Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘Legacy Benefits

Legacy Benefits Case Continues in Court.

MS Society UK on Twitter: "Today, it was announced that the High Court is  to decide whether it was lawful of the Government to refuse the same  financial uplift for nearly two

Case Continues.

Were it not for some of our eagle-eyed contributors this case would be ignored even on this site.

It is an injustice, not just for disabled people but for those on ” Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.”

Those claimants did not get the uplift when people on Universal Credit got the extra £20 a week.

There was an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, (February 2021)

That this House recognises the financial effect that the covid-19 outbreak has had on disabled people; further recognises that research from the Disability Benefits Consortium found that over six in 10 disabled people in the survey had gone without essentials such as food, heating or medication since the pandemic began; is concerned that no uplift was provided to people on legacy benefits such as employment and support allowance, jobseeker’s allowance and income support; calls on the Government to implement a £20 uplift for legacy benefits to reflect the additional costs disabled people have faced; and further calls on the Government to commission research to assess the adequacy of benefits for disabled people.

And a debate in the House of Commons, on the 15h of September 2021 which mentioned this injustice,

Opposition Day Debate: Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits

On Wednesday 15 September there will be an Opposition Day Debate on the motion ‘That this House calls on the Government to cancel its planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit which from the end of September 2021 will reduce support for many hardworking families by £1,040 a year.’

This uplift, however, did not apply to any other benefits, such as contributory benefits or extra-costs disability benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It also did not extend to means-tested benefits which are being replaced by Universal Credit, but are still being claimed by many low-income families of working age. These are known as ‘legacy’ benefits and include: income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), and Income Support.

There were some protests and a petition protesting against this injustice.

Government responded

This response was given on 11 March 2021

The Government has now confirmed the temporary £20 per week increase to Universal Credit remains in place for a further six months. There are no plans to extend a benefit increase to legacy benefits.

But the only avenue left now seems to be this important court case.

A disabled man from Milton Keynes is to make history with a judicial review in the High Court that could help two million other benefit claimants in the UK win a backdated amount of cash.

Ian Barrow is one of four people nationally to challenge the decision of the government not to give legacy benefit claimants an extra £20 to help them during the Covid pandemic.

All Universal Credit claimants were given the weekly ‘uplift’ but those on legacy benefits received nothing extra.

Legacy benefits are Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.

He is in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance and has been assessed as having limited capability for work-related activity (LCWRA).

At the beginning of the pandemic the Chancellor announced the £20 per week increase to the standard allowance of Universal Credit, but this increase was never extended to those on legacy benefits, the majority of whom are disabled, sick or carers.

A spokesman for Osbornes said the legal argument is that this action is discriminatory and unjustified. The High Court has agreed it is arguably unlawful and will decide the case later this year. The claimants have asked for the trial to be heard before the end of July 2021.

Claimants return to court for third battle with DWP in fight for universal credit justice

The high court has this week heard the latest stage in a long-running battle to secure justice for thousands of disabled benefit claimants who lost out financially after being forced onto universal credit.

The hearing, due to end today (Thursday), concerns policies that left many claimants worse off when their circumstances changed and they had to move from legacy benefits like employment and support allowance onto universal credit (UC).

Two of the three claimants taking the case – known as TP and AR for legal reasons – have already twice defeated the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the court of appeal in connected cases.

Their first legal case challenged rules that meant they lost out on about £180 a month in the move to UC, because they were no longer receiving severe disability premium (SDP) and enhanced disability premium (EDP).

DWP responded by temporarily stopping other claimants in similar positions from migrating onto UC and introducing payments of about £80 month for those already affected.

TP and AR then had to take another legal case – which they also won – because this payment failed to bridge the gap between what they were now receiving and what they would have been receiving if they were still claiming ESA.

Despite the two victories, they were forced to take a third legal action after DWP announced that the level of compensation for disabled people who had been receiving EDP and SDP and had moved onto UC before 16 January 2019 – when another set of regulations came into force to protect other claimants in similar situations – would be set at a lower rate than the £180 a month they had secured through the second case.

They have been joined in the third case by another disabled claimant, AB, who has a partner and a child, and has lost out by even more.

TP and AR are currently losing out by £60 a month and AB and her partner by nearly £400 a month.

TP said last month: “It has been entirely frustrating and exhausting having to exist on an overall unreasonable cut in financial assistance brought about by a move forced upon me into universal credit, whilst at the same time battling debilitating illness during a most challenging period of increased expenditure during this pandemic.

“The principle of a fair transition into universal credit has already been upheld by the courts on numerous occasions now, yet the government has been dragging its feet for a prolonged period of time to my detriment in abiding by these rulings both in letter and spirit.”

AR added: “Yet again I am having to go to court and fight for what is fair.

“Over the last years I should have had much needed support in place to help me get through the challenges I face on a daily basis as a result of my disabilities, but instead I have had to put time and energy into fighting for that support.

“I hope this is the last time we have to fight the secretary of state for support that is so obviously needed.”

