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Benefit-capped working mother wins test case against DWP's irrational universal credit rules for assessing earnings

20 July 2020
A working single mother on universal credit (UC) has today won a test case against the DWP's approach to calculating earnings in UC which left her benefit-capped – and up to £5,000 worse off per year – purely because her employer paid her four-weekly rather than monthly.

Households worse off on universal credit win Court of Appeal test case

12 May 2020
Two disabled households who were left worse off after they were forced to move to universal credit (UC) because their existing benefits were wrongly stopped by the DWP today won a breakthrough case in the Court of Appeal. The result means that depending on what remedy the DWP chooses, the two households – and potentially thousands like them subject to wrongful decisions by the DWP – will be able to return to their previous benefits or have their UC awards topped up to the level of their previous benefits.

Legal update

10 February 2020
Our legal team has had a busy start to the new year. Last week we learned we had been successful in our High Court case challenging the fact that the higher rate of bereavement support payment for families with children is currently only paid if a spouse or civil partner dies, and not when the couple were not married or in a civil partnership. This follows a similar challenge to the previous widowed parent’s allowance – the Supreme Court found in favour of a mother and her four children in that case, but, although the law is not compatible with human rights law, the government has still not resolved the issue.

The Benefit Cap: a legal stock take

02 July 2019
Latest DWP figures show a consistent picture since the benefit cap was lowered back in November 2016: almost 75% of all capped households are headed up by a lone parent; a majority of all capped households (56%) are lone parent families with a youngest child under 5 years old; the benefit cap can be avoided by working a certain amount, but the rate at which this happens hovers around the 40% mark; almost 80% of capped households would not have been capped under the original cap.

Response to Supreme Court benefit cap ruling

15 May 2019
The Supreme Court has today ruled against a challenge to the Government’s benefit cap policy brought by five* lone parents and their children.  Two of the lone parents and their children were represented by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).   

Court of appeal leaves door open for wider challenge on lower benefit cap

15 March 2018
The Court of Appeal today overturned a High Court ruling that the lower benefit cap unlawfully discriminates against lone parents with children aged under two but left the door open for a wider challenge to the lawfulness of the cap as it applies to all lone parents.

Benefit cap breaches children’s rights, says Supreme Court

18 March 2015
Supreme Court judges have criticised the Government’s benefit cap for breaching international law on the rights of children.