Universal Credit entitlement and absence from GB. The Habitual Residence Test and e-HRT tool

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Requests for information for British, Northern Irish, Irish nationals with a live UC claim.

[1.] Can a Universal Credit claimant be absent from Great Britain for one week every month during a 52 week year for the only purpose of visiting their children who live outside GB permanently and not lose any UC entitlement whilst complying with all UC conditions whilst absent?

[2.] And can a UC claimant take a 3 week holiday 3 or more times a year outside GB without losing UC entitlement whilst complying with all UC conditions whilst absent?

What legislation applies to [1.] and [2.] and will an Habitual Residence Test apply to GB absences mentioned in [1.] and [2.] Please disclose your internal UC guidance that covers GB absences in [1.] and [2.]

[e-HRT tool] Please provide screenshots of your e-HRT tool (concerning all nationalities), guidance and training material that relates to tool use and outcomes, with screensshots that shows all the relevant claimant information and circumstances that can be gathered, all the questions that can be asked as well as a summary of the Management Information (MI) that is collected for DWP HRT and the e-HRT tool use and a copy of all e-HRT MI for the the month of January 2018.

The Universal Credit Regulations 2013 Regulation 11 refers to "one month" GB absence, to quote:

11.—(1) A person’s temporary absence from Great Britain is disregarded in determining whether they meet the basic condition to be in Great Britain if—

(a) the person is entitled to universal credit immediately before the beginning of the period of temporary absence; and
(b) either—
(i) the absence is not expected to exceed, and does not exceed, one month, or
www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/376/reg...

However, in your guidance:

'Claimant reports a temporary absence for a holiday'
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

It states

"...if they choose to go on holiday they must continue to
carry out the work-related requirements as set out on their Claimant Commitment and they:
- will still be expected to complete all mandatory activity including attendances at any
appointment or provision
- will not be able to conduct their ongoing Work Search Review at any office other than
their home office or have them arranged for a later date
- could be subject to a sanction and lose some or all of their Universal Credit payments
if they do not fulfil all the requirements in their Claimant Commitment in full

Therefore which legislation and regulations and sections specifically require a claimant absent from GB to:

"fulfil all the requirements in their Claimant Commitment in full" ?
and
"will still be expected to complete all mandatory activity including attendances at any
appointment or provision"?
and
" will not be able to conduct their ongoing Work Search Review at any office other than
their home office or have them arranged for a later date "?
and
"could be subject to a sanction and lose some or all of their Universal Credit payments
if they do not fulfil all the requirements in their Claimant Commitment in full"?
and
" will still be expected to be immediately available to attend a job interview or take
up an offer of employment, even if this means cutting short a holiday"
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

Reference:
Habitual Residence Test
http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPaper...
DEP2019-0465 www.parliament.uk/business/publications/...

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

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Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

I wish to amend my request to:

Requests for information in connection to British, Northern Irish, Irish nationals with a live UC claim.

[1.] Can a Universal Credit claimant be absent from Great Britain for one week every month during a 52 week year for the only purpose of visiting their children who live outside GB permanently and not lose any UC entitlement whilst complying with all UC conditions whilst absent?

[2.] And can a UC claimant take a 3 week holiday 3 or more times a year outside GB without losing UC entitlement whilst complying with all UC conditions whilst absent?

What legislation applies to [1.] and [2.] and will an Habitual Residence Test apply to GB absences mentioned in [1.] and [2.] Please disclose your internal UC guidance that covers GB absences in [1.] and [2.]

[e-HRT tool] Please provide screenshots of your e-HRT tool (concerning all nationalities), guidance and training material that relates to tool use and outcomes, with screensshots that shows all the relevant claimant information and circumstances that can be gathered, all the questions that can be asked as well as a summary of the Management Information (MI) that is collected for DWP HRT and the e-HRT tool use and a copy of all e-HRT MI for the the month of January 2018.

The Universal Credit Regulations 2013 Regulation 11 refers to "one month" GB absence, to quote:

11.—(1) A person’s temporary absence from Great Britain is disregarded in determining whether they meet the basic condition to be in Great Britain if—

(a) the person is entitled to universal credit immediately before the beginning of the period of temporary absence; and
(b) either—
(i) the absence is not expected to exceed, and does not exceed, one month, or
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/...

However, in your guidance:

'Claimant reports a temporary absence for a holiday'
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

It states

"...if they choose to go on holiday they must continue to
carry out the work-related requirements as set out on their Claimant Commitment and they:
- will still be expected to complete all mandatory activity including attendances at any
appointment or provision
- will not be able to conduct their ongoing Work Search Review at any office other than
their home office or have them arranged for a later date
- could be subject to a sanction and lose some or all of their Universal Credit payments
if they do not fulfil all the requirements in their Claimant Commitment in full

Therefore which legislation and regulations and sections specifically require a claimant absent from GB to:

"fulfil all the requirements in their Claimant Commitment in full" ?
and
"will still be expected to complete all mandatory activity including attendances at any
appointment or provision"?
and
" will not be able to conduct their ongoing Work Search Review at any office other than
their home office or have them arranged for a later date "?
and
"could be subject to a sanction and lose some or all of their Universal Credit payments
if they do not fulfil all the requirements in their Claimant Commitment in full"?
and
" will still be expected to be immediately available to attend a job interview or take
up an offer of employment, even if this means cutting short a holiday"
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

In your HRT UC guidance:
http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPaper...
it refers to:

"The PYCA service contains straightforward questions to identify whether a claim can be fast-tracked to the
DM without the need for a full HRT interview. It tells the user what evidence they need to gather to
enable the DM to make the Habitual Residence Test decision"

Please email me a copy in plain text of all the PYCA "straightforward questions" and details of the types and categories of evidence the PYCA service would gather for all nationalities.

Reference:
Habitual Residence Test
http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPaper...
DEP2019-0465 http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...

Yours sincerely,

Frank Zola

no-reply@dwp.ecase.co.uk on behalf of DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

1 Atodiad

Dear Frank Zola,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 24th
April.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team