Overview

There are several dependant types an MP can register with IPSA. Each type has a different ability to claim for expenses. Some of them can result in the MP receiving an uplift to their Accommodation Budget.

Learn the rules about each type of dependant, how to register and remove them in IPSA Online, and the evidence we need to process their claims.

Scheme rules

MPs may claim for journeys by their dependants between their constituency and London. [9.7]

MPs may also claim for journeys by their spouse or partner between their constituency and London. [9.8]

Where a dependant needs assistance from a carer other than an MP’s spouse or partner while travelling, the cost of the carer’s journey may also be claimed. [9.9]

For more information, visit Help with caring responsibilities.

MPs’ dependants, spouses or partners, and other carers must be registered with IPSA before travel can be claimed for them. [9.10]

For more information on making claims using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

When an MP has “caring responsibilities”, they can claim some additional accommodation and travel costs. Those cared for are referred to as “dependants”.

“Caring responsibilities” means:

  • parental responsibility for a dependent child up to age 18 or

  • being the primary carer for a family member receiving one or more of:

  1. Attendance Allowance

  2. Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate for personal care

  3. Personal Independence Payment at the standard or enhanced rate for daily living

  4. Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension [3.17]

If a dependant meets one of these criteria at the beginning of a financial year, the MP will be able to continue claiming for any relevant specified accommodation or travel costs for the remainder of the year. [3.18]

Limits to claims on caring responsibilities

Any MP who is the sole carer for a dependent child between the ages of 18 to 21 years in full-time education, and who had been claiming for the costs of accommodation or travel for them prior to 1 April 2017, may continue to do so until that dependant turns 21. [3.19]

Where staying in rented accommodation or hotel accommodation, MPs may have their accommodation budget limit increased for each dependant for whom they need to provide accommodation, up to a maximum of three uplifts.

This does not apply where an MP lives in their own home and claims associated costs only. [4.8]

MPs will become eligible for increased budgets in order to accommodate dependants after they register their dependants with IPSA.

IPSA may use its discretion to apply the uplift shortly before the birth or adoption of a child to allow an MP to secure appropriate accommodation beforehand. [4.9]

If you would like to claim for the dependant uplift to your rental accommodation budget, you must first register the dependants with us using the form on IPSA Online.

For more information, visit Registering a dependant.

Hotel costs claimed from the accommodation costs budget are subject to a nightly cost limit. These limits are inclusive of VAT.

If the hotel’s nightly rate includes breakfast, the full amount will be reimbursed, provided that the relevant limit is not exceeded. [4.10]

MPs can claim hotel costs up to £190 per night in London and £150 per night elsewhere in the UK (including VAT).

MPs may claim for the cost of hotel accommodation for their dependants. The nightly cost limit for such claims applies to hotel accommodation for all dependants (rather than for each dependant). [4.11]

MPs may group together a number of nights during a single stay, where the cost varies on different nights, and claim the full amount if the average per night does not exceed the nightly limit. [4.12]

If you are not able to find a hotel within the cost limit, you may be able to claim the additional cost through contingency funding [10.11]. You will need to evidence that you made a reasonable effort to find a hotel within the limit, beyond the Travel Office and your usual accommodation provider, by submitting screen shots.

For more information, visit Travel & subsistence.

Where a dependant needs assistance from a carer other than an MP’s spouse or partner while travelling, and the carer requires an overnight hotel stay, IPSA will pay for the cost of the hotel. [9.26]

MPs’ staff and carers may also claim for the cost of food and non-alcoholic drinks when staying overnight in line with the rules. [9.29]

For more information, visit Getting reimbursed for accommodation.

Hotel costs claimed under travel and subsistence are subject to nightly cost limits. [9.27]

  • when staying in a hotel in Europe, or in the London Area, you can claim up to £190 per night.

  • for hotel stays inside the United Kingdom but outside the London Area, you can claim up to £150 per night

If you are not able to find a hotel within the cost limit, you may be able to claim the additional cost through contingency funding [10.11]. You will need to evidence that you made a reasonable effort to find a hotel within the limit, beyond the Travel Office and your usual accommodation provider, by submitting screen shots.

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for accommodation.

Using IPSA Online

  1. Note!

    To register a dependant, open IPSA Online.

    You will need to provide supporting documentation for your dependant.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Forms tab on the left-hand side.

  4. Step3

    Select the Dependants Form from the menu.

  5. Step4

    Fill in the Form description field.

  6. Step5

    Select the Dependant type field and press the space bar.

    Select the dependant type from the list.

  7. Step6

    Confirm whether the dependant registration has been discussed with an Account Manager.

    This is only required for the Expected dependent type.

  8. Step7

    Fill in the First name and Last name. Each field can hold 21 characters.

  9. Step8

    Confirm whether you want an uplift to be applied to your Accommodation Budget as a result of registering a dependant using the Apply budget uplift? section of the form.

    You can only apply for a budget uplift, up to a maximum of three, for:

    • a dependant Under 18

    • a dependant aged 18-21, or

    • an other cared-for family member

  10. Step9

    In the Date of birth field, select the calendar icon and select the dependant's date of birth if they are under 21.

  11. Step10

    Before attaching documentation please select Save as draft.

  12. Step11

    Select the Paperclip icon in the top right corner of the form to add supporting evidence.

    These can also be emailed directly to your Account Manager.

