UC Carers element backdate — Scope | Disability forum
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UC Carers element backdate

Jude82 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
Hi, is there a timescale even very roughly for MR of UC carers element backdate? I am
not sure if they are even going to reconsider my situation but I have requested a mandatory reconsideration of my carers element backdate. Essentially I was awarded PIP with standard care and enhanced mobility due to chronic daily migraine syndrome/long covid. I am not working as I physically can’t but I am still employed and on income protection wages from my employer. I was awarded in July backdated to April. I told UC and they said PIP doesn’t affect UC and so I didn’t need to do anything or send anything to them. My charity worker got in touch with with me in October and gave me a financial breakdown of my income and benefits etc due to the fact she is helping me with this and I am also awaiting a DLA decision for my son with ASD. On it she said you should be getting carers element as it’s a joint UC claim and your husband cares for you and you get PIP. She also said if they haven’t added it contact them and also ask that it is backdated. She said UC’s own guidance says that it doesn’t have to be reported within a certain time frame because it essentially goes hand in hand with the PIP award. UC came back and added carers element for my husband but refused to back date it because they say it doesn’t qualify for special circumstances or something. I have asked for them to look again based on the fact I asked them what I should do next and what evidence I should upload when I got the PIP decision and they said nothing… I didn’t know about the carers element and wasn’t told by them but we qualify for it. I asked for MR on 23/10 and not sure how long I will wait? UC just said no timescales. I mean I only wanted to know are we talking weeks? Months? Years? Can anyone help please? And what are my chances with this backdate? Thanks 


  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,858 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Jude82 - & welcome to the community. Had your husband previously reported on his journal that he was caring for you? If not, this might be the problem, & why they wouldn't consider any back pay.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 10,599 Scope online community team
    Hello @jude62 and a warm welcome to the community. 

    Have you ever previously mentioned to UC that your husband was caring for you or was your carer? And when you made them aware of PIP did you mention then that your husband was caring for you?
    Community Manager
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,180 Disability Gamechanger
    Up to 12 weeks for the MR decision. There's no automatic entitlement to carers element, you need to be caring for the person claiming a disability benefit for at least 35 hours per week.

    If your partner didn't report being your carer at any point once you were awarded PIP then they may refuse to backdate it.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Jude82
    Jude82 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks for the replies and the welcome. 12 weeks! Wow. Thankyou for that, it’s good to know what we are working with though  😊 So my husband didn’t state he was caring for me to UC because we didn’t even know the carers element existed. We knew he earned too much for a carers allowance and so we didn’t apply for that. The PIP claim knew that he was my carer though and it’s for more than 35 hours yes. It has been added to our UC October Award now. But I did write in my journal in July asking for advice on next steps with the PIP award but I didn’t specifically say he was a carer or that we wanted the carers element. As a novice with the disability side of UC wouldn’t it be nice if they had mentioned that it existed when I mentioned PIP otherwise how are people supposed to know about it. I did the MR and I will copy and paste the information from my charity worker about it and why I did that because it says basically it can be assumed my husband was caring for me from the date PIP awarded and so it should be backdated whether I reported him as a carer or not. Now I’m not so sure and maybe as you say that’s how they will be able to refuse the back pay 
  • Jude82
    Jude82 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    This was the explanation of my benefit calculation from my charity worker ( not included £ here)

    The first calculation shows what you should be receiving now (check your actual Universal Credit award is correct as it should include a carers element for your husband caring for you - if not you can ask for this to be included and backdated to the start of the PIP award)
    "In the case of UC where the claimant or a member of their family becomes entitled to another relevant benefit, ceases to be entitled or the rate of 
    another such benefit alters then the superseding decision takes effect from the first day of the assessment period in which entitlement to the other benefit or an alteration in its rate arises or 
    entitlement ends." SS Act 98, s 8(3); UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (D&A) Regs, Sch 1, Part 4, para 31(1) & 31(2)(a

    And just in case UC argue this there are examples in their advice for decision makers guide (ADM A4361) you can use:

    Example 1
    Sam has been in receipt of UC from 21.11.19. On 28.5.20 she was awarded CA from 30.3.20 meaning that
    she is also entitled to the carer element in UC. Sam didn't notify the change until 24.9.20. The 
    supersession effective date rule means that she did not have to report the change within a certain 
    period. The UC award is superseded on the grounds of a relevant change of circumstances and the carer 
    element is awarded from 21.3.20.
    Example 2
    Connor has been in receipt of UC from 14.12.18. On 11.5.21 his daughter was awarded DLA at the middle 
    rate from 8.2.21. He didn't notify the change until 26.5.21. The DM is satisfed that Connor had regular 
    and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person since 8.2.21 and so there is a clear 
    and direct link between the award of DLA and entitlement to the carer element. The supersession 
    effective date rule means that he did not have to report the change within a certain period. The UC award
    is superseded on the grounds of a relevant change of circumstances and the carer element is awarded 
    from 14.1.21
  • Jude82
    Jude82 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi 👋 so today I chased up the MR and they have stuck to their original decision citing late notification circumstances have been considered but not satisfied. I have appealed it now through tribunal and I logged that appeal this afternoon citing that there’s a direct link to receiving PIP and my husband caring for me and receiving Carers element and I could not have reported it any earlier than I did through either the wait for the PIP award to be made or the fact that I wasn’t even made aware of it when I notified them about the PIP. Regardless of whether I said the term carers element…. My argument is purely that UC’s own guidance says that the relevant qualifying benefit PIP supersedes UC criteria for carers element and so there is no timescale to report it. It should be awarded from the date you can prove you needed that care, ie/the successful benefit claim date. I’m just on here to update really. DWP have until 11th December to respond apparently and I will update with outcome……If only each department at the DWP spoke to each other eh? What a novelty that would be! PIP DM meet UC DM 👋 
  • Jude82
    Jude82 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    @poppy123456 @Adrian_Scope Hi! I know it’s been a while since this post but I just wanted to update on the outcome. I appealed and DWP didn’t respond by the 1st deadline, it was going to tribunal but they have reconsidered their position now ( funny that) they wrote to me today on my UC journal to agree that my husband should have got carers element from March 2023 to September 2023 and so now I’m awaiting my backdate £. 👏🏻 
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,093 Disability Gamechanger
    That's great news @Jude82! :) Must feel like such a relief <3 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Jude82
    Jude82 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thankyou 😊 Yes it certainly does. It’s not ok that people have to appeal decisions so much to get what they are entitled to though. I mean I quoted their own guidance to them back in September and they still said no and refused to backdate the carers element and then today they literally quoted it right back at me in my letter to explain why they have now changed their mind and reversed the decision in my favour. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 
  • Lou67
    Lou67 Community member Posts: 5,864 Disability Gamechanger

    That’s great news and well done for going all the way with it, and getting what yous are entitled to.
    It’s just a shame you had to jump through hoops to get it. 

    Why don’t you stick around and join in some of the chats or the games. 
    It’s a great friendly community.

    Take care 😊


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