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Chapter F1: Child Element

Contents
F1001:Introduction

Child element qualifying conditions
F1005:General
F1006:Who is the responsible person
F1010:Normally lives
F1013:Main responsibility
F1015:Who can have main responsibility
F1019:Who is not the responsible person
F1021:Looked after by a LA
F1023:Respite care
Child or qualifying young person temporarily absent
F1030:General absence
F1032:Temporarily absent from GB
F1050:Run on after death
F1060:Rates of allowance
F1070:Disabled child addition
F1072:Rate of disabled child addition
F1074:Run on after death
Definitions
F1090:Child
F1091:Close relative
F1092:Parental responsibility
F1093:Qualifying young person
F1095:Approved training
F1096:Non-advanced education

Chapter F1: Child Element

F1001 Introduction

Support for children will be made within UC by a child element and, where
appropriate, a disabled child addition. The eligibility for the inclusion of such amounts
is based on each child or qualifying young person for whom the claimant is
responsible.

[F1002-F1004]

Child element qualifying conditions

F1005 General F1070

The claimant's maximum amount should include an amount for any
1. child or
2. qualifying young person
for whom the claimant is responsible (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 10

F1006 Who is the responsible person? F1010

[See memo ADM 9 14 [not found]] The responsible person is
1. the person with whom the child or qualifying young person normally lives (1) or
2. where the child or qualifying young person normally lives with two or more
persons who are not a couple, the person who has main responsibility (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 4(2); 2 reg 4(4)

[F1007-F1009]

F1010 Normally lives

"Normally lives" is not defined in legislation and should be given the meaning that a
child or qualifying young person normally lives with a person where they spend more
time with that person than with anyone else.
Note: which person gets CHB is not taken into account.

Example 1

Alan and Frances have a daughter, Gail, who lives from Monday to Friday with her
grandmother. She spends the majority of weekends and all school holidays with her
mother and father. Gail normally lives with her grandmother and she is the
responsible person for Gail. Even though Gail lives with Alan and Frances for
several full weeks during the holidays they cannot claim responsibility during this
period because Gail's grandmother is able to retain responsibility throughout periods
of temporary absence.

Example 2

Alan's 14 year old son Eric has recently left LA care. He spends Monday to Thursday
nights with his mother, Frances, and Friday to Sunday nights with his father Alan and
step mother Barbara. Eric normally lives with Frances for part of each week and
normally lives with Alan for the balance of each week. However, for the purposes of
the normally lives test at F1006.1 Frances is the responsible person because Eric
lives with her for the majority of the time.

Example 3

Marcus and Leanne are separated and share the care of their twins girls April and
Amber. April lives with Marcus on weekdays, as he lives closer to her school, but
spends weekends and part of the school holidays with her mother and sister. She is
registered with her school as living at Marcus's address. Amber is disabled and
Leanne cares for her at home full time. Amber has been awarded Disability Living
Allowance. Marcus works full time and has not claimed any benefits. Leanne makes
a new claim to Universal Credit for herself, April and Amber.
DM decides that, as April spends more time with Marcus, she normally lives with
him, and that Leanne cannot receive the child element for her. However, Leanne is
awarded the child element and the disabled child addition for Amber.

[F1011-F1012]

F1013 Main responsibility

Where the child or qualifying young person normally lives with two or more persons
who are not a couple, because they have an equal or near equal arrangement, the
deciding factor will be the person who has main responsibility. Who has that main
responsibility (1)should be decided between the persons with whom the child or
qualifying young person normally lives.

1 UC Regs, reg 4(4)

F1014

If
1. joint agreement cannot be reached as to which person has main responsibility
or
2. in the opinion of the DM the choice of person with main responsibility does not
reflect the actual arrangements
the DM may determine which person has main responsibility (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 4(5)

F1015 Who can have main responsibility?

