Welfare Rights Bulletin articles

The Welfare Rights Bulletin is CPAG's journal of welfare benefits and tax credits law and practice. It is also an updating service for our Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook.

Published six times a year, it is sent to all CPAG Rights members as part of the membership package. It is also available on annual subscription.

This page contains a selection of articles from the magazine. Other regular features include: Handbook update; legal section with reports of court cases, Upper Tribunal decisions and new regulations; welfare rights news; reader Q&A.

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  • Right to reside: workers and work-seekers

    Issue 206 (October 2008)

    Pamela Fitzpatrick looks at some problems experienced by work-seekers and workers with the right-to-reside test.

  • ESA and students

    Issue 206 (October 2008)

    Angela Toal describes the main employment and support allowance (ESA) rules for students, pointing out where they are more restrictive than at present.

  • Calculating ESA

    Issue 205 (August 2008)

    The amount of employment and support allowance (ESA) a claimant is entitled to depends upon a number of factors, including whether the claimant is: single or part of a couple; in receipt of certain benefits; entitled to income-related and/or contributory ESA; and/or still in the initial assessment phase. Edward Graham explains how much ESA a claimant may be entitled to.

  • Inspecting the inspectors (2008)

    Issue 204 (June 2008)

    In the latest of an occasional series of articles on the decisions of social fund inspectors, David Simmons considers some recent cases about capital, repeat applications and budgeting loans.

  • The work capability assessment

    Issue 204 (June 2008)

    Simon Osborne describes the new test for Employment and Support Allowance of whether someone is too ill to work.

  • Tax credits: changes and performance

    Issue 201 (February 2008)

    Nearly five years on, and the tax credits scheme still appears to be a work in progress. Mark Willis looks at some of the latest changes and performance.

  • Government press on with compulsion

    Issue 201 (February 2008)

    A trio of official publications in late 2007 and early this year provide further detail of the increasing compulsion - or conditionality - being applied to benefit claimants, with the accompanying threat of sanctions (and resulting poverty) for non-compliance. Simon Osborne describes the announcements.

  • The 'local housing allowance' rules

    Issue 201 (February 2008)

    New housing benefit (HB) rent restriction1rules - the 'local housing allowance' (LHA) rules - are due to be introduced nationwide from 7 April 2008. Far from simplifying the HB rules, a new layer of complexity will be added. An additional difficulty is that, until 6 April 2009, there will be two versions of some of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 and the Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit) Regulations 2006.2 Carolyn George sets out the detail.

    • 1. Reg 13C HB Regs; reg 13C HB(SPC) Regs
    • 2. The amendments are made by the Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance and Information Sharing) Amendment Regulations 2007 SI No 2868, the Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit)(Local Housing Allowance and Information Sharing) Amendment Regulations 2007 SI No 2869 and the Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance, Miscellaneous and Consequential) Amendment Regulations 2007 SI No 2870. Some amendments to these are in the pipeline. The old versions continue to apply to a particular claimant until the first of specified events occurs, or if earlier, 6 April 2009: see reg 1(5)-(7) HB(LHA&IS)A Regs and reg 1(5)-(7) HB(SPC)(LHA&IS)A Regs.
  • Tax credits: getting it wrong? – again

    Issue 201 (December 2007)

    Two years on from her first report on the administration of tax credits, Tax credits: putting things right, the Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham has produced a second report, Tax credits: getting it wrong? Beth Lakhani outlines the report's main findings and recommendations.

  • All rise for the Judge? Tribunal reform on the books

    Issue 201 (December 2007)

    Simon Osborne looks at the context and content of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.