In the news

Our monthly news update includes recent benefits news with links to the latest guidance & case law. You can subscribe on the Home page to receive our monthly newletter.

DECEMBER 2021

Fratila is lost on appeal

The UK's Supreme Court has allowed the Secretary of State's appeal against the Fratila judgment.

The Fratila case, which was allowed at the Court of Appeal, had challenged the government's refusal to pay Universal Credit to EU residents who had pre-settled status  without another, qualifying right to reside in the UK.

The Supreme Court's unanimous decision will be a blow for any advice worker supporting people who are in a similar situation. It may still be possible to appeal on the basis of the right to human dignity and to family life, following the ruling on the parallel 'CG' case in Northern Ireland (heard at the Court of Justice of the European Union in July).  However, any future appeal will depend on relevant facts and, for cases that have arisen since 31st December 2020, additional arguments would be needed & may not work.

Child Poverty Action Group, the campaigning organisation who took on the Fratila case, have issued advice for people with pre-settled status who may need to claim UC or have outstanding claims or challenges against refusals.

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The most wonderful time of the year?

Changes to UC taper rate and  work allowances

The government may not have retained the Universal Credit uplift but they have at least worked fast to make some positive changes to the UC taper rate and work allowances.

Guidance has been issued with full information on the reduction in the UC taper rate from 63% to 55% and increase in work allowances (the lower allowance is now £335, the higher allowance is £557). The changes for working UC claimants affect all new awards of Universal Credit and all claimants with assessments ending on/after 24th November 2021.

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Naming the Money (2004), an installation by by Turner Prize winning artist Lubaina Himid

RECENT CASE LAW

Quick links to selected recent benefits-related case law

CHILD BENEFIT

Child benefit not transferrable to another EU state via Article 7 of Regulation 883/2004

[2021] EWCA Civ 1724

Decision date 26th November 2021

 

INDUSTRIAL INJURIES

When deterioration of condition after Industrial Injuries Disablement Payment is due to treatment received for condition

CI/940/2020

Decision date 18th October 2021

Published 17th November 2021

HOUSING BENEFIT

Landlord who received overpayments is a necessary ‘second respondent’ at claimant’s appeal

CH/1041/2020

Decision date 13th October 2021

Published 29th October 2021

Supporting care-experienced children and families

This Christmas, we are supporting Family Futures, an adoption and fostering agency which works therapeutically with adoptive and foster families to support children who have been in care.

 

Adoptive and fostered children experience trauma both before and after removal from their birth families. Family Futures helps children to process the trauma and supports families who live with the behaviours resulting from it.  Please help them continue to offer an unrivalled, specialist and holistic service to adoptive and foster families by donating to their Forever Home fund.

Scotland, N Ireland & Wales

Links to articles, reports, regulations and guidance which separately affect benefits in Scotland, Wales and/or Northern Ireland,  when they differ significantly to those in England or the rest of the UK.

SCOTLAND

Double payment of Carers Allowance Supplement will be made on 15th Dec

Scottish government consultation on Low Income Winter Heating Assistance

open until 23rd February 2022)

SSI 442/2021

Regulations amending Social Security Scotland system for appointing a person to act on behalf of a claimant

Scottish Child payment to be doubled to £20 per week from April 2022

 

SI 1301/2021

Consequential amendments to social security legislation following introduction of Child Disability Payment

12 Nov

SSI 416/2021

Regulations on amendments to Child Disability Payment eligibility and claims rules

 

SSI 415/2021

Regulations on extension of eligibility for Child Winter Heating Assistance

SI 402/2021

Regulations concerning disregard for payments made under Redress for Survivors scheme

SSI 075/2021

Regulations allowing ‘non-instructed advocacy’ for claimants in Scotland

Social Security Scotland annual report shows 92% rated service good or very good

 

N IRELAND

Social Security (Terminal Illness) Bill,  increasing 6 month prognosis to 12 months, introduced to Assembly

NISR 302/2021

Regulations amending UC taper rate and work allowances

NISR 303/2021

Further limitation on exception to UC basic condition not to be in education for those in receipt of disability benefits


Bill to help secure support for mortgage interest loans gets first reading

 

WALES

New report claims Universal Basic Income in Wales would cut poverty in half

BITESIZE BENEFITS

Quick links to other benefits-related news

PIP2 form online

All PIP claimants are to be given the option to complete the PIP2 form online from 6 December 2021.

Extended use of PO accounts

13,000 people whose benefits  or tax credits are paid into a Post Office account will now have until 5th April 2022 to change to a bank account.

 

Benefits uprating 2022-23

The government has published its proposed benefits and pensions rates for 2022-23.

Audio and video evidence for appeal

HMCTS has added an audio and video evidence upload function to the Manage Your Appeal process.

Terminal Illness rules in ESA/UC

Changes to the rules on terminal illness (from a 6 month prognosis to 12 months) for people claiming UC and ESA will be introduced in April 2022.

Childcare costs in UC remain an ongoing issue

Inspite of recurring difficulties for working parents on the lowest incomes, there are no plans by the DWP to change the current rules on childcare costs in UC.

Pressure remains for the government to legislate so that Flexible Support Fund money used for childcare costs can be treated as paid by the claimant, which would allow them to get their next installment of childcare to be paid for from the childcare element in UC.

In a written answer to a parliamentary question from Tulip Siddiqi (Lab), DWP minister David Rutley confirmed that there are no plans for the rest of the UK to follow the N Ireland example of paying upfront childcare costs.
 

The issue is being taken up by the Work & Pensions Committee who have launched a consultation (submissions accepted until 13th January 2022).

 LATEST GUIDANCE   

Links to recent government regulations, guidance & bulletins, most recent at the top

ADM20-21

Guidance on reduced UC taper rate and work allowance increases from 24 Nov 2022

Household Support Fund

Final guidance to local authorities in England on Household Support Fund

ADM18-21 and DMG13-21

Guidance on making benefits payments in arrears by instalments to support claimant must be made with their consent

Jonathan Ashworth is new Shadow Secretary of State

Jon Ashworth has replaced Jonathan Reynolds as Shadow Work and Pensions Minister in Keir Starmer's shadow Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Ashworth, who is Labour MP for Leicester South, was previously Shadow Health & Social Care Secretary. Absence notwithstanding, he has consistently voted against a reduction in benefits for those people who need them.

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