Right to reside – new rules

Issue 192 (June 2006)

Pamela Fitzpatrick describes new regulations affecting the habitual residence test and in particular the right-to-reside element of the test.

MPs' verdict on incapacity benefit reform

Issue 192 (June 2006)

David Simmons outlines the findings of the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into the Government's proposed reform of incapacity benefits.

Benefit and befuddlement

Issue 192 (June 2006)

Edward Graham describes the report of MPs on complexity in social security.

Employment and support allowance – a forthcoming attraction?

Issue 193 (August 2006)

The Welfare Reform Bill was published on 4 July 2006. Amongst its foremost provisions are the basic rules concerning the employment and support allowance, which is expected to replace incapacity benefit and income support for incapacity from 2008. Drawing on the Bill and its predecessor, the Green Paper, Simon Osborne describes the main provisions and identifies some of the issues arising.

Housing benefit overpayments – who is liable?

Issue 193 (August 2006)

Simon Osborne describes the bizarrely complex rules regarding from whom a housing benefit overpayment is recoverable, and when appeals can be made.

Thinking is a function of the body

Issue 193 (August 2006)

A recent commissioner's decision has accepted that 'thinking' is a bodily function for the purposes of disability living allowance. Stewart Wright considers the decision and the case law which preceded it.

Arguing shared-care cases after Stec

Issue 194 (October 2006)

At first blush, it may seem that the ECtHR's decision in Stec has opened up a simple route for successfully applying Hockenjos to all shared cases. Stewart Wright suggests that this is not the case and that such arguments remain difficult.

Work and Families Act 2006: maternity, paternity and adoption benefit changes

Issue 194 (October 2006)

As part of the Government's 10-year strategy for childcare,1 it consulted on measures intended to 'give parents more choice about how to balance their work and family responsibilities'.2 The Work and Families Act 2006 implements some of the measures set out in the Government's response to this consultation. The Act, together with a group of related statutory instruments,3 contains amendments to legislation relating to maternity, paternity and adoption benefits. Susan Mitchell outlines the main changes.

  • 1. Choice for parents, the best start for children: a ten year strategy for children, HMT, 2004
  • 2. Work and Families: Choice and Flexibility A consultation document, February 2005
  • 3. Maternity and Parental Leave etc. and the Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (2006 No. 2014); Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (General) and the Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (Weekly Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (2006 No. 2236); Statutory Maternity Pay, Social Security (Maternity Allowance) and Social Security (Overlapping Benefits) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (2006 No. 2379)

Pregnant students and means-tested benefits

Issue 194 (October 2006)

David Simmons examines the barriers to accessing means-tested benefits for full-time students who have to interrupt their studies because of pregnancy.

Mentally ill or mentally well?

Issue 195 (December 2006)

Judith Hodson, of Rochdale Council Advice Service, provides a summary of social security commissioners' decisions regarding mental health and incapacity.