DWP Guidance

The DWP publish guidance for Jobcentre Plus staff to follow. Advice for Decision Makers is set out in a great many volumes for different benefits and different circumstances and is available to the public online if you know where to look.

Service user and carer involvement has two benefit rules that are different to benefit rules for work.

Expenses that are reimbursed for service user and carer involvement are ignored. This is unlike certain expenses that are reimbursed for work which are treated as earnings.

Notional earnings do not apply to service user and carer involvement. This is unlike work, where if a person is offered a sum of money for a job, declines the money or asks for less, they are treated by DWP as if they had received the money first offered.

The DWP have published guidance on the definition of service user and carer involvement. This applies to all benefits.

Click to access admh3.pdf

You can find the definition of service user and carer involvement in the chapter ADM H3 about Universal Credit and earnings in paragraph 3161

A reference to reimbursed expenses being ignored is paragraph 3160

A reference to notional earnings not applying to service user and carer involvement is paragraph 3241

However any payment to a service user or carer for their time is treated in the same way as work. It doesn’t matter whether you call the money an honorarium, a therapeutic allowance or a visiting lecturer’s fee. It counts as a payment which may affect benefits.