In-work benefits | CPAG

In-work benefits

Universal credit, earned income and monthly pay

R (Johnson, Woods, Barrett & Stewart) v SSWP [2019] EWHC23 (Admin); SSWP v Johnson, Woods, Barrett & Stewart [2020] 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.

Universal credit, benefit cap and those paid 4 weekly

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.

Latest findings from the Early Warning System – July/August 2020

08 September 2020
This briefing includes issues with UC calculations, tax credit claimants migrating to UC prematurely, disabled people financially disadvantaged by the lack of work capability assessments being carried out and migrants experiencing hardship due to restrictions on benefit entitlement.

Early Warning System E-Bulletin - April 2020

April 2020
Social Insecurity: how the outbreak is affecting your cases. Summary of queries received by the Early Warning System during the covid-19 pandemic. Topics covered include universal credit whilst on furlough, awaiting self-employment grant or facing the habitual residence test, plus problems claiming new-style ESA and more.

Is universal credit working for working people? – Usdaw members’ experiences

23 April 2019
Since 2010, the government has ignored rising child poverty while repeating the mantra that work is the best route out of poverty. Work is indeed a factor in escaping poverty, but it needs to be secure work, with a decent wage, decent hours and prospects.

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.

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.

Too simple: the failure of universal credit assessment periods

08 August 2018
In the ‘simple’ world of universal credit, monthly assessment periods are the supposedly ‘neat’ way of judging what financial support families should get based on their earnings and circumstances.

It’s time to start listening: what the Department for Work and Pensions needs to learn about universal credit

12 July 2018
In the Commons last week, Work and Pensions ministers responded to concerns about universal credit by offering to look at individual constituency cases MPs were raising, where things might not be going quite right.