• Two child limit challenge

    Last updated: December 14, 2018
    test case

    The substantive challenge to the two child policy is now being appealed to the Court of Appeal.  The hearing will take place on 19 and 20 December 2018.

    On 18 August 2017, CPAG issued a claim for judicial review in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SSWP) to challenge the two child limit, introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. Permission was granted on 17 October 2017 and the case was heard across two days on 6 and 7 February 2018.  Judgment was given on 20 April 2018 allowing the challenge in part.  The Court accepted CPAG's arguments that the ordering restriction on the kinship care exception was perverse and therefore unlawful.  The wider challenge to the policy as a whole was dismissed.  CPAG is appealing this aspect of the case to the Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, in November 2018, the DWP/HMRC brought in amending legislation to remove the ordering restriction from both the kinship care and adopted children exceptions . Read the judgment and our statement about the judgment.

  • Past presence test and aggregation rules

    Last updated: December 4, 2018
    test case

     Kavanagh v Secretary of State and Pensions CDLA/373/2016, 2016 [UKUT] 0547 (AAC)

    This appeal concerns the application of the ‘past presence’ test that requires disability benefit claimants to be resident in Great Britain for 104 weeks out of the 156 weeks prior to the claim. However, for claimants to whom an EU regulation applies, the past presence test is disapplied if they can establish a genuine and sufficient link to the UK social security system. Alternatively, they can seek to satisfy the 2 year rule by aggregating qualifying periods spent in another EU country under Article 6 of EU Regulation 883/2004. EU Regulation 883/2004 coordinates social security systems in the EU and Article 6 provides that certain periods of time spent in one member state can be aggregated when considering presence tests in another.

  • Scottish benefits


    Some benefits are already different in Scotland and some are transferring from the UK to Scotland. The Scottish Government sets the rules for these benefits and a new agency called Social Security Scotland has been created to deliver these benefits. There are still many benefits which are UK-wide and which people in Scotland are able to claim.

  • Students and benefits – an update

    training course

    Make sure you know what benefit changes are in the pipeline and likely to affect students. Welfare reform is changing the face of our benefits system with many changes made and others still to come.

    This essential half-day course focuses on recent developments and forthcoming changes in benefits and tax credits aimed specifically at students, and the impact more general changes might have on students.

    The course covers:

    Read more
  • Benefits for non-benefit advisers

    Level: Basic

    training course

    This essential two-day course is aimed at professionals who work with low-income clients. It is for those who will not be advising on benefits themselves (eg, social workers, supported housing workers, support staff) but want to support clients to maximise their income and signpost at the right time for more advice.

    The course covers:

    • Benefits available to different client groups
    • Structure of the benefit system
    • Basic benefit checks
    • How to claim and who to contact
    • Dealing with problems
    • Signposting for more help


    Read more
  • Universal credit and students

    Level: Standard

    training course

    With the introduction of universal credit, the benefit rules for students as we know them are swept away and new rules set up in their place. This one-day course explains which students will be able to claim universal credit and how student funding will affect the amount they get.

    The course covers:

    • An overview of universal credit
    • Who is a full-time student for universal credit
    • Which students can claim
    • The interaction with Scottish student funding
    Read more
  • Refusal to accept late mandatory reconsideration requests

    Last updated: September 25, 2017
    test case

    Update - 25 September 2017 - on 4 August 2017 a three-judge panel of the Upper Tribunal decided that, where a claimant makes a mandatory reconsideration request at any time within 13 months of the original decision, s/he will, if dissatisfied, subsequently be entitled to appeal to a First-tier Tribunal.

  • Tax credits and appeal rights

    Last updated: September 25, 2017
    test case

    Update - 25 September 2017 - on 14 June 2017 a three-judge panel of the Upper Tribunal decided that -

    'As soon as the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have made a decision under section 18 of the Tax Credits Act 2002 for a tax year, any decision made under section 16 for that tax year ceases retrospectively to have any operative effect, any appeal that has been brought against that section 16 decision therefore lapses, the First-tier Tribunal ceases to have jurisdiction in relation to that appeal and that tribunal must strike out the proceedings.' (paragraph 1)

  • Refugee children – Disability Living Allowance – past presence test

    Last updated: May 24, 2017
    test case

    Update 09/09/2016: the DWP has now issued guidance, DMG Memo 20/16 and ADM Memo 21/16, confirming that it will not be appealing against the Upper Tribunal decision and that the past presence test is no longer applicable to claims for disability living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance or carer's allowance.