Test Cases | CPAG

Test Cases

DWP offers and how Tribunals should deal with them

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 Deicsion 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.

KH v Bury MBC and SSWP (HB) [2020] UKUT 50 (AAC)

Retention of "worker status" when worked for over a year - no test of whether has a genuine chance of being engaged

Bereavement Support Payments for Unmarried Parents

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 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. Click to read the full judgment.

Benefit cap and those paid 4 weekly

SP 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 despite the fact that she works 16 hours per week at national minimum wage simply because she is paid 4 weekly rather than monthly. Permission to apply for judicial review was granted on 5th December 2019 and the case has been listed for 13 May 2020.

Universal credit assessment period inflexibility

R (Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart) v SSWP [2019] EWHC 23 (Admin): This case concerns a judicial review challenging the rigidity of the assessment period regime under universal credit (UC) and the way that earned income is calculated, which results in some claimants being treated as earning two monthly salaries in one assessment period. Judgment was given on 11 January 2019 finding in favour of the claimants, but the SSWP appealed. The case will be heard by the Court of Appeal on 19th May 2020.

Maternity Allowance and Universal Credit

Moore and Others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CO/4081/2019. On 18 October 2019, CPAG issued judicial review proceedings challenging the treatment of maternity allowance as unearned income in the calculation of universal credit awards. There will be a "rolled up" hearing of the case on 24th and 25th June, meaning that permission to apply for judicial review will first be considered and, if permission is granted, the substantive case will be considered at the same hearing.

Universal credit and lone parents under 25

Rogers and others v SSWP CO/3678/2019: On 17 September 2019, CPAG filed a judicial review claim challenging the lower standard allowance in universal credit for lone parents who are under 25. Permission to apply for judicial review was refused at an oral permission hearing on 11/12/19. CPAG has submitted a renewal application to the Court of Appeal.

Disability Living Allowance 2 year Past Presence Test for returning British Citizens

These cases challenge the legality of the new past presence test (PPT), which requires a person to have been in the UK for 104 of the past 156 weeks before being eligible to claim Disability Living Allowance. The case was due to be heard in the Upper Tribunal on 21st and 22nd January 2020, but was adjourned in order for further evidence to be filed. The case has been relisted for 22-24 April 2020.

Widowed Parent's Allowance where there has been a religious ceremony

This case concerns entitlement to Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) where the claimant and the deceased partner had undergone a religious ceremony and considered themselves to be and held themselves out as being legally married. The First tier Tribunal found that the claimant had no entitlement to WPA, and permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was refused, first by the FtT and then, on renewal, by the UT itself. Following a successful Cart style judicial review of the decision not to allow permission to appeal, the case was remitted to the UT for a decision on the WPA entitlement. The case was heard in the UT before a three judge panel on 13/02/20, and we are awaiting the judgment.

Universal Credit, disability and transitional protection

This case is a challenge to the lack of transitional protection, and inability to return to legacy benefits, in cases where the claimant's benefit entitlement is terminated, forcing them onto UC, and the decision to terminate their benefits is subsequently found to be incorrect. After an unsuccessful hearing in the High Court, we have been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal and the case is due to be heard on 22/23 April 2020.