EK v SSWP CDLA/2019/2018 and TS v SSWP CDLA/2208/2018
These cases challenge the legality of the revised past presence test (PPT), which requires a child to have been in the UK for 104 of the past 156 weeks before being eligible to claim disability living allowance (DLA) (referred to as the ‘2 year PPT’).
The appellants argue that the 2 year PPT is unlawful as a result of non-compliance by the SSWP with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and the discriminatory effect of the 2 year PPT is in breach of their human rights.
The cases were heard together before UTJ Ward at a two-day Upper Tribunal hearing on 3 - 4 June 2020 and judgment is now expected in autumn 2020.
R (Johnson, Woods, Barrett & Stewart) v SSWP  EWHC23 (Admin); SSWP v Johnson, Woods, Barrett & Stewart  EWCA Civ788
This case successfully challenged the rigidity of the monthly assessment period regime under universal credit (UC) and the way that earned income is calculated for certain claimants. The case concerned four single working mothers whose regular monthly pay dates for their wages fell close to the start/end of their assessment periods, resulting in them sometimes having two paydays in one assessment period. This issue caused them to experience fluctuations of their income and significant cash losses.
Pantellerisco and others v SSWP CO/3572/2019
On 12 September 2019, CPAG issued judicial review proceedings on behalf of a single parent and her children challenging the application of the benefit cap to the mother’s universal credit award. The cap is applied to the mother despite the fact that she works 16 hours per week at national living wage, simply because she is paid 4 weekly rather than monthly. Permission to apply for judicial review was granted on 5 December 2019 and the case was heard on 12 May 2020. Judgment was given on 20 July 2020 with the court finding in the claimants' favour.
R (TD & Ors) v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions  EWCA Civ 618
On 12 May 2020, the Court of Appeal handed down a judgment in favour of the appellants in this case. The appellants were originally in receipt of legacy benefits but had to claim universal credit (UC) when the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SSWP) decided that they were no longer entitled to legacy benefits and terminated their awards. Even though those decisions were ultimately overturned on revision, the appellants were stuck on UC and received less than they would have if they had remained on legacy benefits. The Court found that there had been a difference in treatment of the appellants compared with legacy benefit claimants who had not had any wrongful decision terminating their legacy benefit awards and who would be moved to UC through managed migration and would benefit from transitional protection. This difference in treatment was found by the Court to be manifestly without reasonable foundation and so the Article 14 non-discrimination rights of the appellants (in conjunction with Article 1, Protocol 1) had been breached. The SSWP has been refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court by the Court of Appeal. We wait to see whether she will renew her application for permission direct to the Supreme Court
Refugees with pre-flight children claiming Maternity Grant for first child in UK
Upper Tribunal decides refugees who arrived in the UK with children, can claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant when having their first child in the UK (as the contrary position results in unlawful discrimination).
lawfulness of exclusion from universal credit of EEA nationals whose only right to reside is "pre-settled status".
Fratila and Tanase v SSWP CO/3632/2019:
CPAG brought judicial review proceedings on behalf of two EU nationals who were refused universal credit on the basis that their limited leave to remain in the UK under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules (pre-settled status) was not a qualifying right of residence for the purposes of means-tested benefits. On 27 April 2020, the Court dismissed the claim. The Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal on 29 May 2020.
Tribunal making worse decision than DWP offered claimant / practice of "offers"
This case concerns the apparent DWP practice of making "offers" to claimants who have appealed a decision about their benefit entitlement where if the claimant states they would renew their appeal against a revised decision that gave them what was offered, the Decision Maker does not revise as offered but instead allows the case to proceed to the Tribunal. In particular it concerns the approach the First-tier Tribunal should take when faced with a case in which such an offer has been made and refused.
Retention of "worker status" when worked for over a year - no test of whether has a genuine chance of being engaged
Jackson & Others v SSWP CO/975/2019:
On 07 February 2020, the High Court handed down judgment in this case. It was held that the requirement under the Pensions Act 2014 to be married or in a civil partnership in order to claim bereavement support payment (BSP) was not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. On 14 February 2020, the SSWP made an application for permission to appeal against the decision, which was refused by Judge Holman on 2 March 2020. The application for permission to appeal was not renewed to the Court of Appeal.
Please read the full article for the judgment and advice on the current position for unmarried claimants of BSP.