinks?
7. have responsibility for running the household? For example, are they
responsible for getting repairs done, replacing domestic appliances or buying
food?
Note: The list of questions above is not definitive or exhaustive. None of these
questions on its own is decisive.
1 R(IS) 1/99

Example 1

Robin and Marion are husband and wife. Robin has had a severe stroke, and Marion
has heart problems and arthritis so they both go into a care home. Robin needs
more skilled care than could be provided in the care home so he goes into an
independent hospital. Two years later Marion goes into the same independent
hospital because her health has deteriorated. She and Robin have separate rooms
and are billed separately. Robin and Marion are not members of the same
household and would claim UC as single claimants.

Example 2

Paul and Annette are husband and wife. Both suffer from senile dementia and go
into a care home to be cared for. Although they share a room, they do not
understand that they are husband and wife. They are each billed separately by the
care home. Paul and Annette are not members of the same household and would
have to claim UC as single claimants.

E2073 Sheltered accommodation

Where both members of a couple are permanently in sheltered accommodation (that
is a separate, self-contained unit but with a warden to keep an eye on the
occupants) they are members of the same household.

[E2074-E2089]

Definitions

E2090 Child

Child means (1) a person under the age of 16.
Note: There is no need for the child to be receiving education for this definition to
apply.

1 WR Act 12, s 40

[E2091]

E2092 Qualifying young person E2093

A qualifying young person is a person who has reached the age of 16 but not the
age of 20 and who is
1. aged 16 years, but only for the period up to, but not including, the 1st
September that next follows their 16th birthday
2. aged up to 19 years, but only for the period up to, but not including, the 1st
September that next follows their 19th birthday where they are enrolled on, or
accepted for
2.1 approved training (1) or
2.2 a course of education
2.2.a
which is not advanced education
2.2.b at a school, college or other establishment that is approved by
the Secretary of State
2.2.c
where they spend on average more than twelve hours a week
during term time in receiving tuition doing examinations or
practical work or supervised study
this must not include meal breaks or unsupervised study, including
homework, whether done on or off the premises of the educational
establishment (2).
3. aged 19 and has been
3.1 undertaking a course of education or training or
3.2 accepted or enrolled for a course of education or training
before reaching that age (3)
Note 1: The education or training described in 3.1 and 3.2 does not include
education or training that is provided through a contract of employment (4).
Note
2: A person shall be treated as undertaking a course of FTE during the period
between the end of one course and the start of another where the person is
accepted for or enrolled on the latter course.
Note
3: Where a child or qualifying young person turns 16 or 19 on the 31st August
the period described at 1. and 2. will end on that same day.

1 UC Regs, reg 5(4); 2 reg 5(1); 3 reg 5(2); 4 reg 5(3)

E2093

Any person who falls within E2092 is not a qualifying young person if they are
receiving UC, JSA or ESA (1). For example twins both 17 and in education, one has a
child and gets UC under 8(1)(d) and is therefore not a qualifying young person the
other twin is a qualifying young person.
1 UC Regs, reg 5(5)

E2094 Approved training

Approved training means training arranged under prescribed legislation (1) and
approved by the Secretary of State, and includes
1. Foundation
Learning
2. Programme led apprenticeships that started before 31st July 2011
3. Access to apprenticeships
4. Apprenticeships in Olympic/Paralympics and Commonwealth games, Deep
sea fishing
5. In Wales, foundation apprenticeships or traineeships
6. In Scotland, Skillseekers or Get ready for work.
1 Employment and Training Act 1973, s 2(1); Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Act 1990, s 2(3)

E2095 Non-advanced education

Non-advanced education means any course up to, and including, the standard of
1. ordinary national diploma
2. BTEC national diploma
3. national certificate of the Scottish Qualifications Authority
4. GCE (advanced level)
5. Scottish certificate of education (higher grade)
6. Scottish certificate of sixth year studies
7. National certificate of Edexcel.

[E2096-E2099]

Awards and Maximum amount of UC

E2100 Introduction

This chapter gives guidance on the calculation of the UC maximum amount,
including the assessment period of the award and the deductions and disregards to
be made for earned and unearned income.

