Charles Ellinson

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

Following the rollout of Universal Credit, some of the rules surrounding the assessment of claims to the NHS Low Income Scheme (for those not automatically entitled via their UC claim) would seem to require amending.

In particular, the entire UC award is taken into account as 'income' (including the child element and childcare element of UC), whereas the 'requirements' calculation does not include any corresponding amounts.

By comparison, under the tax credits system, Child Tax Credit, and the childcare element of Working Tax Credit were excluded from the 'income' calculation. It was therefore logical for such costs to also be excluded from the 'requirements' calculation.

It would therefore seem equitable for the rules to be amended to EITHER reduce the amount of the UC award taken into account as 'income' OR to include amounts for children and childcare in the 'requirements' calculation.

While many UC claimants will be 'passported' to full help with their health costs due to the level of their income, this does not cover everyone. In particular, those with high housing costs will often miss out.

Please can you release any documents/information held by the Department regarding this issue, and whether there are any plans for amendments to be made to the regulations.

(Please note: this request was originally made to NHSBSA, who advised to ask the DHSC.)

Yours faithfully,

Charles Ellinson

Department of Health and Social Care

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Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ellinson,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1515417).

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

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