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Benefit rights for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

Issue 196 (February 2007)
Pamela Fitzpatrick gives a brief overview of the changes to benefit rules brought about by the Accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU.

Overpayments and recovery at common law

Issue 196 (February 2007)
It may have been thought that, with his success in the case of B, the Secretary of State would have been content with the overpayment recovery powers in section 71 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992. However, recent correspondence between the DWP and CPAG reveals that the DWP thinks it also has powers of recovery under the common law. Stewart Wright explains the correspondence, suggests why the DWP may be wrong and how the issue may be tested in court.

Reporting changes – failures and overpayments

Issue 196 (February 2007)
Simon Osborne looks at the law on reporting changes of circumstance, in the light of recent case law and the ongoing centralisation of offices at Jobcentre Plus.

Mentally ill or mentally well?

Issue 195 (December 2006)
Judith Hodson, of Rochdale Council Advice Service, provides a summary of social security commissioners' decisions regarding mental health and incapacity.

The times they are a-changin' – tax credits and changes of circumstances

Issue 195 (December 2006)
Beth Lakhani describes new rules on reporting changes of circumstances for tax credits.

Encouraging thoughts

Issue 195 (December 2006)
Stewart Wright reports on the recent Tribunal of Commissioners' decision - CSDLA/133/2005 - which considered whether thinking is a bodily function and whether prompting and motivating can count as attention for AA and DLA purposes.

Arguing shared-care cases after Stec

Issue 194 (October 2006)
At first blush, it may seem that the ECtHR's decision in Stec has opened up a simple route for successfully applying Hockenjos to all shared cases. Stewart Wright suggests that this is not the case and that such arguments remain difficult.

Work and Families Act 2006: maternity, paternity and adoption benefit changes

Issue 194 (October 2006)
As part of the Government's 10-year strategy for childcare, it consulted on measures intended to 'give parents more choice about how to balance their work and family responsibilities'. The Work and Families Act 2006 implements some of the measures set out in the Government's response to this consultation. The Act, together with a group of related statutory instruments, contains amendments to legislation relating to maternity, paternity and adoption benefits. Susan Mitchell outlines the main changes.

Pregnant students and means-tested benefits

Issue 194 (October 2006)
David Simmons examines the barriers to accessing means-tested benefits for full-time students who have to interrupt their studies because of pregnancy.

Employment and support allowance – a forthcoming attraction?

Issue 193 (August 2006)
The Welfare Reform Bill was published on 4 July 2006. Amongst its foremost provisions are the basic rules concerning the employment and support allowance, which is expected to replace incapacity benefit and income support for incapacity from 2008. Drawing on the Bill and its predecessor, the Green Paper, Simon Osborne describes the main provisions and identifies some of the issues arising.