  13. Step12

    Select Submit form.

Guidance

A dependant is someone for whom the MP has caring responsibilities.

There are several dependant types, some of which make the MP eligible for an uplift to their Accommodation budget, others enable the MP to make claims for travel and subsistence expenses for the dependant(s).

MPs are responsible for letting us know promptly about any change in their circumstances regarding a dependant.

Child or family dependant

A child or family dependant is where an MP has one of the following responsibilities:

  1. a child under the age of 18 for whom the MP is the primary carer

  2. a child aged 18-21 in full-time education, where the MP has been claiming for the costs of accommodation or travel for them prior to 1 April 2017 and the MP is the sole carer (not just the primary carer)

  3. an expected child – it may be possible for an MP to pre-register an expected child (via pregnancy, adoption or surrogacy) – please speak to your account manager for more information

  4. primary carer for a family member in receipt of one of the following benefits:

    1. Attendance Allowance

    2. Disability Living Allowance (at the middle or highest rate)

    3. the Personal Independence Payment (at standard or enhanced rate)

    4. a Constant Attendance Allowance with either an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or a War Disablement Pension

To register a child as a dependent, the Scheme states the MP must have “parental responsibility”. This is a legal term and denotes the rights and obligations of a parent in respect of the upbringing of a child.

For further information, please visit the UK government guidance on Parental rights and responsibilities.

MPs are entitled to claim travel and subsistence for these dependants as well as a rental Accommodation Budget uplift (for non-London MPs) related to child dependants they have registered on IPSA Online.

Each MP can claim the uplift to a maximum of three dependants. The uplifts will expire at the end of the financial year in which

  1. a child dependant reaches the age of 18 (unless they are then in receipt of one of the above-listed benefits), or

  2. a child dependant aged 18-21 in full-time education turns 21 or leaves full-time education (whichever is earlier)

Spouse/partner dependant

An MP can register their spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner as a dependant so travel and subsistence can be claimed.

No budget uplift applies for the registration of a spouse/partner dependant. A partner becomes eligible for registration in one of the following circumstances:

  1. the date of marriage

  2. the date of civil partnership

  3. the date on which co-habitation commences

Carer dependant

An MP can register a carer as a dependant. This applies when someone for whom the MP has caring responsibilities requires assistance from a carer other than the MP or their partner.

The carer can claim for travel and subsistence costs.

No budget uplift applies for the registration of a carer dependant.

If you would like to register a dependant, the evidence you need to submit varies.

Child Dependant up to the age of 18 years old

We require proof of their birth date to determine the start and end dates of the accommodation budget uplift. Please submit one of the following: a passport or a birth certificate, with your dependant registration form. For cases of adoption or surrogacy, we may require further information – please speak to your account manager.

Child Dependant between 18-21 in full-time education

This type of dependant must have been registered with us as an ‘Under 18 Dependant’ prior to 1 April 2017. We require proof of them being in full-time education (an official document which includes an end date) and proof of ID (passport or birth certificate).

Expected dependant

Please discuss your requirements with IPSA before the birth or adoption of the child. We may be able to register the expected child in advance of their birth or adoption and grant the associated dependant uplifts to the accommodation budget so that you can prepare beforehand. Following the birth, we will require a copy of their passport, birth or adoption certificate, or declaration of surrogacy to confirm their date of birth (within six months of the date of birth).

Family Dependant

We require proof that the dependant is in receipt of one of the following benefits: Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (at the middle or highest rate), the Personal Independence Payment (at standard or enhanced rate), or a Constant Attendance Allowance with either an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or a War Disablement Pension. This needs to be in the form of an official document attached to the dependant registration form.

Spouse/partner

A declaration in writing, via email from the MP.

Carer

A declaration in writing, via email from the MP.

When your child dependant turns 18 or leaves full-time education, the accommodation budget uplift will be removed at the end of the financial year in which they turn 18 or leave education.

We will do this automatically and let you know we have done it.

If your situation changes before this, please let us know so that we can update the system.

To remove a registered dependant from IPSA Online, please complete a Dependants Form, stating the name of the dependant and in the "Additional Information" section of the form asking that they be removed from the system.

If this form is not used, you may be in receipt of an allowance that you are not entitled to.

IPSA regularly reviews this information and may contact you to request an update.

MPs are provided with an uplift to their rental accommodation budget where they need to provide accommodation for dependants, up to a maximum of three dependants.

The uplift only applies when an MP is set up to draw from the Accommodation – rental cost budget, are in the rental property and have the dependant in their care.  

The uplift amount will be pro-rated from the day the dependant is in the MPs care. The MP must inform IPSA of this date. The uplift cannot be applied earlier than the start of the current financial year or the date the MP’s rental contract began. This could be, for example, when an MP and their dependant moved into accommodation or the date that an MP moved into appropriate accommodation ahead of the birth of a child.

The MP will receive 1/365 of the rental accommodation uplift for each day of the year the dependant was in their care.

Where a dependant turns 18 (or 21 when in full-time education and registered before 1 April 2017), the MP will continue to be eligible for the uplift until the end of that financial year, but not for the following financial year.

If the MP leaves rented accommodation during the year (and moves to hotel accommodation, for example), the dependant uplift will be pro-rated to the end of the rental period in the same way as the main rental accommodation budget.

Find out more about how IPSA pro-rates budgets.

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, contact us.