E2101

The maximum amount is made up of a standard allowance and a number of
elements depending on the circumstances of the adults and children within the
benefit unit and is awarded for an assessment period.

[E2102-E2109]

Assessment period

E2110 General D2009 E2115

UC is payable in respect of each complete assessment period within a period of
entitlement (1). An assessment period begins with the first date of entitlement to UC
and runs for a period of one month. Each subsequent assessment period of one
month will start on the equivalent day of that first date of entitlement that falls in the
following months (2).
1 WR Act 12, s 7; 2 UC Regs, reg 21

Example 1

Bill claims and is entitled to UC from the 4th September, his assessment period is a
month. The start of Bill's next assessment period begins on the 4th October and the
assessment period after that begins on the 4th November.

Example 2

Bill claims and is entitled to UC from the 4th September, his assessment period is a
month. The start of Bill's next assessment period begins on the 4th October however
on 2nd November Bill's circumstances change that ends his entitlement. Bill receives
UC for the assessment period from 4th September to 3rd October but nothing for the
period 4th October to 2nd November because it is not a complete assessment
period.

E2111

There are other rules for establishing an assessment period where
1. UC entitlement is established on or near the end of a month (see E2112 and
E2113).
2. the first date of entitlement falls before the date on which the claim is made
(see E2114).

E2112 New award entitlement from 31st of a month E2111

Where the first date of entitlement to UC falls on the 31st day of a month, each
subsequent assessment period will begin on the last day of the month (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 21(2)(a)

Example 1

Jack claims and is entitled to UC from the 31st August, his assessment period is a
month. The start of Bill's next assessment period begins on the 30th September and
the assessment period after that begins on the 31st October.

Example 2

Bill claims and is entitled to UC from the 31st January, his assessment period is a
month. The start of Bill's next assessment period begins on the 28th February (29th
in a leap year) and the assessment period after that begins on the 31st March.

E2113 New award entitlement from 29th or 30th of a month E2111

Where the first date of entitlement falls on either the 29th or 30th day of a month,
each subsequent assessment period will also fall on the 29th or 30th of the month
except in February when it will fall on the 27th (1) (28th in a leap year).
1 UC Regs, reg 21(2)(b)

Example 1

Bill claims and is entitled to UC from the 30th September, his assessment period is a
month. The start of Bill's next assessment period begins on the 30th October and
the assessment period after that begins on the 30th November.

Example 2

Bill claims and is entitled to UC from the 30th January, his assessment period is a
month. The start of Bill's next assessment period begins on the 27th February (28th
in a leap year) and the assessment period after that begins on the 30th March.

Example 3

Bill claims and is entitled to UC from the 29th January, his assessment period is a
month. The start of Bill's next assessment period begins on the 27th February (28th
in a leap year) and the assessment period after that begins on the 29th March.
Entitlement before the date of claim

E2114 Initial assessment period E2111

A person can have an assessment period of less than a month (1) where they have
had their entitlement to UC backdated, under certain prescribed conditions (2), for a
period before the date of claim.

1 UC Regs, reg 21(5); 2 The UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (C&P) Regs 2013, reg 26(2)

E2115

This initial assessment period will cover the period from the first date of entitlement
to the day before the date on which the actual claim is made.
Note: This period will not set the assessment period date as that will be established
under the process described at E2110.

E2116 Amount of award for initial assessment period

The amount payable for this initial assessment period will be for the number of days
from the first date of entitlement to the day before the date on which the claim is
made. This amount is determined using the calculation
N x A x 12
365
where N is the number of days in the period and A is the amount calculated in
relation to that period as if it were an assessment period of one month.
Note: calculate the amount for the initial assessment period by applying the
standard monthly amounts of any elements (including the housing cost element) and
unearned income as though calculating a full month. But for earned income and
child care costs, because these are based on what is actually received or paid, only
count what is actually received (or paid) in the initial assessment period.

Example 1

Jason makes a claim electronically to UC on 2nd May. He indicates that he wishes
to claim from 6th April. He says that he delayed claiming UC as he was in receipt of
ESA until 5th April but was not informed that this was stopping until the 28th April.
The DM decides that the time limit for claiming UC can be extended. The initial
assessment period for this backdated portion will be from 6th April to 1st May (26
days). Jason's UC entitlement of 311.55 is adjusted to 266.31 which represents
the payment for the 26 days within this initial assessment period [26 x (311.55 x 12
/ 365)]. Each subsequent assessment period of one full month will run from the 2nd
of each month.

