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Chapter E3: Special cases

Restrictions on entitlement
Members of a religious order
E3011:Member fully maintained
E3013:Member not fully maintained - amount payable
E3015:Member has some funds
E3016:Member has no funds
E3030:General rule
E3033:Meaning of detained in custody

Conditions where a prisoner is entitled to UC
E3040:Single claimant
E3050:Prisoner admitted to hospital
E3051:Serving a sentence of imprisonment detained in hospital
E3053:Tariff date

Chapter E3: Special Cases

Restrictions on entitlement

E3001 Introduction

This chapter explains about the restrictions on entitlement to UC where people are
members of religious orders (see E3010)
2. prisoners (see E3030)
3. imprisoned in hospital (1) (see E3050).
1 UC Regs, reg 19


Members of religious orders

E3010 Definition E2021 E3001

A religious order is
1. a group of people who are
1.1 bound by vows living under the same religious, moral and social
regulations observing a discipline according to a particular rule and
1.2 offering their services free for the benefit of the order and
2. committed to providing all that its members need for their maintenance.
Note: Monks and nuns (of the Roman Catholic, Buddhist or any other religion) are
the most common examples, but there may be others.

E3011 Member fully maintained

A claimant is not entitled (1) to UC where they are
1. a member of a religious order and
2. fully maintained by their order (2), that is, if the order provides full board and
lodging, clothing and other needs.
1 UC Regs, reg 19(1)(a); 2 CPC/3725/07;

Example 1

Ted is a missionary for a group of priests that refer to themselves as a congregation.
The priests give up their personal possessions on joining the congregation and are
bound by religious vows. They are not allowed to do any paid work outside and are
provided with all their needs. Because of his failing health Ted moves to a care
home that caters for ill priests of the congregation and he claims UC. The order
continues to provide all that Ted needs in the care home, although they say that it is
becoming increasingly difficult to do so. But what matters is whether the order is fully
maintaining Ted, not whether they find it difficult to do so.
Ted is not entitled to UC because he is a member of a religious order who is being
fully maintained by his order.

Example 2

Isobel is a 58 year old nun who is a member of the Poor Clare Religious Order. The
local Poor Clare community group to which Isobel belongs does not receive support
from the Order's central funds instead she is supported from the group's community
funds derived from donations, legacies and the proceeds from the sale of small
items made by the nuns. Isobel is fully maintained by the order and is not entitled to


The commitment to a religious order is often for life. So for example, a person who
retires but remains with the order and continues to be fully maintained by it is still not
entitled to UC. But UC could be claimed and calculated in the normal way if a person
ceases to be maintained by the order.

E3013 Member not fully maintained - amount payable

UC may be awarded if a member of a religious order
1. leaves the order's premises, for example to nurse a sick relative and
2. is not fully maintained by the order during the absence.
The fact that the member has been fully maintained by the order in the past does not
affect the new decision.


Claims may be received from members of a religious order whose
1. physical or mental health is very poor and
2. monastery or convent can no longer provide proper care and
3. order can no longer afford to maintain them.
Such people may be living in a care home or private hospital being run by a religious
order. Entitlement should be considered in the normal way if they are not being fully
maintained by their order.


Sarah is a 60 year old nun who has been a member of, and fully maintained by, a
religious order for 40 years. She is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and her order is
no longer able to care for her properly. The LA find her a place in a care home run
by another order. Sarah is expected to contribute to the fees and claims UC.
The order continues to provide suitable clothing for Sarah but cannot afford to
maintain her in the care home and makes no financial contribution to her needs. The
DM decides that Sarah is no longer being fully maintained by the order, and awards

E3015 Member has some funds

A member of a religious order may still be fully maintained by the order even though
they have some funds of their own (for example earnings) out of which they may be
contributing to the order (1).
1 [2011] EWCA Civ 103

E3016 Member has no funds

A member of a religious order may have no apparent income or capital of their own.
But the DM should consider whether the rules of the order allow
1. a member to ask for financial support or
2. the return of money given to the order on admission.
This information can be obtained from the trust deed of the order, but enquiries
should not be made into the order's financial affairs. The DM should submit cases of
doubt to DMA Leeds.



E3030 General rule E2021 E3001

Prisoners generally have no entitlement to UC other than described at E3040 (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 19(1)(b)

E3031 Definitions

prisoner (1) is a person
1. detained in custody following sentence to a term of imprisonment by a
criminal, civil or military court, and includes a person
1.1 temporarily removed from prison to hospital, unless E3050 applies or
1.2 living outside the prison under a pre-release employment scheme (2) or
1.3 released on temporary licence which may be allowed for a variety of
reasons including
1.3.a home leave
attendance at rehabilitation courses or
work during the daytime or
2. detained in custody on remand awaiting trial or awaiting sentence upon
conviction. This includes people temporarily removed from prison to hospital
(unless ADM E3050 applies).
3. released early under the End of Custody Licence arrangements.

1 UC Regs, reg 2; 2 R(I) 9/75


The definition of prisoner does not include a person
1. under suspended sentence or
2. sentenced to community service or
3. transferred from court or prison to hospital and who is detained under mental
health legislation (1)
4. released on licence or
5. who is on a
5.1 home detention curfew or
5.2 court ordered curfew or
5.3 restriction of Liberty Order or
5.4 community payback order or
5.5 mandatory probation service programme.
Note: Release on licence means release on parole after completion of a specified
part of the original sentence.
1 MH Act 1983, MH (C & T) (Scot) Act 03, Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.

