Press Releases

  • Disabled households worse off and stranded on Universal Credit bring High Court case against DWP

    January 11, 2019

    Two households affected by disability who were left worse off after they were forced to move to universal credit (UC) from existing benefits following incorrect decisions by DWP will challenge DWP policy in the High Court this week (Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th January).

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    January 11, 2019


    o DWP interpretation of universal credit regulations wrong

    o Calculation methods “... lead to nonsensical situations…”

    o DWP error meant “…severe cash-flow problems..” for claimants


    In a test case victory for a group of working lone mothers, the High Court found today that the way the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been assessing income from employment through its Universal Credit (UC) work assessment periods is unlawful.

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  • Court of Appeal hears two-child limit challenge

    December 19, 2018

    Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is continuing its legal challenge to the two-child limit for universal credit and tax credit payments in the Court of Appeal on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th December. (1) The case is brought on behalf of two lone mothers who each had more than one child before the policy started in April 2017 and who then gave birth to another child after that date. The policy denies the child element of tax credits and universal credit to third and subsequent children.

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    November 16, 2018

    Responding to the UN Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty’s findings, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said:

     “The Rapporteur’s findings should be a wake-up call for government. Child poverty isn’t only happening elsewhere, it’s here in the UK and it’s rising. It’s in families where parents can’t work because of illness or disability but mostly it’s in families who work for low wages while costs are rising.

    "Wherever you are in the UK, you are never far from seeing the impact of poverty and austerity policies on the most vulnerable.

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    November 5, 2018

    Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes  some of the changes to draft regulations governing the  migration of people on existing benefits to universal credit  but warns that the DWP has passed up an opportunity to reduce the risk that claimants will be left with no money if their existing benefits are stopped before their universal credit claim is up and running.    The Social Security Advisory Committee, CPAG and other organisations recommended that existing benefit claimants should be moved to universal credit automatically so that the responsibility for ensuring people don’t have income gaps lies firmly with the DWP. 

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    October 29, 2018

    Child Poverty Action Group warmly welcomes the Chancellor’s decision to increase the work allowances in universal credit by £1,000 but warns that a root and branch review of the design of universal credit is still needed, before the benefit is near fit for purpose. As yet there has been no announcement of an end to the benefits freeze. Since 2010 £37bn of funding has been removed from social security.

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  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance: court rules in favour of bereaved mother who was not married to her children’s father

    August 30, 2018
    • Landmark Supreme Court judgement that denying bereavement benefits to unmarried, cohabiting partners with children is incompatible with human rights law
    • Widowed Parent’s Allowance is intended to provide for children in the event of a parent’s death
    • Court rules couple’s children should not be disadvantaged because their parents did not marry
    • DWP and Department for Communities urged to clarify position across UK for those who were previously ineligible
    • Two children’s charities intervened in the case.
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  • The cost of a child in 2018

    August 20, 2018

    The overall cost of a child over 18 years (including rent and childcare) is £150, 753 for a couple and £183,335 for a lone parent. But work doesn’t pay low-income families enough to meet a no-frills standard of living, new research from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows.(1)

    A combination of rising prices, benefits and tax credits freezes, the introduction of the benefit cap and two-child limit, the bedroom tax, cuts to housing benefits and the rolling out of Universal Credit have hit family budgets hard. Life has been getting progressively tougher for families on low or modest incomes over the past ten years, with families on in-work and out-of-work benefits hardest hit, the report warns. 

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  • Universal credit assessment system is leaving claimants out of pocket

    August 6, 2018

    Working people claiming universal credit are having their benefits capped when they shouldn’t be, and losing the effects of ‘work allowances’ worth up to £258 per month simply because of the dates on which their paydays and universal credit 'assessment periods' happen to fall, new evidence from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows. Last month the Work and Pensions Secretary acknowledged the need to look at “ … payment cycles for those in work.” (3)

     In the worst cases workers are losing hundreds of pounds each year simply because their paydays clash with the monthly 'assessment periods' in universal credit (UC). Far from offering much-vaunted simplicity, universal credit rules leave many workers unable to predict what their payments will be from one month to the next. People who happen to move house at the ‘wrong’ point in their assessment period can also lose hundreds of pounds in help with rent.

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  • CPAG legal action leads to full arrears for disabled claimants

    July 18, 2018

    Child Poverty Action Group welcomes the Work and Pensions Secretary’s announcement today that arrears for up to 70,000 disabled people who were underpaid when they were moved from incapacity benefit (IB) to employment and support allowance (ESA) will be backdated to the date that they moved to ESA. The announcement follows legal action from CPAG which challenged the Department’s original decision to limit backdating of the arrears to 2014, the date of a tribunal decision.

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