benefits

  • Refugee children – Disability Living Allowance – past presence test

    Last updated: May 24, 2017
    test case

    Update 09/09/2016: the DWP has now issued guidance, DMG Memo 20/16 and ADM Memo 21/16, confirming that it will not be appealing against the Upper Tribunal decision and that the past presence test is no longer applicable to claims for disability living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance or carer's allowance.

  • Past presence test and aggregation rules

    Last updated: May 23, 2017
    test case

     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.

  • Refusal to accept late mandatory reconsideration requests

    Last updated: May 23, 2017
    test case

    Sarah Geater v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Appeal CE/766/2016) and R (Caroline Jeffries) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (JR/3861/2016)

    These two linked cases concern the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) refusal to accept late mandatory reconsideration (‘MR’) requests, regardless of the claimant’s circumstances and reasons for lateness, thereby apparently leaving the claimant without a right of appeal to an independent tribunal.

  • Tax credits and appeal rights

    Last updated: May 23, 2017
    test case

    Sheikh v HMRC CTC/3228/2015 and Saleh v HMRC CTC/1938/2016

    Saleh and Sheikh are appeals in the Upper Tribunal concerning the relationship between s16 and s18 of the Tax Credits Act 2002 and what the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (FtT) are where a s16 decision, which is the subject of an appeal to it, has subsequently been replaced by an end of year s18 decision on a tax credits award. HMRC can amend or terminate an initial award for tax credits under s16 if there is evidence that the amount awarded is incorrect or if there is no entitlement. A s16 decision must be made within the respective tax year. A s18 decision is the final decision on a tax credits award and is conclusive as to a person’s entitlement for the relevant tax year. In practice, HMRC do not make a s18 decision while a s16 decision is under appeal.

  • Two child limit challenge

    Last updated: May 23, 2017
    test case

    CPAG is preparing to challenge the two child limit, introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. On 6 April 2017, new rules came into force limiting the child element of child tax credit (CTC) and universal credit (UC) awards to two children. In CTC, this limit only applies to a third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017; in UC the limit applies from 6 April 2017 (irrespective of when the child was born) though transitional protection applies to third or subsequent children born before 6 April 2017. There are a limited number of exceptions to this 2 child limit meaning that it does not apply to a third or subsequent child in the following circumstances: multiple births, adoption from local authority care, kinship care and children likely to have been conceived as a result of rape or a coercive or controlling relationship.

  • Introduction to welfare rights


    training course

    This is essential training if you are starting off as a welfare rights adviser or need a good understanding of the benefits system. It introduces you to the key resources and skills you need and takes you through the main benefits in detail. Learning is through a mix of elearning and face-to-face training.

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    Dates:
  • Supporting vulnerable clients

    Level: Basic

    training course

    This course gives you skills to help resolve problems faced by vulnerable people claiming benefits. Taking a practical approach, it gives an overview of basic benefits and looks at rules intended to protect vulnerable groups including those affected by domestic abuse, mental health issues or at risk of homelessness. It will equip you to prevent a problem becoming a crisis. Those with limited or no knowledge of the benefit system will gain most from this course.

    The course includes:

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    Dates:
  • Getting decisions changed

    Level: Standard

    training course

    This course is focused on equipping advisers to deal with the legal and practical issues that apply in getting initial decisions on benefits and tax credits changed. Covering basic rules and practical problems, it deals with challenges up to (but not beyond) getting an appeal lodged with the First-tier Tribunal. Aimed at advisers with a working knowledge of benefits and tax credits, it will also include an outline on making an initial challenge in other cases, such as council tax reduction and overpayment recovery in the tax credit and universal credit schemes.

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  • Benefits for non-benefit advisers

    Level: Basic

    training course

    This two-day course is aimed at professionals who work with low-income clients. It is for those who will not be advising on benefits themselves (eg, social workers, supported housing workers, support staff) but want to support clients to maximise their income and signpost at the right time for more advice.

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    Dates: