Test case referrals

CPAG takes on a small number of test cases each year in line with our test case strategy. We focus on cases that have the potential to improve the lives of families with children in poverty. This includes judicial review claims, appeals in the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the European Courts. See details of our current test cases.

If you are an adviser and you would like to refer a potential test case to CPAG please complete our test case referral form (save it to your computer first)

Two child rule

Do you have any clients who will be affected by the recent legislative changes to Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit which came into effect 6 April 2017?

The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 introduced fundamental changes to Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit, limiting child tax credit and universal credit to the first two children in a household. These changes, commonly known as the 2 child rule, will come into force from 6 April 2017 together with certain exceptions and transitional arrangements set out in recently published regulations.

CPAG is looking into the possible routes of legal challenge to the 2 child rule and would like your help in locating potential claimants who would be affected by this rule and who would be willing to be part of a CPAG legal challenge.

CPAG is looking in general for:

  • Any family already claiming benefits with two children and looking to have more in the near future

But also the following particular types of households which may be unfairly affected by the rule (though this is not an exhaustive list of examples):

  • Two lone parent household units already with two children each considering forming a single ‘blended family’ arrangement because the adults have become a couple;
  • An individual or couple caring for one or two ‘kinship’ children but contemplating having children of their own;
  • A family which, when the children were born, did not require state support but now has a need to because of an unexpected change in circumstances (e.g. loss of a job); and
  • A parent who is religiously or philosophically opposed to birth control.

If you can help, please complete the test case referral form.

What other sorts of cases do we take on?

Tribunal appeals

CPAG’s solicitor can take on a limited number of appeals in the First-tier or Upper Tribunal, provided they have the potential to benefit families with children in poverty. 

Judicial review advice

CPAG has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency to advise a certain number of clients, primarily based in London each year in relation to actual or potential judicial review proceedings.

CPAG is particularly keen to focus on the following issues:

1. Benefit delays

We may be able to help where claimants are suffering unreasonable delays in receiving a decision on their claim. These include:

  • Child benefit delays;
  • Personal Independence Payment delays;
  • Delays caused by mandatory reconsideration;
  • Delays suffered by refugees and European migrants;
  • Refusals of short-term benefit advances.


2. Judicial review in the Upper Tribunal

Some decisions of the First-tier Tribunal can only be challenged by judicial review, rather than on appeal. Where this arises, CPAG’s solicitor may be able to help.


CPAG intervenes in existing cases where we believe our evidence and expertise will assist the Tribunal or Court and further our charitable aims. If you are involved in proceedings that you think would benefit from CPAG’s intervention, please complete our test case referral form (save it to your computer first).


Please note that we are only able to take on cases for clients living outside of London in exceptional circumstances.

Regrettably we cannot take referrals of test cases from Scotland. The reason for this is that CPAG’s only solicitor is based in London and we cannot apply for legal aid in Scotland or instruct counsel there.