Domestic abuse survivor wins universal credit appeal case that will help destitute EU citizens and families residing in the UK live with dignity  

08 November 2023
A landmark ruling in the Court of Appeal has held that the government is required to consider the fundamental rights of EU citizens and their families residing in the UK, including their right to live in dignified conditions, before refusing universal credit support.

No requirement to request backdating before a claim to universal credit determined

AM v SSWP (UC) [2022] UKUT 242 (AAC); Abdul Miah (by his litigation friend Mashuq Miah) (Respondent) v SSWP
The Upper Tribunal judgment in this case holds that a claimant who does not ask for backdating when they initially make their claim of universal credit ("UC") and does not amend their claim before it is decided, can nonetheless obtain backdating by later requesting a revision of the decision which only awarded UC from the day on which the claim was submitted. There is therefore no need for a claimant to have made a request for backdating at the claim stage in order for it to be considered. SSWP appealed to the Court of Appeal and the appeal was heard on 7 November 2023. The judgment of the Court of Appeal is awaited.

You reap what you code

27 June 2023
This research study examines the extent to which universal credit (UC) adheres to the rule of law principles of transparency, procedural fairness and lawfulness. Our analysis focuses on the claims, decision making, communication of decisions and disputes processes within UC. We investigated how the design and implementation of the UK’s first digital-by-design benefit aligns with the social security legislation underpinning it.

Digital universal credit system breaches principles of law and stops claimants accessing support

27 June 2023
Digital aspects of universal credit (UC) routinely lead to wrong amounts being awarded to claimants – often the most vulnerable - and to breaches of rule-of-law principles, new Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) research finds.

Delays accessing universal credit for claimants with National Insurance Numbers

R (Bui) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2022] UKUT 189 (AAC); [2023] EWCA Civ 566
This is a challenge to the policy of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SSWP) that she will not make payments of universal credit (UC) or advances unless and until a claimant has a national insurance number (the ‘NINo Rule’). The judicial reviews were unsuccessful at first instance but the claimants appealed to the Court of Appeal. The case was heard in the Court of Appeal on 30 March 2023 and judgment was given in favour of the claimants on 25 May 2023. The Court of Appeal refused SSWP's application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on 13/06/2023 and SSWP made an application to the Supreme Court. On 18/10/2023, the Supreme Court refused SSWP's application for permission to appeal.

DWP policy of excluding universal credit claimants awaiting national insurance numbers from New Claim Advances found unlawful

25 May 2023
The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of two universal credit claimants who brought judicial reviews against the DWP after waiting months for their first payments of UC due to them not having a national insurance number at the point they claimed the benefit, despite DWP having verified their identity and determined they were eligible for UC. 

EU carer owed thousands by DWP after winning legal battle to be included in disabled wife’s universal credit award  

23 May 2023
An EU citizen (WV) who is a carer for his severely disabled British wife (J) has – with support from Child Poverty Action Group - won a legal battle with the DWP after a Tribunal found the couple were wrongly underpaid universal credit for nearly 2 years while he had pre-settled status, since the couple’s joint claim was refused by the DWP in 2020.