BENEFITS EXPERT: My husband has been told he needs a fit note, is this right?

Q. Myself and my partner have recently made a joint claim for Universal Credit. My partner has recently started to be paid his State Pension, prior to this he was being paid Contribution Based ESA and was in the Support Group.

There should be no circumstances in which the provision of a fit note would be required for this claim.
There should be no circumstances in which the provision of a fit note would be required for this claim.

He also receives both components of PIP and both of these are paid at the enhanced rate. I receive Carer’s Allowance.

The DWP have advised that my husband has to provide a fit note as part of the claiming process, is this correct?

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A. There should be no circumstances in which the provision of a fit note would be required for this claim. Firstly, as a pensioner your husband shouldn’t have any claimant commitments as a condition to get paid, i.e. he has retired and thus doesn’t have to job seek, prove he is incapable of work or is a carer.

Furthermore his pre-retirement status i.e. a person getting CB ESA and who is in the Support Group would retain this status when transferring over to Universal Credit.

So again if you were both under State Pension Age there wouldn’t be any requirement to provide a fit note, as your partner has already been accepted as being incapable of work on his legacy benefit claim the status is retained for the Universal Credit claim.

Finally as your partner gets enhanced daily living for his PIP then again he should be accepted as having Limited Capability for a Work Related Activity, meaning the Universal Credit will include extra money even though your husband isn’t working nor required to job seek due to his status as a pensioner.

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In this situation I can only assume the person you have been dealing with at the DWP is unaware of these rules and you may wish to draw their attention to the above points.

Q. I’m currently on maternity leave after having my first child. I’m planning to return to work on reduced hours but I’m also thinking of doing a course at college.

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The course isn’t one in which I’d get a student loan and is only a few hours a week. Can I still get Universal Credit if I study?

A. Yes, as a single parent you can still receive UC whilst attending a course, the position is the same if the course was full or part time, there is no student income so the only income taken into account will be your earnings when you return to work.

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Single parents have no job seeking commitments for any children you have under the age of five.