If the DM is required to determine who has main responsibility they should note that;
main responsibility is not defined in regulations and should be given the meaning of
the person who is normally answerable for, or called to account for the child or
young person. In determining who has the main responsibility for a child or young
person consideration should be given to:
1. Who the child normally lives with
2. Who makes day to day decisions about the child's welfare including, for
example, arranging and taking them to visits to the doctor or dentist or
enrolling and taking the child to and from school?
3. Who provides the child with clothing, shoes, toiletries and other items needed
for daily use?
4. Who is the main contact for the child's school, doctor and dentist?
5. Who cares for the child when the child is ill?
This list should not be considered exhaustive.

Example 1

Alan lives with his partner Barbara, his daughter Caroline aged 15 and Caroline's 1
year old daughter, Danielle. Alan and Barbara support Caroline to care for Danielle.
Caroline has returned to school and does not receive any support from Danielle's
father. Danielle has a long term health condition. As Caroline is 15, Alan has
registered Danielle with the GP and is also the main contact for the hospital where
Danielle has regular appointments. Caroline usually takes Danielle to appointments
accompanied by Alan. When Danielle is ill, Alan and Barbara take care of her so
Caroline can attend school and complete her coursework. Alan becomes
unemployed and claims Universal Credit for Barbara, Caroline and Danielle.
As Danielle lives with both Caroline and Alan equally they need to nominate which of
them has main responsibility; they cannot decide. The decision falls to the DM who
decides that Alan has main responsibility for her as he provides food, clothing,
toiletries and all other items needed for her welfare and maintenance. He also is the
main contact for the GP and hospital although Caroline also attends the
appointments. The DM also takes Caroline's age into account as, at 15, she is below
the minimum age needed to make her own claim to Universal Credit and Alan is still
responsible for her.
Note: When Caroline becomes 16 the family may agree that she should now have
main responsibility for Danielle and Caroline can claim Universal Credit as a lone
parent. Danielle and Caroline would be removed from Alan's claim.

Example 2

Philip and Susan are divorced and have a son, Michael, who is 12 years old. Michael
spends alternate weeks living with Philip or Susan throughout the year. Philip and
Susan both pay equal fixed sums into a joint account each month which is used to
buy clothing, shoes and other items Michael needs as well as paying for any school
related expenses. Philip works part time and Susan is unemployed. Philip and Susan
each claim Universal Credit with their new partners. Both want to add Michael to
their claim and cannot agree on which of them should receive the child element.
The DM decides that Michael spends equal amounts of time living with both of his
parents and that they both contribute equally to his day to day needs. However, the
DM discovers that Susan makes appointments and takes Michael to the GP and to
dentist appointments even if it is a week in which Michael is staying with Philip. Philip
and Susan jointly decide which school to enrol Michael in but Susan is the primary
contact and always attends parent's evenings. Susan also shops for items that
Michael needs. The DM decides that Susan is normally called to account for Michael
and so has main responsibility and awards the child element to her.

[F1016-F1018]

F1019 Who is not the responsible person?

A person cannot be responsible for a qualifying young person with whom they live as
part of a couple (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 4(3)

Example

Jane is aged 17 living as a couple with Tom aged 20. Jane is still in education and
meets the criteria to be a qualifying young person therefore Tom cannot be
responsible for her.

F1020

A child or qualifying young person is not treated as being the responsibility of any
person when the child or young person is
1. being looked after by a LA (1) (other than in the circumstances described at
F1023) or
2. being held in custody pending trial or sentencing or
3. in custody serving a sentence imposed by a court or
4. on temporary leave from prison under specified legislation (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 2 (1); 2 UC Regs, reg 4(6)

Example

Jason (a qualifying young person) and part of his parents UC benefit unit is sent to
prison for 4 months. Although Jason will be absent for less that 6 months his parents
are no longer treated as responsible for him and the child element is removed from
the first day of the assessment period in which he became a prisoner.
Note: as Jason's imprisonment is for a period of less than 6 months his parents can
retain their renter's bedroom allocation.

F1021 Looked after by a LA

A looked after child is one where the LA has responsibility for that child's
maintenance and care including a duty (1) to accommodate the child and have a care
plan. The child may be placed with a foster parent, another family member, their
parent or a person who has parental responsibility.