Their solicitor, Tessa Gregory, a partner at Leigh Day, said last month that it was “difficult to believe that our clients have been forced to bring a third set of legal proceedings against the government in order to ensure they and thousands of other severely disabled persons are not unlawfully discriminated against following their move on to universal credit”.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 23, 2021 at 6:24 pm

High court bid to end discrimination against Legacy Benefit claimants.

Image

This has been an issue our contributors have long been concerned with:

Universal Credit increase: High Court challenge piles pressure on DWP to extend £20 uplift to all benefits.

The ‘I’.

The Government has come under renewed pressure to raise the value of all benefits in line with the increase ministers introduced for universal credit claimants at the start of the pandemic.

It comes as the High Court gave two people on employment and support allowance (ESA), one of the benefits being replaced by Universal Credit, permission to challenge the Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) policy on the uplift, which they claim is discriminatory.

In March 2020, the Government announced that people on universal credit and working tax credit will temporarily receive an extra £20 a week to cope with the disruption caused by coronavirus, but stopped short of extending the increase to people still on the old benefits system, many of whom are carers and those with disabilities. Nearly two million people on ESA have missed out on the uplift, worth £1,040 a year.

…..

The High Court’s decision to grant permission for the claim to be heard shows leaving out certain benefit claimants from the £20-a-week increase is arguably “unlawful”, he said.

“People dependent on the basic allowances provided by benefit payments are facing higher living costs during the pandemic. However, there is a difference in treatment between those on universal credit and those on legacy benefits, despite the fact that claimants in each group may have very similar circumstances.

“It is therefore welcome that this difference in treatment will be scrutinised by the High Court, particularly given the fact that almost two million disabled people are disproportionately affected by this decision.”

Written by Andrew Coates

April 30, 2021 at 5:49 pm

Former DWP Chief Stephen Crabb calls to make the £20 addition for Universal Credit permanent and extend it to legacy benefits.

Equal Benefits for Claimants! Raise Legacy Benefits in Line with Universal Credit Rates! | Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Stephen Crabb, “legacy benefits like JSA, ESA and IS should be raised to match the universal credit increase.”

This is the benefits story of the day:

‘allo, ‘allo, what ‘ave we here?

Read the article…..

As a first step, the government should make permanent the additional £20 per week for the universal credit standard allowance that it brought in to strengthen social security during the crisis. Removing it next spring, as currently planned, will amount to a painful cut in income for many people still struggling to come to terms with the loss of their jobs and who have found the transition from furlough to benefits a very hard landing indeed.

In parallel, the personal allowance of so-called legacy benefits like JSA, ESA and IS should be raised to match the universal credit increase. This is particularly important for those with disabilities, and their carers, who make up most of the people remaining on these benefits. It’s just not right that some of the most vulnerable people have not seen equivalent protection.

My Government Must Do More To Help Working Poor Cope With Covid

We should also look at extensions to the furlough scheme, writes Stephen Crabb MP.

Meanwhile this rumbles on.

The Work and Pensions Committee, a Commons Select Committee, is continuing its investigation into Universal Credit.

There next evidence hearing session is on the 2nd of September,

Universal Credit: the wait for a first payment

Inquiry

Universal Credit has a “baked in” wait for the first payment. After completing all of the stages of their application, claimants must then wait for at least five weeks to receive their award. They can ask for an Advance payment if they need money more urgently, which they then pay back out of their future Universal Credit payments.

Many organisations have concluded that the five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment must be reduced or eliminated entirely. There is, however, a lack of agreement about how this might be most effectively—and affordably—achieved. Some of the options suggested include:

  • Scrapping the five week wait for all claimants: for example, by making the Advance non-repayable;
  • Offering non-repayable Advances to some claimants: for example, those considered vulnerable;
  • Allowing more flexibility for the start of a claim to be backdated;
  • Extending run on payments to cover all legacy benefits;
  • Substantially reducing the rate at which Advance Payments—the main existing mitigation measure—are paid back, to help claimants better manage their money;
  • Paying UC two-weekly, like many legacy benefits, rather than monthly.

The Committee wants to help the Government to better understand the upsides and downsides of these options, and explore other possible solutions.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 31, 2020 at 3:04 pm

Claimants Moving to Universal Credit to Get Bonus.

EXTRA 2 WEEKS' MONEY FOR THOSE MOVING TO UNIVERSAL CREDIT - Island ...

More Money for Some on Benefits as Unemployment Set to Soar.

This looks a fishy.

The DWP has announced that thousands of benefit recipients moving on to Universal Credit will receive up to two weeks of additional cash to provide them with extra support

Is there a catch?

Ah….

This one-time payment, known as a run-on, will help people during their first assessment period, and will not have to be paid back.

It’s been in place for housing benefit claimants for more than two years – and has benefited around 2.3million people so far according to DWP figures.

However, from this month, it will also be paid to those who join from child tax credit, income support, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance and working tax credit.

In total, it could help an estimated 1.1million households, according to one report seen by Birmingham Live.

What about those who remain on Legacy Benefits?

 

From Wednesday, July 22, if someone’s existing claim of income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), income-related employment and support allowance (ESA) or income support ends due to them applying for universal credit, they will be eligible for a payment worth up to two weeks of their former benefit.