Example 2

Richard works for an insurance company and his normal monthly earnings, payable
on the last day of the month, are 490. He also has housing costs of 100 per month
payable on the first day of every month. Richard makes a claim electronically to UC
on 2nd May. He indicates that he wishes to claim from 6th April. He explains the
reason that he delayed claiming UC and the DM decides that the time limit for
claiming UC can be extended. The initial assessment period for this backdated
portion will be from 6th April to 1st May (26 days). Richard's UC entitlement for this
assessment period is calculated by first establishing what his entitlement would be
for a full month and then converting that monthly amount to represent the number of
days in the backdated period. In this case that would be 311.55 standard allowance
+ 100 housing costs = 411.55 less 247.00 (490 earnings less 111 lower work
allowance = 380 x 65% = 247) which gives an amount of 164.55 for a full
assessment period. This amount is then adjusted to 140.66 which represents the
payment for the 26 days within this initial assessment period [26 x (164.55 x 12 /
365)] .

Example 3

Richard works for an insurance company and his normal monthly earnings, payable
on the last day of the month, are 490. He also has housing costs of 100 per month
payable on the first day of every month. Richard makes a claim electronically to UC
on 30th April. He indicates that he wishes to claim from 6th April. He explains the
reason that he delayed claiming UC and the DM decides that the time limit for
claiming UC can be extended. The initial assessment period for this backdated
portion will be from 6th April to 29th April (24 days). Richard's UC entitlement for this
assessment period is calculated by first establishing what his entitlement would be
for a full month and then converting that monthly amount to represent the number of
days in the backdated period. In this case that would be 311.55 standard allowance
+ 100 housing costs = 411.55 less 00 (because he didn't actually receive any
earned income in the period 6th to 29th ) which gives an amount of 411.55 for a full
assessment period. This amount is then adjusted to 324.73 which represents the
payment for the 24 days within this initial assessment period [24 x (411.55 x 12 /
365)] .

E2117

Where this initial assessment period is one month (maximum backdated period
allowed) the amount that the claimant is awarded for this period may be an amount
greater than that for a normal assessment period month.

Example

Kevin makes a claim electronically to UC on 22nd Aug. He indicates that he wishes
to claim from 22nd July. He explains the reason that he delayed claiming UC and the
DM decides that the time limit for claiming UC can be extended. The initial
assessment period for the backdated portion will be from 22nd July to 21st August
(31 days). Kevin's UC entitlement for this assessment period is calculated by first
establishing what his entitlement would be for a normal assessment period (full
month) and then converting that monthly amount to represent the number of days in
this initial assessment period. In this case 311.55 is the standard allowance for a
normal assessment period. This amount is then adjusted to 317.52 which
represents the payment for the 31 days within this initial assessment period [31 x
(311.55 x 12 / 365)]

[E2118-E2119]

Repeat award without a claim

E2120 Single claimant

A person who has ceased to be entitled to UC may, in prescribed circumstances (1), be
entitled to a further award without making a claim (see ADM Chapter A2). Where a
person is entitled to a further award without the need to make a claim the new
assessment period will begin on the same date of each month as did the old
assessment period in the previous award (2). That date will be the first day of the
assessment period in which the further entitlement arose.
1 UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (C&P) Regs, reg 6; 2 UC Regs, reg 21(3)

Example

Ted is working he also claims and is entitled to UC from the 4th May, his
assessment period is a month from 4th May. The start of Ted's next assessment
period begins on the 4th June. Ted's entitlement ends on 30th June when his
earnings increase (effective from the first day of the assessment period in which the
change occurred). On 30th November Ted's earnings reduce. The consequence of
the reduction is considered at the end of assessment period in which the event
happened; in this case that is 3rd December. It is determined that Ted is now
entitled to a further UC award without the need to make a claim, Ted's first
assessment period under the new award will run from 4th November to 3rd
December.

