IS as a carer: beating the 27 January closing of the SDP gateway

We have a client who has been receiving IS as a carer. He also has PIP so he is entitled to DP, EDP, and SDP as well as carer premium. He gets CA. He has never been assessed for LCW/LCWRA. Lives alone, no children.

The person he has been caring for has been in hospital and is moving permanently to a care home so his CA and IS will end. He has to decide whether to apply for ESA, JSA (“old-style” in both cases) or UC.  As far as we can see there is no advantage to claiming UC. If the 27 January deadline wasn’t looming we would advise him to carry on with his IS to the end of the 8-week limit under the IS (General) Regs 1987 Sched 1B para 5 and then apply for JSA. If he subsequently discovered his capability for work was limited he could then apply for ESA. The problem is that the 8 weeks takes him past 27 January, when neither ESA or JSA will be available. So two questions: (1) can he abandon his IS award early so as to apply for JSA or ESA before 27/1/21? (2) If he opts for either legacy benefit and that doesn’t work out, but after 27/1/21, will he have no choice then but to apply for UC?
http://dlvr.it/RqQhqh

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