E3033 Meaning of detained in custody

The word "detains" describes the physical confinement of a person (1). Detained in
custody means any detention where trial proceedings have started, or where trial
proceedings have ended with a custodial sentence being imposed, including detention
1. in a prison
2. in a remand centre
3. in a police station when used as a remand overflow
4. of a child or young person under the direction of the Secretary of State
5. in a young offender's institution
6. abroad.

1 R(S) 10/56


Detention in custody might be
1. after the start of the proceedings, for example remand in custody (1) or
2. after the proceedings have ended, for example sentence to prison.

1 R(IS) 1/94


Detention in custody does not include a period before proceedings begin where the
person is released on bail.


Conditions where a prisoner is entitled to UC

E3040 Single claimant E3030 E3041 E3042

The restriction on entitlement for prisoners is lifted during the first 6 months that the
person is a prisoner where
1. the person was entitled to UC as a single claimant immediately before
becoming a prisoner and
the calculation of their award included an amount for the housing costs
element (HCE) and
3. the person has not been sentenced to a term in custody expected to extend
beyond that 6 months (1).

1 UC Regs, reg 19(2)


Where E3040 applies and a prisoner remains entitled to UC then the award is
comprised only of the HCE (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 19(3)

Example 1

John is entitled to UC of 564.67 for an assessment period that runs from the 10th
of each month, the award is comprised of 314.67 for the standard allowance and
250 for the housing cost element. On 1.4.14 John is sentenced to 5 months in
prison. John's UC award is reduced to 250 from 10.3.14. (the first day of the
assessment period in which the change occurred) for the duration of his detention.

E3042 Couples

E3040 does not apply where the person was entitled to a joint award immediately
before become a prisoner. In this situation the partner who is not in prison should
claim UC as a single person and receive the single standard allowance and the
housing element.
Note: The couples income and capital are still aggregated.


Rosie and Jim are entitled to UC of 1247.70 a month, which is comprised of
997.70for the couple standard allowance including child elements for two children
and also 250 for the housing cost element. On 1.4.14 Rosie advises that Jim has
been sentenced to 4 months in prison (becoming a prisoner brings the joint claim to
an end). As Jim was entitled to a Joint award immediately before becoming a prison
he cannot now take advantage of the lifting of the restriction on entitlement for
prisoners . Rosie (as the person who notified the change) would have to make a new
claim as a single person and receive the single standard allowance for herself, the
children and the housing element.


E3050 Prisoner admitted to hospital E3001 E3031 E3031 E3053

The DM should establish the exact legislation used to admit a prisoner to hospital
because entitlement to UC is established only if the transfer is made under specified
provisions (1) within the Mental Health Act (see E3051 for an exception).
1 MH Act 83, MH (C & T) (Scot) Act 03, Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

E3051 Serving a sentence of imprisonment detained in hospital E3050

A person serving a sentence of imprisonment detained in hospital
1. under prescribed legislation (1) and
1.1 before the date on which the secretary of state certifies to be that
person's release date (2) (tariff date) or
under prescribed Scottish legislation (3)
is not entitled to UC (4) .
1 MH Act 83 s 47, s 45A; 2 MH Act 83, s 50(3); 3 MH (C & T) (Scot) Act 03 s 136,
Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, s 59A; 4 UC Regs, reg 19(4)


Adrian is transferred from Wormwood Scrubs prison to Broadmoor under the Mental
Health Act. He makes a claim to UC on the basis that Broadmoor is a hospital and
he should be treated as a patient not a prisoner. The DM establishes that the
transfer was made under section 47 of the 83 MH Act and as such determines that
Adrian is not entitled to UC because he is a prisoner serving a sentence of
imprisonment detained in hospital.


A person admitted to hospital as a technical lifer should be treated, for the purposes
of entitlement to UC, as though they had been given a hospital order (1) with no term of
imprisonment. This means that a person with technical lifer status is eligible for UC
as they are not a prisoner.
1 MH Act 83, s 37;
Note (1): A technical lifer (1) is an administrative classification which was given to certain
prisoners with a life sentence. It was given where the Secretary of State for Justice
accepted that the criminal court that heard the individual's case would have given an
order for hospital treatment rather than impose a sentence of imprisonment.
1 Regina (EM and others) v SoS for Work and Pensions [2009] EWHC 454 (Admin);
Note 2: The practice of treating prisoners as technical lifers was abandoned in 2005.
As a result the current number of technical lifers is fixed and will decrease over time.

E3053 Tariff date

A prisoner who remains in prison beyond their tariff date does not become eligible to
make a claim for UC - they are still prisoners. However a prisoner who is transferred
to hospital as described in E3050.1 will become eligible to claim UC when the tariff
date has been reached.
Note: A trial judge sets a tariff period which is effectively the "punishment" part of the
sentence. Once the tariff date has been reached the Parole Board can consider an
application for release. A release direction will only be made if the Parole Board is
satisfied that the prisoner would not pose an unacceptable risk to the public.
Otherwise they will remain in prison. A trial judge can decline to set a tariff period. In
the case of mandatory lifers this is called a 'whole life order'. It means that a prisoner
can never become eligible for a Parole Board review or for release.