E2121 Joint claimants - two become one

Two single UC claimants who ceased to be entitled to UC when they became a
couple will be entitled to a further award without making a claim (1) (see Chapter ADM
A2).

1 UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (C&P) Regs, reg 9(7);

E2122

Where that further award is made without a claim the new assessment period will
begin on the same date of each month as the assessment period in one of the old
single person awards (1).

1 UC Regs, reg 21(3)

E2123

The couple should decide which of the old single person assessment periods they
wish to adopt for their new couple claim. In the absence of a nomination the
Secretary of State will decide which of the two single person assessment periods will
apply (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 21(4)

Example

Bob claims and is entitled to UC from the 4th September, his assessment period is a
month. The start of Bob's next assessment period begins on the 4th October. Alice
is entitled to UC as a single person, her assessment periods run from the 22nd of
the month. On the 10th December Bob and Alice move in together, their individual
entitlements to UC are terminated, for Bob, from 4th Dec and for Alice from 22nd
Nov (first day of their assessment periods in which this change occurred) however
they are entitled to a further UC award as a joint claim couple without the need to
make a claim. For this new claim they decide to adopt the same assessment period
that Alice had as a single person. The first assessment period for the new couple
claim runs from 22nd November to 21st December.

E2124 Joint claimants - one becomes two

A single UC claimant who ceased to be entitled to UC when they became a couple
with a person who was not a UC recipient will be entitled to a further award without
making a claim (1). (see ADM E2038)

1, UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (C&P) Regs, reg 9(8);

E2125

Where that further award is made without a claim the new assessment period will
begin on the same date of each month as the assessment period in the old single
person UC award (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 21(3)

Example

Bertram is in receipt of UC. His assessment period runs from the 12th of each
month. He moves in with Clarice on 27 June and contacts the Department to say
that he is now part of a couple with Clarice. His award as a single claimant is
terminated. Clarice was not previously in receipt of UC. The DM treats this contact
as a claim for UC jointly between Bertram and Clarice. The date of the new joint
claim is 12 June. The assessment period for this claim still runs from 12 June to 11
July (1). The first payment of UC will be made at the end of this AP.

E2126 Joint claimants - couple split up

A joint claim couple will cease to be entitled to UC when they split up. The person
who reports that they have ceased to be a couple will have to make a new claim to
be entitled to a further award (1). (see ADM Chapter A2) The assessment period for
this person will begin with their first day of entitlement .

1 UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (C&P) Regs, reg 9(6);

E2127

The other member of the former joint claim couple will be entitled to a further award
of UC without the need to make a claim. The new assessment period for this person
will begin on the same date of each month as the assessment period in the old joint
claim couple award (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 21(3)

Example

Tom and Katie are entitled to UC as a couple. Their assessment period is the 3rd of
the month to the 2nd of the following month. They cease to be a couple on 27th
November when Katie moved out. Tom rings up to notify DWP of this on the 27th.
The DM terminates the award of UC from the first day of the assessment period in
which this change occurs - namely the 3rd of November, at the same time the DM
attempts to contact Katie to establish her circumstances. Tom must make a new
claim to UC as a single person. He makes a claim by telephone and is awarded UC
from 27th November (he doesn't ask for backdating). Tom's assessment period now
runs from the 27th to the 26th. The DM was unable to make contact with Katie
however she rings up on the 15th December to ask about her benefit. Katie is
advised that her award of UC with Tom has ended and she does not have to make a
new claim to UC. Katie is awarded UC from the 3rd of November.
Note 1: If Tom had asked for backdating he would have been paid from the 3rd
November, his assessment period would still be from 27th. The maximum period of
backdating is a month so to have entitlement from 3rd November Tom would have to
make his claim and backdating request before 4th December.

