UC and HB – when is a claimant “on” UC?

A client is currently getting about £55 tax credits, and £50 HB in temporary accommodation. They’d be better off on UC because it would passport them for full HB (£140). But their employer pays four weekly and their earnings vary – so it looks like they will dip in and out of UC. How does this affect HB?

HB Regs (Para 12, Sch 4) says all earnings are disregarded “where a claimant is on universal credit”. Is a person still “on” UC if they get a nil award one month but immediately reclaim within the HB week? Or will all of their earnings be retrospectively counted for HB for the UC AP?

N.B. The wording is the same for the disregard for non-earned income and capital in Schs 5 & 6, but these aren’t relevant for my client.

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