Test Cases

  • Two child limit challenge

    Last updated: October 17, 2017

    Update - 17 October 2017 - permission has been granted for CPAG to apply for judicial review of the two child limit and the case will now go forward to a full hearing.

    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.

    The case is brought on behalf of two lone mothers who each already have more than one child and had an 'additional' child born after 6 April 2017.

    Grounds of challenge are:

  • Widowed parents’ allowance and non-married couples

    Last updated: September 25, 2017

    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: September 25, 2017

    Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council v Hockley & SSWP CH/1987/2016.

    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.

  • Revised Benefit Cap

    Last updated: September 22, 2017

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

    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 benefit cap which was lowered further in November 2016. CPAG is acting on behalf of two single mothers who are affected by the cap due to their caring responsibilities. One of the claimants has children with significant health needs while the other has previously fled domestic violence.

  • 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

  • Child tax credit and disability element

    Last updated: June 16, 2017

    Following a data match with DWP, HMRC discovered that 28 000 families, subsequently revised to 33 000, had not been receiving the disability element of child tax credit. While this might have been going on since 2011, HMRC was only prepared to back date the child element to the April 2016.

    CPAG is challenging the refusal to backdate payments further on the basis that the underpayments were caused by official error. The case is currently at the First tier tribunal. A hearing date has not been set.

  • Past presence test and aggregation rules

    Last updated: May 23, 2017

     Kavanagh v Secretary of State and Pensions CDLA/373/2016

    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.