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Universal Credit - definition of temporary absence

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Universal Credit - definition of temporary absence

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
5 replies 720 views
trf0412trf0412 Forumite
11 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
Universal Credit legislation states: (6) Where the claimant is a member of a couple, and the other member is temporarily absent from the claimant’s household, they cease to be treated as a couple if that absence is expected to exceed, or does exceed, 6 months.


But there appears to be no legal definition of "temporary absence". What if the "other member" of the couple has to temporarily work away from home for a year, but visits the family home at weekends?

Replies

  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    They are returning to the home every week therefore are not absent. Plenty of people work away from home all week and return at weekends.
  • Thanks for the reply. I agree, the fact that this isn't a particularly unusual situation would suggest that being away for work Mon-Fri over 12 months doesn't qualify as a temporary absence.


    Stories like this confuse matters a little, though... (sorry, I can't post links, but Googling this should bring up the story: "CH/3747/2013 — Couple who lived separately but spent weekends together were not ‘couple’ for benefit purposes")
  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    trf0412 wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply. I agree, the fact that this isn't a particularly unusual situation would suggest that being away for work Mon-Fri over 12 months doesn't qualify as a temporary absence.


    Stories like this confuse matters a little, though... (sorry, I can't post links, but Googling this should bring up the story: "CH/3747/2013 — Couple who lived separately but spent weekends together were not ‘couple’ for benefit purposes")


    That's different to a situation where a person's job takes them away during the week, or even more extended periods. Long distance drivers, oil rig workers are just two examples where they would still be classed as a couple despite spending extended periods apart.
  • tomtom256tomtom256 Forumite
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    The only situation I can think of would be where a partner goes to jail for longer then six months.
  • Yes, I see your point. In one scenario, living apart is the default state and the weekend visits are just that (i.e. visits), while in the other case the default state is living together (and so it’s not a case of “visiting” at the weekend, but rather “returning home” for the weekend).

    So really the only work-related situation where the 6-month rule might apply is where someone, for whatever reason, is unable to get back home for that length of time (and that is highly unlikely if the person is in the UK).
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