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Thread: Question regarding severe disability premium eligibility

  1. #1

    Question regarding severe disability premium eligibility

    Hi all,

    I am currently on income related ESA (support group) and have recently been awarded PIP. The question I have regarding SDP eligibility is that I currently rent a 2 bedroom flat and my niece would like to stay with me whilst she completes a 2 year nursing course in London (she normally lives in Northern Ireland with my sister). She is currently 22 years old.

    She would not be paying rent but would be covering her share of the bills and would be going back home out of term time. She would also not be responsible (or conducting) for any of my care and I do not have any carers anyway.

    My questions are:-

    1. Does that situation exclude me from SDP?

    2. If so, would it make any difference if she did pay rent?

    Thanks for any replies

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    It sounds likely in the scenario you give that your niece would be a non-dependant if she shared your flat.

    However, she is not a 'close relative', so may well not be a non-dependant if she either
    • sublet from you on a commercial rent under a tenancy agreement (which assumes that you are allowed under your own tenancy agreement to sublet part of the flat - you may not be), or
    • lodged with you at a commercial cost under contract (which assumes that you are allowed lodgers under your tenancy agreement - again, you may not be)


    If she lives with you and is a non-dependant, she will disqualify you from receiving SDP if she is normally resident at your address. This depends on the facts, but the number of weeks per year that a nursing course entails suggests she might be held to be normally resident with you.


    There's also potential Housing Benefit and Council Tax Help considerations if you receive either of those. HB and CTH may well be reduced significantly in any of the conceivable scenarios.

    If you do charge anything, that money might be treated as income for ESA purposes, so you would lose some or all of your ESA as a result.


    Basically, you are entering into a minefield. If you are serious about pursuing this, I suggest obtaining bespoke legal advice.

  3. #3
    Hi Flymo,

    Thanks for the reply. As far as I understand, the PIP (daily living part) exempts me from any housing benefit deductions and my ESA support group component exempts me from council tax (and even if it didn't, she is a full time student anyway) so I believe my only concerns would be regarding the SDP claim.

    Do you know if nieces/nephews are officially not regarded as close family or if that's open to interpretation?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    44113 Single claimants, lone parents and claimants who are deemed to have no partner
    (see DMG 44116) are entitled to the lower rate SDP if

    1. they are in receipt of
    1.1 the middle or highest rate of the care component of DLA or
    1.2 “AA” or
    1.3 the daily living component of PIP or
    1.4 AFIP and
    2. there are no non-dependants aged 18 or over
    2.1 normally residing (see DMG 44125) with the claimant or
    2.2 who the claimant normally resides with and
    3. CA is not in payment to anyone for caring for them (see DMG 44156).

    Your niece would be classed as a non dependent as DWP define as



    Non-dependants
    44119 Non-dependants are
    1
    people who are aged 18 or over who
    1. normally reside with the claimant or
    2. the claimant normally resides with (see DMG 44125).


    It does not matter if it was a friend living with you/ a person off the street or your mother, it means that you would not be entitled to SDP if your niece comes to live with you.

    Info is from the Decision Makers Guide: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...77/dmgch44.pdf

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by toolook View Post
    44113 Single claimants, lone parents and claimants who are deemed to have no partner
    (see DMG 44116) are entitled to the lower rate SDP if

    1. they are in receipt of
    1.1 the middle or highest rate of the care component of DLA or
    1.2 “AA” or
    1.3 the daily living component of PIP or
    1.4 AFIP and
    2. there are no non-dependants aged 18 or over
    2.1 normally residing (see DMG 44125) with the claimant or
    2.2 who the claimant normally resides with and
    3. CA is not in payment to anyone for caring for them (see DMG 44156).

    Your niece would be classed as a non dependent as DWP define as



    Non-dependants
    44119 Non-dependants are
    1
    people who are aged 18 or over who
    1. normally reside with the claimant or
    2. the claimant normally resides with (see DMG 44125).


    It does not matter if it was a friend living with you/ a person off the street or your mother, it means that you would not be entitled to SDP if your niece comes to live with you.

    Info is from the Decision Makers Guide: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...77/dmgch44.pdf
    There are various rules which come into play which discount people as being classed as non-dependants. In my circumstance I am interested in the following rule:-

    "Any person who is not a close relative of you are your partner and jointly occupies your dwelling as a co-owner or who is sharing liability to make rent payments, a joint tenant cannot count as a non dependant. If the co-owner or jpint tenant is a close relative they will count as a non dependant and will exclude you from being awarded the severe disability premium."

    That is why I ask if a niece is counted as a close relative (legally speaking), were she to pay rent.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,512
    Housing Benefit should be as you say now that you've clarified you have the PIP Daily Living component.

    Council Tax Help has to be checked with your council, as every council now has their own scheme (unlike the old Council Tax Benefit).


    The meaning of 'close relative' is clear - it can be found in regulation 2 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/794). The law on civil partnerships has extended these relationships to include like relationships formed from a civil partnership rather than a marriage, but that makes no difference here.

    However, as I indicated, it is a matter of weighing the facts as to whether a rent or charge is at a commercial rate and where your niece is normally resident. That uncertainly is why I encouraged you to get legal advice.

  7. #7
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    Guest
    The problem is not a question of close relative but if anyone shares your accommodation with you, you will not be entitled to SDP. As I said it does not matter if the person is your niece or a stranger off the street. It is any non-dependent as I have stated in my previous post, this info comes direct from the DWP, who will apply the same rule.

    If she starts to live with you she will be classed as normally resident from your property.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by toolook View Post
    The problem is not a question of close relative but if anyone shares your accommodation with you, you will not be entitled to SDP. As I said it does not matter if the person is your niece or a stranger off the street. It is any non-dependent as I have stated in my previous post, this info comes direct from the DWP, who will apply the same rule.

    If she starts to live with you she will be classed as normally resident from your property.
    Yes I understand that, but there are rules which determine whether someone is classed as a non-dependant. That is what I am trying to determine

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
    Housing Benefit should be as you say now that you've clarified you have the PIP Daily Living component.

    Council Tax Help has to be checked with your council, as every council now has their own scheme (unlike the old Council Tax Benefit).


    The meaning of 'close relative' is clear - it can be found in regulation 2 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/794). The law on civil partnerships has extended these relationships to include like relationships formed from a civil partnership rather than a marriage, but that makes no difference here.

    However, as I indicated, it is a matter of weighing the facts as to whether a rent or charge is at a commercial rate and where your niece is normally resident. That uncertainly is why I encouraged you to get legal advice.
    Thanks for the link, I found 2 points to be of interest but which don't seem to make full sense:-

    1. “close relative” means a parent, parent-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-son, step-daughter, brother, sister, or if any of the preceding persons is one member of a couple, the other member of that couple;

    2. “relative” means close relative, grand-parent, grand-child, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece;

    The first one does not include nieces. Therefore, my understanding is... if point 1 is correct and that she is not legally regarded as a close relative and that she were to pay rent under a tenancy agreement, she would not be regarded as a non-dependant.

  10. #10
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    Guest
    I don't think you understand what non-dependent is. It means anyone who is not dependent on you e.g a child would be a dependent until he or she reaches 18, where they would be classed as a non-dependent

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