1 Children Act 89 s 22; Children (Scotland) Act 95 s 17(6)

F1022

If the child is looked after, the LA will be obliged to provide financial support and the
responsible parent will no longer be eligible for the child element, other than in the
circumstances described in F1023.

F1023 Respite care F1020 F1022 F1024 F1025

A child or qualifying young person is treated as still normally living with the
responsible person during a period where they are looked after by a LA because
they are on
1. a short break or
2. a series of short breaks (1)
for the purpose of providing respite for the person who normally cares for the child or
qualifying young person.
1 UC Regs, reg 4(4A)
Note: Children receiving respite care will not all be looked after. The LA can provide
short breaks without giving the child looked after status

Example 1

Stan is taken into LA care and is placed with foster parents. He is looked after by the
LA therefore no temporary absence period is allowed and he is removed from his
parent's award for the first day of the assessment period in which he was taken into
care.

Example 2

Rueben has a severely disabled son, Ryan, who normally lives with him and for
whom Rueben is a full time carer. Ryan's social worker, Rebecca, has assessed that
that Rueben needs a break from caring and that Ryan might benefit from interacting
with other people. She puts a care plan in place under which she arranges for Ryan
to spend one weekend each month living in a local authority run residential care
home for children. Rebecca confirms that while he is accommodated in the
residential care home, Ryan will be considered looked after by the local authority, but
that this status ends when Ryan is returned home.
The DM decides that Rueben will continue to be eligible for the child element and
disabled child addition during Ryan's series of short breaks for respite care and
during which he has looked after status.

Example 3

Rueben successfully applies for Ryan to attend a residential school for disabled
children in another town. Over the course of a year, Ryan will stay at the school for
three terms each lasting for 10 to 12 weeks, separated by school holidays. He will
return home to Rueben during school holidays and on some weekends. Ryan will not
stay in the residential school for longer than (12) weeks before returning home.
Rebecca confirms that Ryan will not be considered looked after by the local authority
while accommodated in the school. Reuben is able to visit Ryan at the school when
he wishes to do so.
Rueben is able to continue to receive the child element and disabled child addition
as for each of Ryan's absences from home he is not considered to be looked after.

F1024

A child or qualifying young person is treated as still normally living with the
responsible person during a period described at F1023 where they are looked after
by a LA and placed with
1. their parent
or
2. a person who has parental responsibility for them (1)
1 UC Regs, reg 4(4A)
Note: A person does not have parental responsibility if they are a foster parent or, in
Scotland, a Kinship carer.

F1025

The duration of a short break, described at F1023, is not prescribed but DMs should
note that any single period of absence (for whatever reason) that exceeds or is
expected to exceed 6 months will mean the person is no longer responsible for the
child.
Note: see ADM chapter F3 for how this effects the room allocation for housing costs

Example

Rebecca visits Rueben and Ryan and her assessment shows that Ryan is benefiting
from his time in the residential care home for children. She arranges for Ryan to
spend three months living in the residential care home for medical reasons after
which time he will return home to Rueben. Rebecca confirms that Ryan will be
looked after by the local authority while he is in the residential care home.
Rueben will not be eligible for the child element or the disabled child addition as
Ryan has become looked after for a reason other than respite care.
Note: Rueben will become eligible for the child element and disabled child addition
when Ryan returns home.

[F1026-F1029]

Child or qualifying young person temporarily absent

F1030 General absence

A child or qualifying young person may be absent and living away from the
responsible person and benefit unit. In certain circumstances a claimant will cease to
be responsible for an absent child or qualifying young person.

F1031

Do not treat the claimant as responsible for a child or young person where that child
or young person is
1. absent from the household or
2. expected to be absent from the household
for 6 months (1) or more.
1 UC Regs, reg 4(7)(a)

Example 1

Nick is absent from his mother's house for 6 weeks during the school holidays
during which time he is living with his father in Brighton. Nick is temporarily absent
and still included in his mothers benefit unit for the whole period of absence.

