Test Cases

  • Universal credit assessment period inflexibility

    Last updated: July 11, 2018

    R (Woods and Barrett) v SSWP CO/1552/2018

    Permission to apply for judicial review was granted in this matter on 5 July 2018 and the claim has been joined with a similar case being brought by Leigh Day solicitors.

    On 29 March 2018, CPAG filed a claim for permission to apply for judicial review to challenge the rigidity of the assessment period regime in universal credit which results in some people being treated as receiving two monthly wages in one assessment period, in turn affecting the amount of their UC award.

  • Revised Benefit Cap

    Last updated: July 4, 2018

     R (DS and Others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

    The appeal in this case will be heard from 17-19 July by a 7 judge panel of the Supreme Court alongside that of R(DA and Others) v SSWP

    On 9 March 2017, CPAG issued a claim for judicial review in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Work and Pension (SSWP) to challenge the legality of the lowered benefit cap as it applies to lone parents. The case was heard on 26 March 2018, having previously been stayed and then an earlier hearing date adjourned because of the related case of DA concerning lone parents with children under two. In light of the Court of Appeal decision in DA (given on 15 March 2018), we invited the High Court in our case to dismiss our claim without a full hearing and to grant us a certificate to allow us to bypass the Court of Appeal and seek permission to appeal direct to the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court granted permission to appeal on 4 June 2018 and the two cases of DS and DA are now to be heard together from 17-19 July 2018.

  • Incapacity benefit to employment and support allowance and backdated payments

    Last updated: July 4, 2018

    R(Smith) v SSWP JR/1249/18

    Case listed for hearing 15&16 October 2018

    On 29 March 2018, CPAG issued judicial review proceedings challenging the decision of the DWP to limit backdated payments to those disabled people who had been underpaid when they transferred from incapacity benefit ('IB') to employment and support allowance ('ESA') to a 21 October 2014 date.

  • Universal Credit, disability and transitional protection

    Last updated: July 3, 2018

    R (TD, AD and IM) v SSWP CO/590/2018

    This case is continuing notwithstanding the Ministerial statement and subsequent draft regulations claiming to provide transitional protection to those disabled people who have moved onto UC ahead of the managed migration process and, as a consequence, lost out on the SDP.  The draft regulations do not in fact provide for a disabled adult previously in receipt of SDP to receive an equivalent top up amount in UC if they are in receipt of the LCWRA element and do not address at all the situation of disabled children.

    On 8 February 2018, CPAG issued a claim for permission to apply for judicial review on behalf of two households, each with a person with a disability, challenging the lack of transitional protection or, alternatively, the inability to return to legacy benefits once an award for universal credit has been made in circumstances where the DWP makes a decision terminating an individual’s award of a legacy benefit, which is subsequently shown to have been a wrong decision and is overturned, and the individual is financially worse off under UC.

  • Two child limit challenge

    Last updated: June 11, 2018

    The substantive challenge to the two child policy is now being appealed to the Court of Appeal and a request made for the matter to be expedited so as to be heard by the end of 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 while the DWP has confirmed it will not appeal the finding on the ordering restricton and will be removing this restriction from both the kinship care and adopted children exceptions . Read the judgment and our statement about the judgment.

  • Widowed parents’ allowance and non-married couples

    Last updated: May 10, 2018

    Under current benefit legislation widowed parent’s allowance (WPA) is payable to the surviving spouse or civil partner of a deceased person in respect of their children, provided the deceased paid sufficient national insurance contributions. Where a couple were not lawfully married prior to the death of one of them, they do not qualify for WPA even though they may have been cohabiting for many years or been through a religious marriage ceremony which was not subsequently registered.

  • Bedroom tax where a room is too small to share

    Last updated: January 11, 2018

    Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council v Hockley & SSWP 2017 [UKUT] 471 (AAC)

    This case concerns the removal of the spare room subsidy, widely referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’, in cases where a bedroom is too small for two children to share. The bedroom tax came into force on 1 April 2013 and made amendments to the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 placing restrictions on the amount of housing benefit that can be claimed by tenants in the social sector. Where the number of bedrooms in the household exceeds the number of bedrooms the claimant is entitled to in accordance with the regulations, the housing benefit is reduced by 14% for one ‘spare’ bedroom or 25% for two or more ‘spare’ bedrooms. Regulation B13(5) prescribes who is entitled to a bedroom in a household. It prescribes that two children, regardless of their sex, who are less than 10 years old and two children, regardless of their age, of the same sex are able to share a bedroom.

  • Past presence test and aggregation rules

    Last updated: December 21, 2017

     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.

  • Advice post High Court decision on Benefit Cap and lone parents with children under two

    Last updated: June 29, 2017

    On 22 June 2017, the High Court ruled that the benefit cap as it applied to lone parents with children under 2 was unlawful.

  • Right to reside for the self-employed

    Last updated: June 22, 2017

    MH v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions C3/2015/2886

    The issue raised by this case in the Court of Appeal is whether the UK’s Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 must be read pursuant to EU law as providing a right to reside in the UK not only to EEA children in education whose parents have been employed persons, but also to those whose parents have been ­self-employed persons.  Regretfully the Court of Appeal has decided that there is no such requirement.