Test Cases

  • Bereavement Support Payments for Unmarried Parents

    Last updated: April 16, 2019

    Jackson & Others v SSWP CO/975/2019

    This case challenges the requirement under the Pensions Act 2014 in conjunction with the Bereavement Support Payment Regulations 2017 that, in order to be entitled to Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) at the higher rate, the claimant must have been the deceased’s spouse or civil partner.

    CPAG are representing two families where the mother has passed away, leaving the fathers, J and S, caring for their young children.

  • Two child limit challenge

    Last updated: April 16, 2019

    The substantive challenge to the two child policy was heard by the Court of Appeal on 19 and 20 December 2018.  Judgment was handed down on 16 April 2019. Read the Court of Appeal judgment and our press release.

    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 appealed this aspect of the case to the Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, in November 2018, the DWP/HMRC brought in amending legislation to remove the ordering restriction from both the kinship care and adopted children exceptions. Read the High Court judgment and our statement about the judgment.

  • Rehman v Upper Tribunal (SSWP interested party)

    Last updated: March 28, 2019

    Cart style judicial review challenging UT’s failure to grant permission to appeal the FTT decision to be heard by the High Court on 1 May 2019

    This case concerns entitlement to Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) where the claimant and the deceased partner had undergone a religious ceremony and considered themselves to be and held themselves out as being legally married.

  • Disability Living Allowance 2 year Past Presence Test for returning British Citizens

    Last updated: March 28, 2019

    EK v SSWP and TS v SSWP

    These cases challenge the legality of the new past presence test (PPT), which requires a person to have been in the UK for 104 of the past 156 weeks before being eligible to claim Disability Living Allowance.

  • Disability Living Allowance and the Genuine and Sufficient Link Requirement

    Last updated: March 12, 2019

    Kavanagh v Secretary of State and Pensions [2019] EWCA Civ 272
    Judgment given by the Court of Appeal on 7 March 2019

    The genuine and sufficient link in disability living allowance and attendance allowance is to the UK as a whole, not simply the UK’s social security system, and both objective evidence but also motives, intentions and expectations of the claimant are relevant in establishing the link.

  • Universal Credit, disability and transitional protection

    Last updated: March 1, 2019

    R (TD and AD) v SSWP CO/590/2018; R (Reynolds) v SSWP CO/4542/2018

    This case continued 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.

    The two cases were heard together at the High Court on 23 & 24 January 2019, and the judgment was given on 1 March. The High Court rejected a claim of unlawful discrimination and refused permission to appeal. CPAG will seek leave to appeal direct to the Court of Appeal.

    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.

  • Bedroom tax where a room is too small to share

    Last updated: February 19, 2019

    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.

  • Universal credit assessment period inflexibility

    Last updated: January 15, 2019

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

    Permission to apply for judicial review was granted on 5 July 2018 and the claim joined with a similar case being brought by Leigh Day solicitors. The hearing of both claims took place on 27 to 28 November 2018 in the High Court. Judgment was given on 11 January 2019 finding in favour of the claimants: the SSWP had been incorrectly interpreting her own regulations and "wrongly assumed that where salaries for two different months were received during the same assessment period, the combined salaries from the two months were to be treated as earned income in respect of that assessment period."

    You can read the High Court judgment here

    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: October 17, 2018

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

    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.

    The appeal in this case was heard on 17-19 July 2018 by a 7 judge panel of the Supreme Court alongside that of R(DA and Others) v SSWP.  We are waiting for the judgment.

    Our advice to claimants affected by the lower benefit cap is to lodge a housing benefit appeal immediately requesting for it to be stayed behind the Supreme Court decision. You can use our template letter.

  • Widowed parents’ allowance and non-married couples

    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Update: On 30 August, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment that denying bereavement benefits to unmarried, cohabiting partners with children is incompatible with human rights law. 

    Read more about what this means for parents now