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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  • 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.

  • Statutory shared parental pay

    Issue 244 (February 2015)

    Susan Mitchell and Simon Osborne outline the main rules on a new payment which, from April, will replace additional statutory paternity pay in England, Scotland and Wales.

  • Still better late than never?

    Issue 244 (February 2015)

    Various changes, some unintentional others deliberate, have made it more difficult to bring an appeal against a tax credits decision outside the time limit. Following on from Martin Williams article in Bulletin 234, Mike Spencer looks at the issues and discusses potential legal challenges.

  • Waiting days for JSA and ESA

    Issue 243 (December 2014)

    New regulations, which came into force on 27 October, extend from three to seven the number of waiting days at the start of a claim for jobseekers allowance (JSA) or employment support allowance (ESA), during which the claimant has no entitlement.1 Dan Norris explains.

    • 1. Social Security (Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance) (Waiting Days) Amendment Regulations 2014 SI No.3096; Social Security (Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance) (Waiting Days) Amendment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 (SR No.235/2014)
  • Repeat WCAs following appeal: new guidance

    Issue 243 (December 2014)

    The DWP has issued new guidance (Memo DMG 27/14) about repeat referrals for the work capability assessment (WCA), where the claimant has been successful in an appeal. As before, when a repeat WCA is to be applied is not a matter of law, and so is not in itself a potential subject of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. However, the guidance, described here by Simon Osborne, provides some very useful pointers in advising claimants as to what they can expect.