[E2128-E2129]

Maximum amount

E2130 General

UC is paid for a single claimant or joint claimants, and any child or young person for
whom they are responsible. The maximum amount of an award of UC in relation to
each assessment period includes
1. the claimant's standard allowance. This may include an amount for any
partner and
2. if appropriate
2.1 a child element for any dependants (1) (see ADM chapter F1)
2.2 a disabled child amount (2) (see ADM chapter F1)
2.3 capability for work elements (3) (see ADM chapter F5)
2.4 housing costs element (4) (see ADM chapters F2 - F4)
2.5 carer element (5) (see ADM chapter F6)
2.6 childcare costs element (6) (see ADM chapter F7).
1 WR Act 12, s 9 & 10; UC Regs, reg 24(1); 2 reg 24(2): 3 reg 27; 4 reg 25 & 26; 5 reg 29; 6 reg 31

E2131 Rates of allowance - adults

There will be separate rates of standard allowance (1) for a
1. single person aged under 25
2. single person aged 25 and over
3. couple where both are aged under 25
4. couple where one or both are aged 25 or over.
1 UC Regs, reg 36(1)

E2132 Rates of allowance - children

There will be separate rates of standard allowance (1) for the
1. first child or qualifying young person
2. second and each subsequent child or qualifying young person.
1 UC Regs, reg 36(1)

E2133 Amounts

The amounts that make up the maximum amount for 2014 to 2015 are:
Standard allowance
Amount
Single claimant under 25
249.28
Single claimant 25 or over
314.67
Joint claimants both under 25
391.29
Joint claimants where either is 25 or over
493.95
Child element
First child or qualifying young person
274.58
Second and each subsequent child or qualifying young person
229.17
Disabled child amounts
Lower level
124.86
Higher level
362.92
LCW and LCWRA elements
Limited capability for work
124.86
Limited capability for work and work related activity
311.86
Carer element
148.61
Child care costs element
Maximum amount for one child
532.29
Maximum amount two or more children
912.50
Housing costs element
Variable

[E2134-E2139]

E2140 Couple, but single person award appropriate

In the case of an award where the claimant is a member of a couple, but claims as a
single person (1) (as described at E2017 and E2021) the standard allowance is that for
a single claimant.
Note: Although the standard allowance is that of a single person the amount of UC
awarded to this type of claimant will still have regard to any appropriate income and
capital received and possessed by the disregarded member of the couple (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 36(3); 2 UC Regs, reg 18(2) & 22(3)

E2141 Polygamous marriages

In polygamous marriage cases the standard allowance will only include an amount in
respect of a couple and that couple will comprise of the husband and the wife who
were party to the earliest marriage (1). Any wife who was party to a later marriage will
claim UC as a single person and have their entitlement assessed on that basis with
no regard to the circumstances of the polygamous couple.
1 UC Regs, reg 3(4)
Run on after death

E2142 Couples

Where, in the case of a joint claim, one member of the couple dies then the amount
of UC standard allowance in relation to that joint claim couple will continue in
payment until the end of the second assessment period following the assessment
period in which the death occured (1). The surviving partner will be then entitled to UC
as a single person without the need to make a claim (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 37(a); 2 UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (C&P) Regs, reg 9(10);

Example

Amy and Max are entitled to UC as joint claimants for an assessment period that
runs from the 10th of each month. Max dies on 12.08.14. The standard allowance
for a joint claim couple continues to be included in the UC award until 09.11.14. at
which point the joint claim will terminate. Amy will not have to make a new claim and
UC is awarded as a single person.

E2143 Children

Where
1. a claimant's award of UC includes an amount for a child or qualifying young
person for whom they are responsible and
2. that child or qualifying young person dies
the appropriate child element will continue in payment until the end of the second
assessment period following the assessment period in which the death occured (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 37(b)

Example

Steve and Janet are entitled to UC for themselves including an allowance for their
son Max, their assessment period runs from the 10th of each month. Max dies on
12.08.14. The Child element is included in the UC award until 09.11.14

E2144 Disabled person

Where
1. a claimant, who is providing regular and substantial care, is awarded a carer
element and
2. the severely disabled person, in respect of whom that care is provided, dies
the carer element award will continue in payment until the end of the second
assessment period following the assessment period in which the death occured (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 37(c)

Example 1

Amy is entitled to UC, which includes the carer element, for an assessment period
that runs from the 10th of each month. The person she is caring for dies on
12.08.13. the carer element is included in the UC award up to and including
09.11.13.