Example 2

Stan is absent in hospital for an unknown period. He is considered to be temporarily
absent for the next 6 months. After 5 months Stan's parents report that he will have
to remain in hospital for at least a further 3 months. The DM is now aware that the
absence period will exceed 6 months (5 months already passed + anticipated 3
months) and so Stan is removed from his parents benefit assessment. This change
in circumstances will be effective from the first day of the assessment period in
which the notification of Stan's prolonged stay is received.

F1032 Temporarily absent from GB F1033 F1034

Do not treat the claimant as responsible for a child or young person where that child
or young person is
1. absent
or
2. expected to be absent
from GB for 1 month (1) or more.

1 UC Regs, reg 4(7)(b)

F1033

The absence period in F1032 above can be extended by up to a further month (1) if the
temporary absence is in connection with the death of a close relative of the child or
qualifying young person. See F1091 for the meaning of close relative.
1 UC Regs, reg 4(7)(b)

Example 1

Nick is absent from his mothers house for 6 weeks during the school holidays during
which time he lives with his father in Spain. No temporary absence period is allowed
and he is removed from his mother's assessment from the outset of his absence.

Example 2

Nick is absent from his mothers house for 4 weeks during the school holidays during
which time he lives with his father in Spain. Nick is temporarily absent during which
time his Mother retains the child element.

F1034

The absence period in F1032 can also be for a duration of up to 6 months (1) where
that absence is in connection with the child or qualifying young person undergoing
1. treatment for an illness or physical or mental disability by, or under the
supervision of, a qualified practioner or
2. medically approved convalescence or care as a result of treatment for an
illness or physical or mental disability, where the person had that illness or
disability before leaving GB.
1 UC Regs, reg 4(7)(b)
Note: "medically approved" means (1) certified by a medical practitioner
1 UC Regs, reg 11(5)

[F1035-F1049]

F1050 Run on after death

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

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.

[F1051-F1059]

F1060 Rates of allowance

There will be a separate rate of child element (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)
Child element
First child or qualifying young person
274.58
Second and each subsequent child or qualifying young person
229.17

[F1061-F1069]

F1070 Disabled child addition

In addition to the child element described at F1005, a further amount is included in
the calculation of the UC maximum amount for each child or qualifying young person
who is disabled (1). This will be awarded at either a lower or a higher rate in addition to
the child element.

1 UC Regs, reg 24(2)

F1071

Disabled is not defined but for the purpose of this addition should be taken to mean
a person who is
1. registered blind
or
2. entitled to DLA or PIP.

F1072 Rate of disabled child addition

Unless F1073 applies, the lower rate of disabled child addition (1) is included where the
child or qualifying young person is
1. entitled to DLA or
2. entitled to PIP.

1 UC Regs, reg 24(2)(a)

F1073 F1072

The higher rate of disabled child addition (1) is included where the child or qualifying
young person is
1.
entitled to the care component of DLA at the highest rate or
2. entitled to the daily living component of PIP at the enhanced rate or
3. registered as blind under prescribed legislation (2)
1 UC Regs, reg 24(2)(b); 2 N A Act s 29; Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994 s 2
Additional amount for disabled child or qualifying young person
Lower rate
124.86
Higher rate
362.92

F1074 Run on after death

Where
1.
a claimant's award of UC includes a disabled child addition for a child or
qualifying young person for whom they are responsible and
2. that child or qualifying young person dies
the disabled child addition 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

[F1075-F1089]

Definitions

F1090 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

F1091 Close relative F1033

A close relative in relation to a person means (1)
1. parent
2. parent-in-law
3. son
4. son-in-law
5. daughter
6. daughter-in-law
7. step-parent
8. step-son
9. step-daughter
10. brother
11. sister
12. where any of 1. - 11. is a member of a couple, the other member of the
couple.
1 UC Regs, reg 2

F1092 Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and
authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his
property (1).
1. Children Act 1989, s3: Children (Scotland) Act 1995, s 1 or 2

F1093 Qualifying young person F1094

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

F1094

Any person who falls within F1093 is not a qualifying young person if they are
receiving UC, JSA or ESA (1)
1 UC Regs, reg 5(5)

F1095 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)

F1096 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.

[F1097-F9999]