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Capped in the New Year

22 December 2020
An estimated 35,000 households on universal credit (UC) - mostly families (77%) - will have their benefits capped in the New Year because they lost jobs or earnings to Covid-19 in March and their grace period has now expired, new analysis from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) finds.

Capped in the New Year

22 December 2020
The benefit cap grace period gives claimants nine months’ exemption from the cap, starting from when their earnings first fall below the threshold, if in the previous 12 months they have earned over £604 in every month. COVID-19 has meant that hundreds of thousands of households’ earnings have fallen below the threshold. Some did not have a strong work history and were capped immediately, and some were able to find enough earnings to move above the cap. However, many households are stuck in limbo, where they are not yet capped due to the grace period, but are unable to find work as jobs are so scarce.

Tribute to Garry Runciman

21 December 2020
Garry Runciman, a friend and supporter of CPAG for many years, died on 10 December. Fran Bennett and Jonathan Bradshaw write about his life and work.

Court of Appeal finds that EU nationals legally resident in UK were unlawfully excluded from claiming universal credit

18 December 2020
Two EU nationals, a severely disabled man and his carer, have won a landmark Court of Appeal case against the DWP which establishes their right to support from universal credit. The judgment means that EU nationals with pre-settled status cannot be treated differently to UK citizens in relation to access to means-tested benefits. 

Falling Through the Net - briefing 1

18 December 2020
This is the first in a series of bi-monthly briefings, Falling Through the Net, which highlight some of the persistent gaps in support that exist for children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence of these gaps is drawn from our Early Warning System (EWS) which collects case studies from frontline practitioners working directly with families on the problems they are seeing with the social security system.

Access to means-tested benefits for EU citizens with pre-settled status

Fratila and Tanase v SSWP & AIRE Centre [2020] EWHC 998 (Admin); Fratila and Tanase v SSWP & AIRE Centre [2020] EWCA Civ 1741
CPAG brought judicial review proceedings on behalf of two EU nationals, a severely disabled man and his carer, who were refused universal credit on the basis that their limited leave to remain in the UK under Appendix EU to the immigration rules (‘pre-settled status’) was not a qualifying right of residence for the purposes of means-tested benefits. On 27 April 2020, the High Court dismissed the claim. The Claimants sought permission to appeal and, following the grant of permission by the Court of Appeal, the Court found in favour of the Appellants/Claimants in a judgment handed down on 18 December 2020.

2020 Vision event

17 December 2020
Watch a recording of our 2020 Vision event that took place on 15 December.

New survey shows deteriorating living standards for low-income families as a result of Covid-19

14 December 2020
Low-income families with children are even worse off now than they were in the summer, the latest Poverty in the Pandemic report from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the Church of England shows. Nearly 9 in 10 families report a significant deterioration in their living standards because of the pandemic – up from 8 in 10 families who responded to an earlier survey between May and July 2020.

Poverty in the pandemic: An update on the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children

14 December 2020
In August, Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England published a report, Poverty in the Pandemic, which offered a glimpse into the lives of low-income families trying to survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This report provides an update on how families with children are managing financially, based on an additional 393 online survey responses received in the period since the last report was published, up to the end of November 2020.

2020 Vision: A webinar on what’s needed to end child poverty for good

09 December 2020
When we look back on 2020, it will almost certainly be as the year of coronavirus. It was, of course, supposed to be a milestone year for more positive reasons: it was supposed to be the year we ended child poverty in the UK. But with rising child poverty even before the pandemic, we now find ourselves facing a child poverty crisis. And with rising unemployment and ongoing economic uncertainty, what next for the goal to end child poverty?