E2145 Non-dependant

Where
1.
a claimant's maximum amount of UC is calculated to include the effect of a
non-dependant and
2. that non-dependant dies
the claimant's maximum amount will remain unchanged and continue to be
calculated as if the non-dependant had not died until the end of the second
assessment period following the assessment period in which the death occured (1)
1 UC Regs, reg 37(d)

[E2146-E2149]

Adjustment of maximum amount

E2150 General rule E2031

Certain deductions and allowances have to be applied to the maximum amount
before the final amount of an award of UC is determined. The adjustments concern
any earned or unearned income (1) and capital
1 WR Act 12, s 8; UC Regs, reg 22

E2151 Unearned income

All of the claimant's unearned income, in relation to the assessment period (1), should
be deducted from their UC maximum amount. Where the claim is from joint
claimants then the deduction is all of their combined unearned income.

1 UC Regs, reg 22(1)(a)

E2152

Where the claimant is a member of a couple, but claims as a single person because
the other member does not meet prescribed conditions, the amount of unearned
income to be deducted is the unearned income of them both (1).

1 UC Regs, reg 22(3)

E2153

A person's unearned income means (1) any of their income consisting of (see ADM
Chapter H4 and H5)
1. retirement pension income
2. benefit income, which includes
2.1 JSA
2.2 ESA
2.3 CA
2.4 BA
2.6 WMA
2.7 WPA
2.8 WP
2.9 MA
2.10 IIB
3. foreign benefits
4. spousal maintenance
5. student income
6. employment and training payments paid as a substitute for UC or for a
person's living expenses
7. sports awards
8. certain insurance payments
9. income from an annuity
10. income from a trust
11. income deemed to yield from capital (tariff income)
12. capital treated as income
13. any other income which is taxable.

1 UC Regs, reg 66

E2154

Unearned income also includes income which the person is treated as having (1).

1 UC Regs, reg 66

E2155

Where an assessment period is of one month then any unearned income that is paid
in periods other than a month will have to be converted to a monthly equivalent (1)
before the deduction can be made. See ADM Chapter H5 for the methods of
calculation.
1 UC Regs, reg 73

Example

Emily is in receipt of CA when she claims UC. The payments of CA are unearned
income and are taken fully into account when calculating Emily's maximum amount
of UC. As CA is paid 4 weekly at 230 the DM converts this to an assessment period
of a month by multiplying by 13 (2990) and dividing by 12 (249.17). This
establishes the amount to be deducted.
Note: the rounding of fractions of a penny (1) is calculated to the nearest penny and
not based on whatever is most advantageous to the claimant
1 UC Regs, reg 6

[E2156-E2159]

E2160 Earned income

A proportion of a claimant's earned income is also deducted from the UC maximum
amount. For the purpose of this deduction earned income means (1)
1. the remuneration or profit derived from
1.1 employment under a contract of service or in an office (including
elective office) or
1.2 a trade, profession or vocation or
1.3 any other paid work or
2. any income treated as earned income (see ADM chapter H3 and H4).

1 UC Regs, reg 52

E2161 E2031

In any assessment period 65% of the earned income received that exceeds the
prescribed amount (1) will be deducted from the UC maximum amount.
Note: for weekly paid earned income some assessment periods will contain 4
payments and others 5 payments. Similarly if a person is paid earned income 4
weekly an assessment period may contain two 4 weekly payments.
1 UC Regs, reg 22(1)(b)

Example

Bella is aged 26, single and lives with her parents, she works as a shop assistant for
eight hours per week receiving earnings of 50 per week every Thursday. Bella has
a UC award with an assessment period that runs from the 1st of each month. For
the assessment period that covers 1st Oct 2014 to 31st Oct 2014 Bella will receive 5
weekly payments of earned income. For October Bella has a UC award of 221.20
calculated by deducting 90.35 earnings from her 311.55 maximum amount. (full
calculation is 311.55 standard allowance - 65% x (50 + 50 + 50 + 50 + 50 earned
incomes - 111 higher work allowance)

E2162

The prescribed amount, known as the work allowance, falls into either a higher or a
lower category.

