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How can we improve social security? Let’s start by listening to families

24 March 2021
While some of us are counting down the days until the next stage of unlocking, eager to go out for a meal or go shopping, for many families living on a low income there is no end in sight. As one parent explained, the end of restrictions would mean going “from a viral lockdown to a financial lockdown”.

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.

Access to justice, one step at a time: Part 2

17 November 2020
Part 1 set out our approach at CPAG to access to justice in the social security field, namely ensuring: access to information, access to advice and assistance, and access to mechanisms for challenging unlawful decisions. Continuing with the last of these steps, the normal route for challenging a social security decision is by appealing it to a tribunal. Sometimes though, the appeal route is not available or, while available in principle, is not effective. In those situations, the route of legal challenge is judicial review.

Furthering access to justice, one step at a time: Part 1

17 November 2020
The ‘rule of law’ and ‘access to justice’ are concepts that are seen as fundamental to the proper functioning of a healthy, democratic society. The rule of law becomes perilously fragile if ordinary people are unable to hold public bodies to account.

Algorithms in social security: cause for concern?

28 August 2020
Two weeks ago pupils, parents and schools were up in arms when the news broke that 40 per cent of teacher-assessed A level results had been downgraded by at least one grade. The culprit? A computer, or to be precise, an algorithm. This episode clearly shows the chaos that can be caused to people’s lives when the technology that so many parts of public services now rely on goes wrong.

Court of Appeal finds DWP's treatment of earnings under universal credit irrational in further victory for four single mothers

22 June 2020
The Department of Work and Pensions has lost its appeal against an earlier victory for four working single mothers challenging the rigidity of the universal credit (UC) system for calculating their earnings.

Coronavirus: Child Poverty Action Group calls for emergency child payment for families hit by school closures

16 March 2020
Child Poverty Action Group is urging the Government to increase payments for children if schools close because of Coronavirus, to protect children in low-income families facing extra financial pressure and the loss of free school meals. Ideally the payments could be made through a £10 per week uplift in child benefit for the duration of the pandemic.

Universal credit claimants left in the dark about their entitlements

01 May 2019
Universal credit (UC) claimants are routinely in the dark about how much they should receive, how their awards are calculated and if and how they can challenge DWP decisions, because the Department’s communications with claimants are opaque and inadequate, new analysis from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) finds.

Universal credit claimants left in the dark about their entitlements

01 May 2019
Universal credit (UC) claimants are routinely in the dark about how much they should receive, how their awards are calculated and if and how they can challenge DWP decisions, because the Department’s communications with claimants are opaque and inadequate.

New universal credit regulations - missed opportunity for reducing risk to claimants

05 November 2018
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes some of the changes to draft regulations governing the migration of people on existing benefits to universal credit but warns that the DWP has passed up an opportunity to reduce the risk that claimants will be left with no money if their existing benefits are stopped before their universal credit claim is up and running.