In the news

MAY 2018

Our bitesize news page includes the latest benefits news, guidance and recent case law. Please let us know what you think and what else you'd like to see.

BENEFITS NEWSBITE

For those who don't do Twitter  or  Facebook: A more regularly updated section with one or two welfare-related news stories within each month's news page.

Single parents capped more

72% of benefit-capped households are single parents, according to new DWP statistics. The statistics back up recent concerns raised by Gingerbread and others over the disproportionate impact of welfare reforms on single parent families.

Latest UC rollout schedule

An updated schedule has been issued for the Universal Credit rollout. The schedule covers the period from May – July 2018 and includes areas in and around London, Liverpool, Bristol, Newcastle, Berkshire, Shropshire, Peterborough, Hampshire, Wales, Leicester, Nottingham,  Suffolk, Devon, Scotland and Cumbria amongst others.

Urgent guidance to LAs on Windrush

The government has issued urgent bulletin HB U1/2018 for local authorities dealing with housing benefit claims from the ‘Windrush generation’.

 

Local authorities are advised to refer any such claims to a dedicated task force at the Home Office: commonwealthtaskforce@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk to allow them to undertake any action needed. The DWP says that once the task force is informed, no further action should be taken for two weeks.

 

If there are any further ‘unacceptable delays’ hearing back from the Home Office, the local authority should contact the Department for Work & Pensions Housing Delivery Division hdd.strategyteam@dwp.gsi.gov.uk.

NEW CASE LAW

Quick links to other recent benefits-related case law  (see also Health Case Law).

​Housing Benefit

Parent's derivative right to reside depends on common period of residence while s/he was working. (EEA)

CH/2712/2015

Published 11th April 2017

Can a non dependant live with an HB claimant if they normally live elsewhere (EEA)

CH/1625/2016

Published 20th March 2018

​Tax Credits

Does First Tier tribunal have jurisdiction if there has not been an appeal?

CTC/3409/2017

Published 4th April 2018

Attendance Allowance

Can a claimant with indefinite leave to remain have AA refused? (EEA)

CA/2023/2017

Published 19th April 2018

Changes to 2-child limit

Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, Esther McVey, has announced that the two-child limit will no longer apply to any kinship carers or children adopted from care.

 

Her announcement follows a ruling by the High Court in SC & Ors v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions & Ors which found that the policy was lawful and compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, except in the case of care-experienced children.

 

The change in policy also follows wider concerns raised in the End Child Poverty Coalition report last month that an estimated 640.000 families, including around two million children, would be negatively affected by the two child limit on benefits by 2020/21.

 

The report, Unhappy Birthday the two-child limit at one year, was backed up by 60 UK faith leaders who also called on the government to remove their two child limit policy completely.

Timetable for PIP claims review process

A timetable has been issued for the process to review PIP claims.

 

The review will be for anyone who has claimed PIP from 28th November 2016 and whose health condition means that psychological distress affects their ability to plan and follow a journey. This group may be eligible for more support under PIP.

 

The process started in Spring 2018, with the government already engaging with a range of stakeholders, including disability charities, welfare rights advisors, mental health organisations and local government.

 

If the timetable (which is attached to a letter about the PIP review from Esther McVey to MPs) is adhered to, the first backdated payments should be issued in Summer 2018.

April / May 2018

DWP GUIDANCE

Links to other selected new guidance and bulletins from the DWP  (latest first):

​PAYMENT FOR VERIFY EARNINGS SERVICE

Guidance to LAs with information on funding of Verify Earnings & Pensions Alerts Service. HB S10/2018

NEW BURDENS PAYMENTS
Guidance on New Burdens Payments as a result of changes to Universal Credit. HB S9/2018

HOUSING BENEFIT DATA MATCHING RULES

Guidance to help LAs identify incorrect Housing Benefit claims HB G4/2018

WHERE A CHILD NORMALLY LIVES

Guidance on where a child 'normally' lives for Universal Credit purposes

ADM 12/18

FRAUD IN HOUSING BENEFIT SYSTEM

Guidance on introduction of the Verify Earnings and Pensions Alerts service for detecting fraud and error HB A5/2018

Do you use QBC?

We are running two one-off open courses in London this June for advice staff and volunteers and  who need training on Lisson Grove's Quick Benefits Calculator (QBC).

 

Calculating Benefits & Tax Credits and Calculating Universal Credit will take place on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th June). There is a discount for anyone wishing to attend both courses.

 

QBC is an effective benefits calculation software created by Lisson Grove Benefits and used widely by many advice centres and local authority welfare rights teams. Participants will have the opportunity to practise using the software during the course as well as access to our usual 12 month individual post-course support.

HEALTH CASE LAW

Quick links to recent health benefits-related case law 

PIP / DLA

Should lip reading be taken into account as an accepted form of verbal communication?

CPIP/3326/2017

Published 20th April 2018

What can enable a claimant to carry out a task safely?

CPIP/3130/2017

Published 11th April 2018

What do 'social support' and 'established relationships' mean for PIP daily living activity 9?

(2018) EWCA Civ 851

Published 20th April 2018

Is 'assistance to set up a feeding line' the same as 'assistance from a therapeutic source to take nutrition'?

CPIP/3024/2017

CSPIP/386/2015

Published 10th & 24th April 2018

Can you fully access written information if BSL is your first language?

CPIP/2050/2017

Published 10th April 2018

When the cumulative effect outweighs individual PIP activities

CPIP/3058/2017

Published 10th April 2018

Should tribunal reconsider discretionary decisions on late DLA claims?

C68/17-18(DLA)

(2017) NICom &5

Relevance of DLA higher rate mobility to PIP's moving around descriptors

CPIP/2748/2017

Published 20th March 2018

ESA

Can entitlement to ESA be backdated when claimant has been entitled to PIP at a later date?

CE/3532/2017

Published 27th  April 2018

What is the effect of jobseekers conditionality regarding substantial risk?

CE/2904/2017

Published 20th April 2018

Is adjudication history needed when benefit refused after no change in condition?

CE/3887/2016

Published 10th April 2018

 

Is conflict between tribunal decision notice and list of reasons an error of law?

CE/2442/2017

Published 4th April 2018

PIP assessment recordings allowed

The government has agreed that recordings of PIP assessment interviews should become a standard part of the process.

 

The move was announced in response to the Work & Pensions Select Committee's report on PIP & ESA Assessments (Feb 2018). The DWP is currently 'exploring potential options to test the recording of assessments, including video'.

 

The government response also suggests that their will be a redesign of the PIP forms and the DWP will consider a suitable auditing process for assessments where a companion accompanies the claimant.

However, they have not agreed that copies of reports should be given to claimants by default nor  for any review of the mandatory reconsideration process.

Find-a-Job replaces Universal Jobmatch

Universal Jobmatch will be replaced by a new Find a Job Service from 14th May 2018. Jobseeker accounts, including CVs and application history will not be transferred to the new system, so advisers should warn jobseekers to copy and save their account information before 17 June 2018.

FOR 12 MONTHS' FREE EXPERT BENEFITS SUPPORT,  book onto one of our open courses (or book an in-house course for your organisation). Any Benefits Training Co. course attendees wanting further advice with specific cases should contact the email address on their e-certificate.

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