E2163 Higher work allowance

A higher work allowance is appropriate where the claimant's UC award contains no
amount for the HCE (1). The rates of allowance are in table E2165.1
1 UC Regs, reg 22(2)(a)

E2164 Lower work allowance

A lower work allowance is appropriate where the claimant's UC award does contain
an amount for the HCE (1). The rates of allowance are in table E2165.2

1 UC Regs, reg 22(2)(b)

E2165 E2163 E2164

For 2014 to 2015
1. Higher work allowance
Amount
Single claimant
Not responsible for a child or qualifying young person
111
responsible for one or more children or qualifying young persons
734
Has limited capability for work
647
Joint claimants
Neither responsible for a child or qualifying young person
111
Responsible for one or more children or qualifying young persons
536
One or both have limited capability for work (1) 647
2. Lower work allowance
Single claimant
Not responsible for a child or qualifying young person
111
responsible for one or more children or qualifying young persons
263
has limited capability for work
192
Joint claimants
not responsible for a child or qualifying young person
111
responsible for one or more children or qualifying young persons
222
one or both have limited capability for work (1) 192
1 UC Regs, reg 36

Example 1

Bella is aged 26, single and lives with her parents, she works as a shop assistant for
eight hours per week receiving earnings of 50 per week. Bella has a UC award of
253.70 (for an assessment period that contains 4 earnings payments) calculated by
deducting 57.85 earnings from her 311.55 maximum amount. (full calculation is
311.55 standard allowance - 65% x (50 + 50 + 50 + 50 earned incomes - 111
higher work allowance)

Example 2

Roy lives with his partner and child in a local authority property. He claims UC whilst
still working for a supermarket where he is paid 260 per month. Roy has a UC
maximum amount of 841.14 made up 761.14 standard allowance and child
element and 80 rent. The earned income to be deducted from the maximum
amount is 65% of (260 after the deduction of the 222 lower work allowance). That
is 65% of 38 = 24.70. Roy has a UC award of 816.44 (841.14 - 24.70).

Example 3

Troy lives with his partner and child in his own property. He is claiming UC when he
starts working for a supermarket where he is to be paid 260 per month. Troy has a
UC maximum amount of 841.14 made up 761.14 standard allowance and child
element and 80 HCE. The earned income to be deducted from the maximum
amount is 65% of (260 after the deduction of the 222 lower work allowance). That
is 65% of 38 = 24.70. However Troy has a UC award of 736.44 because he also
looses his housing cost element (841.14 - 24.70 - 80HCE)

Example 4

Ben lives with his partner and child in a local authority property. He claims UC whilst
still working for a supermarket where he is paid 100 per month. Ben has a UC
maximum amount of 941.14 made up 761.14 standard allowance and child
element and 180 rent. The earned income to be deducted from the maximum
amount is 65% of (100 after the deduction of the 222 lower work allowance). That
is 65% of 0 = 0. Ben has a UC award of 941.14.

Example 5

Jerry lives with his partner and child in his own property. He is claiming UC when he
starts working for a supermarket where he is to be paid 100 per month. Jerry has a
UC maximum amount of 941.14 made up 761.14 standard allowance and child
element and 180 HCE. The earned income to be deducted from the maximum
amount is 65% of (100 after the deduction of the 222 lower work allowance). That
is 65% of 0 = 0. However Jerry now has a UC award of 761.14 because he
looses his housing cost allowance (941.14 - 180HCE)

[E2166-E2169]

Effect of capital on UC maximum amount

E2170 When capital does not affect the UC maximum amount

Capital does not affect a claimant's maximum amount if their capital is 6,000 or
less. (see also ADM chapter H4 and H5)

E2171 When the claimant cannot get benefit

Claimants cannot get benefit if the total amount of capital is more than 16,0001.
Note: In a case where the claimant is a member of a couple, but makes a claim as a
single person, the claimant's capital is to be treated as including the capital of the
other member of the couple. The capital limit in this case is still 16,000.
1 WR Act 12, s 5; UC Regs, reg 18(1)(b)

E2172 Assumed income from capital

Claimants are treated as having tariff income of 4.35 a month for
1. each complete 250 of capital over 6,000 up to and including 16,000 and
2. any capital which is left and which is not a complete 2501.
See Appendix 1 to Chapter H1, for a table which shows how to work out tariff
income.
1 WR Act 12 s 5; UC Regs, reg 72(1)

E2173 Who gets what and when

Guidance on the interval and methods of payment can be found in ADM Chapter B1

[E2174-E2999]