Test Cases | CPAG

Test Cases

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.

Universal Credit, disability and transitional protection

R (TD & Ors) v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2020] 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

EU pre-settled status

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.

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.

Defective claims for universal credit and date of claim

Whether creating a universal credit account and clicking "Make a claim" is sufficient to count as a defective claim for universal credit?