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Universal credit

Briefings and reports

A child-centred reform of children's social security

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.

Seeking security in an increasingly insecure world

As part of our Secure Futures for Children and Families project, Ruth Lister, member of the House of Lords and Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University, examines income security in our social security system in this paper.

News

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.

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.

High Court finds DWP unlawful on universal credit assessments

11 January 2019
In a test case victory for a group of working lone mothers, the High Court found today that the way the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been assessing income from employment through its Universal Credit (UC) work assessment periods is unlawful.

Blogs

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.

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.

Income security for families with children

01 November 2019
Low-income families are faced with ongoing challenges in budgeting and balancing the regular costs of living with meeting the need for more occasional and one-off items. But it is not just expenditure that is ‘lumpy’ in this way. Income can also come into households at different times and in different amounts. Research with families looking in depth at money management highlights something of a paradox in the juggling of low income.