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Universal credit assessment period inflexibility

R (Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart) v SSWP [2019] EWHC 23 (Admin): This case concerns a judicial review challenging the rigidity of the assessment period regime under universal credit (UC) and the way that earned income is calculated, which results in some claimants being treated as earning two monthly salaries in one assessment period. Judgment was given on 11 January 2019 finding in favour of the claimants, but the SSWP appealed. The case was heard by the Court of Appeal on 19th May 2020.

A child-centred reform of children's social security

18 December 2019
As part of our Secure Futures for Children and Families project, Megan A. Curran, PhD, postdoctoral research scientist at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy, Columbia University, examines how the social security system could be reformed to put children at the centre in this paper.

Managing money: the importance of autonomy

16 December 2019
From time to time, we all get into difficulty managing our money. A boiler breaking, a car needing repair, a bigger heating bill than expected. These things can hit us hard and always seem to be poorly timed, particularly if money is already tight. We all have different methods of coping, and different ways of ensuring we keep on top of all the other bills and rent. Some people try to manage by taking the hit in one go; whereas others do the exact opposite, choosing to cut back less but over a longer period. Some will use savings and replenish these over time; others will try to cut back on their living expenses.

Maternity Allowance and Universal Credit

Moore and Others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CO/4081/2019. On 18 October 2019, CPAG issued judicial review proceedings challenging the treatment of maternity allowance as unearned income in the calculation of universal credit awards. There will be a "rolled up" hearing of the case on 24th and 25th June, meaning that permission to apply for judicial review will first be considered and, if permission is granted, the substantive case will be considered at the same hearing.

Universal credit and lone parents under 25

Rogers and others v SSWP CO/3678/2019: On 17 September 2019, CPAG filed a judicial review claim challenging the lower standard allowance in universal credit for lone parents who are under 25. Permission to apply for judicial review was refused at an oral permission hearing on 11/12/19. CPAG has submitted a renewal application to the Court of Appeal.

Human rights aren't conditional

10 December 2019
Human Rights Day is an opportunity to reflect on our rights and what they mean to us. At CPAG we are particularly concerned with rights in the context of the changing benefits system, and ensuring that human rights are upheld when such drastic reforms are introduced.

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

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. The case was due to be heard in the Upper Tribunal on 21st and 22nd January 2020, but was adjourned in order for further evidence to be filed. The case was relisted for 22-24 April 2020 but has been further postponed to 3-5 June 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

CPAG in 2019

10 December 2019
We look back over the past year at CPAG, from our campaigns and research to our legal work.

Domestic abuse is an economic issue – for its victims and for society

06 December 2019
Violence against women is first and foremost a violation of women’s human rights. During these 16 days of activism against VAWG (violence against women and girls), we highlight how economic inequality is facilitating violence perpetrated by men against women. We need to make our economy work for women so women can be safer, and a properly functioning social security system is integral to this.

Widowed Parent's Allowance where there has been a religious ceremony

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. The First tier Tribunal found that the claimant had no entitlement to WPA, and permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was refused, first by the FtT and then, on renewal, by the UT itself. Following a successful Cart style judicial review of the decision not to allow permission to appeal, the case was remitted to the UT for a decision on the WPA entitlement. The case was heard in the UT before a three judge panel on 13/02/20, and we are awaiting the judgment.