Anyone on the legacy benefits being replaced by Universal Credit is moved across when their circumstances change, such as moving home, losing their job or having a baby.

But….

Everyone else on the legacy benefits is expected to be moved across by September 24. This date is much later than originally forecast and will increase the cost of implementing Universal Credit to £4.6 billion.

So, it’s nothing for those on legacy benefits, who will remain deprived of the extra £20 a week Universal Credit claimants get.

In the meantime the mess that is Universal Credit was shown up in Court today.

Universal credit earnings calculations unlawful, judge says

Guardian

Single mother lost up to £463 a month due to four-weekly pay cycle not fitting rules

A working single parent who was benefit-capped and left up to £463 a month worse off because of the “irrational” way universal credit calculated her monthly earnings has won a high court victory against the Department for Work and Pensions.

The ruling – the second in less than a month in which the DWP’s guidelines for assessing universal credit earnings have been ruled unlawful – found the system was unreasonable and placed absurd conditions on benefit claimants who fell foul of it.

Universal Credit: Mum wins High Court fight against DWP

BBC.

A single working mother has won a High Court challenge against the Department for Work and Pensions over its “irrational” Universal Credit system.

Sharon Pantellerisco, from Merseyside, had her benefits cut as her employer paid her salary on a four-week basis.

However, if she had been paid a monthly salary, the reduction of up to £463 per month would not have been applied.

The High Court said the DWP’s method when calculating earnings in this case had been “irrational and unlawful”.

The DWP has been contacted for a comment.

The court heard how Ms Pantellerisco, from Southport, is the sole carer of her three dependent children who all live together along with her eldest child, who is now aged 19.

The 41-year-old is employed for 16 hours a week at the national living wage rate but, because she was paid on a four-week basis, this resulted in her falling short of the income threshold to avoid the benefit cap.

Watch out for this – seriously worrying for many people.

Looks like Coffey is thinking about her holidays (tweet with 3 likes!)

 

Written by Andrew Coates

July 20, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Equal Benefits for Claimants! Raise Legacy Benefits in Line with Universal Credit Rates!

Under the hood: what Universal Credit means for Council Tax ...

Around £20 a Week Less for Single ‘Legacy Benefit’ Claimants, “The DWP has blamed operational difficulties for the disparity.”

As our contributors raise concerns about the re-opening of Jobcentres for signing on, and the resumption of the fortnightly proof of ‘job search’ or the daily Diary record for Work Coaches,this issue still rankles.

 

This week Civil Service News carried the following story.

A new report by the Work and Pensions Committee says the pandemic is leaving “huge numbers” of people “struggling to cover the cost of essentials.

The government has already raised Universal Credit and working tax credit payments by £20 a week for 12 months.

But the committee warns that those on benefits that have not yet been replaced by Universal Credit — including jobseekers’ allowance, employment support allowance and child tax credits — have not received the same help.

The cross-party group says it is “unacceptable that people have been left facing hardship through no fault of their own, simply because of the outdated and complex way in which so-called legacy benefits are administered”.

And they call on the DWP to increase rates for legacy benefits by an equivalent amount, with the payment backdated to April.

It continues,

Committee chairman Stephen Timms said: “DWP’s frontline staff have worked hard to get support to millions of people. Without their actions, the impact of the pandemic could have been much worse.

“But the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted weaknesses in a social security system which at times is too inflexible and slow to adapt to support people in times of crisis.”

He added: “The focus has mostly been on the unprecedented numbers of new claims for Universal Credit. But in the background, people on legacy benefits – including disabled people, carers and people with young families – have slipped down the list of priorities.

“It’s now time for the government to redress that balance and increase legacy benefits too. It’s simply not right for people to miss out on support just because they happen, through no fault of their own, to be claiming the ‘wrong’ kind of benefit.”

The Committee said clearly,

Raise the rates of legacy benefits to support people hit hard by coronavirus pandemic, not just Universal Credit, say MPs

Rates of older benefits must be raised to provide help for millions of people who have not yet moved to Universal Credit and who are struggling to meet the extra inescapable costs imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Work and Pensions Committee says today.

The report on the Department for Work and Pensions’ response to the coronavirus outbreak finds that the pandemic has left huge numbers of people struggling to cover the costs of essentials, with some disabled people in particular hit hard by increased costs of care and rising food prices.

Raise level of pre-Universal Credit benefits – Government must not ‘simply ignore the needs’ of people claiming legacy benefits

  • The Committee heard evidence that coronavirus has increased living costs for disabled people. In a survey of 224 disabled people in April, the Disability Benefits Consortium reported that 95% of people surveyed had experienced a rise in costs for food, utilities and managing their health.
  • While the Government has raised the rates of standard Universal Credit and basic Working Tax Credits by £20 a week for 12 months, people on benefits yet to be replaced by UC, including Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Child Tax Credits, have not been similarly helped, with the DWP blaming operational difficulties for the disparity.
  • The Committee argues that it is unacceptable that people have been left facing hardship through no fault of their own, simply because of the outdated and complex way in which so-called legacy benefits are administered. It calls on the DWP to boost the rates by an equivalent amount to the rise in UC, backdated to April.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 25, 2020 at 9:02 am