Information updated 16/04/2019
We can not take responsibility for the accuracy of this information as Universal credit changes happen quickly and often quietly so please clarify the below information if in doubt.
Home educators are tied to the same rules as a schooled family, you will be expected to work. However the job centre are not allowed to tell you to use school as a child care option. We suggest not mentioning home education to the JC as we hear all too often people have their claims cancelled, or extra demands placed on them. You can look for evening work or daytime work etc, what ever suits you the best. There are home ed friendly child minders out there too.
We have not mentioned Child Benefit in the below comparisons as this is not affected by the changes. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit come under the wing of UC however we have not included these to try and keep this simple.
We asked for clarification of the rules, we take the following to mean that yes home educators can claim UC for under 16’s as they are children and place of education has no effect on UC. Post 16 also entitles you to claim UC as home education is an approved educational option. We would suggest you use terms like full-time, supervised, non-advanced study when describing the provision.
The guidance is not clear if children who start home education post 16 will still be entitled.
We assume UC will ask if you are eligible for child benefit, if you did not home educate prior to 16 or claim CB on the grounds of starting home educating a child 16+ with special needs, then you will not be entitled to UC for them.
Entitlement to Child Element of Universal Credit for a child over the age of 16 UC Reg 5 provides the definition of a Qualifying Young Person (QYP) and this regulation does not prescribe that a person must have special needs.
Reg 5 of Universal Credit Regulations 2013 defines a QYP as: 5.— (1) A person who has reached the age of 16 but not the age of 20 is a qualifying young person for the purposes of Part 1 of the Act and these Regulations:
(a) up to, but not including, the 1st September following their 16th birthday; and (b) up to, but not including, the 1st September following their 19th birthday, if they are enrolled on, or accepted for, approved training or a course of education:
(i) which is not a course of advanced education,
(ii) which is provided at a school or college or provided elsewhere but approved by the Secretary of State, and
(iii) where the average time spent during term time in receiving tuition, engaging in practical work or supervised study or taking examinations exceeds 12 hours per week.
(2) Where the young person is aged 19, they must have started the education or training or been enrolled on or accepted for it before reaching that age.
(3) The education or training referred to in paragraph (1) does not include education or training provided by means of a contract of employment.
(4) “Approved training” means training in pursuance of arrangements made under section 2(1) of the Employment and Training Act 1973(1) or section 2(3) of the Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Act 1990(2) which is approved by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this regulation.
(5) A person who is receiving universal credit, an employment and support allowance or a jobseeker’s allowance is not a qualifying young person.
Course of education
UC Reg 5(1)(b) requires that the course is non-advanced and of over 12 hours per week on average during term time. For example, if they working towards A-levels and studying a recognised A-level syllabus or doing a life skills course. Courses provided elsewhere other than at a school or college which are approved by the Secretary of State are also
included. The legislation does not refer to special needs.