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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  • ESA and ‘significant worsening’

    Issue 246 (June 2015)

    Recent rule changes make it more difficult for claimants to get employment and support allowance (ESA) in payment straight away if they reclaim following failing the work capability assessment (WCA). One way to do so is on the basis that their health condition has ‘significantly worsened’. But what does that mean, and how will the DWP approach the matter? Simon Osborne explains.

  • The universal credit gateway: early experiences

    Issue 246 (June 2015)

    The ‘national expansion’ of universal credit (UC), which began this spring, is anticipated to bring the new benefit to every jobcentre in the UK by 2016.1 Evidence has emerged that misunderstanding of the rules governing who is eligible to claim UC – known as ‘gateway conditions’ – has meant the wrong people making claims for the new benefit. Dan Norris explains how advisers can help.2

  • JSA and ‘actively seeking work’ sanctions

    Issue 246 (June 2015)

    David Simmons examines the issue of jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) sanctions for alleged failures to ‘actively seek employment’.

  • Mandatory reconsideration: another fine mess

    Issue 245 (April 2015)

    Simon Osborne describes the latest mandatory reconsideration problems and solutions.

  • Tax credits: new problems

    Issue 245 (April 2015)

    Although the Welfare Reform Act 2012 provides for the abolition of tax credits, it is still possible for people who are not entitled to universal credit to make a new claim for tax credits for 2015/16 and the majority of claimants will see their awards renewed as normal. There are also some new developments in policy and legislation, described here by Mark Willis.

  • Evidence, education and extra needs: DLA and children

    Issue 245 (April 2015)

    Despite the introduction of personal independence payment, the Upper Tribunal continues to consider important issues in relation to disability living allowance (DLA). Jon Shaw looks at some recent cases with implications for children’s entitlement.

  • Supreme Court splits the baby over the benefit cap

    Issue 245 (April 2015)

    The Supreme Court’s judgment on the benefit cap in R (SG and others) was handed down on 18 March 2015. The Court was sharply divided over whether the benefit cap, which limits the amount of welfare benefits any family with children can receive to £500 a week, regardless of family size, breaches the Human Rights Act 1998. Mike Spencer comments.

  • ESA and abolition of the ‘six month rule’

    Issue 245 (April 2015)

    Simon Osborne describes important new rules which affect repeat claims for employment and support allowance (ESA) following failure of the work capability assessment, and entitlement to ESA pending appeal.

  • Putting PIP to the test

    Issue 244 (February 2015)

    Paul Treloar reviews the first of the official independent reviews of personal independence payment (PIP).

  • Tax-Free Childcare, universal credit and tax credits

    Issue 244 (February 2015)

    Mark Willis describes a new scheme due for introduction during 2015, aimed at assisting with childcare costs for some families, and its exclusive interaction with universal credit (UC) and tax credits. UPDATE: Tax-Free Childcare will not be introduced until 2017.