£20 weekly top up court case legacy benefits news

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  • #147251 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    I have always though that legacy benefits should have been included in the £20.00 per week increase due to the Covid pandemic.

    I am pleased they have won their case against the DWP. Assuming it is upheld, then legacy benefits should be paid around £1.040 in back payments.

    However. The DWP will not make this easy if the challenge is successful. So be prepared for a possible lengthy battle.

    Joss
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    #147256 Reply
    Mike Cooper

    It’s an odd one,my daughter gets family tax credit and received a £500 payment last month.A one off payment she thinks so nowhere near the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift being paid still to anyone on that benefit.Anything is “gratefully received” in her words though.

    #147287 Reply
    Richard

    Because of the way tax credits were paid they decided rather than give £20 per week as they were giving  it to claimants of working tax credit they  would get it in one lump sum works out the same amount as claimants on universal credit get.

    totally agree anyone on ESA should not be discriminated against and as it’s a so called legacy payment should be in receipt of the back pay.

    #147288 Reply
    daveblue
    Participant

    Does anyone know if or when we may get the esa uprating,

    #147299 Reply
    Richard

    It’s still with the courts so a good while yet but likely it will happen. Might be handy for a larger AP lol.

    Imho it’s vile & typical of Tories to pull a stunt like that how dare they give UC the top up & no one else. Actually UC works out slightly higher than ESA for me if I were on it so a double whammy of slaps

    #147300 Reply
    cheeseontoast
    Participant

    good news.

    Although ESA have failed to pay me my normal payment as their systems are messed up. Getting anyone to do anything at the DWP is ridiculous

    #147302 Reply
    Richard

    They stopped my ESA some years ago I called got “there’s nothing to say why its been stopped I’ll email the relevant team to call you”

    Never called me back, called again

    “still nothing I’ll email them for you”

    No call back, this went on for 3 months until I got my MP involved when I was paid the entire amount owed in one lump sum by same day CHAPS payment. Apparently they had stopped my payments because they’d been underpaying me for years so instead of fixing it they stopped payments whilst they worked out what they owed me, this was to stop the error getting worse – that’s the logic of these morons.

    Don’t get me started on HMRC who stopped our tax credits at the same time as they mixed up another woman with the same name as my wife who had earnt £40k that year, completely different end of the country, was employed not self employed & of course totally different NINO’s we were FURIOUS.

    If you can’t get it fixed ASAP don’t hesitate to involve your MP, good luck.

    #147308 Reply
    cheeseontoast
    Participant

    I’ve already got MP involved with ESA before. Seems like it will be my only move then.

    Maybe I can sue the DWP.

    I’ll wait if they call today. If not ill be on to my MP again.

    #147319 Reply
    daveblue
    Participant

    Hi will it be for both types of esa contribution and income related.

    #147325 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    Hi Daveblue. At this point in time I would say yes. However DWP being DWP, you never know.

    Joss
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    #147332 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    High Court challenge the denial of benefit increases for nearly 2m people with disabilities
    William Ford Solicitor For The Claimants Comments

    The High Court is to decide whether it was lawful of the Government not to give nearly 2million people on disability benefits the same £1040 a-year increase that it has given Universal Credit recipients.

    In a decision dated 27 April the High Court granted claimants of Employment Support Allowance permission to challenge the DWP’s decision not to increase their benefit in line with Universal Credit.

    At the beginning of the pandemic the Chancellor announced a £20 per week increase to the standard allowance of Universal Credit, but this vital increase to support was not extended to those on so called ‘legacy benefits’, the majority of whom are disabled, sick or carers.

    Two recipients of ESA have challenged this difference in treatment by way of an application to the High Court for judicial review. They argue that is it 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.

    Despite them having an equivalent entitlement to the ‘standard allowance’ of UC, simply because they were in a different part of the system, 1.9 million people on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have been without this increase, which many have called a ‘lifeline’, for the last 13 months. Claimants of Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance have also been excluded.

    Universal Credit is slowly replacing ‘legacy benefits’ but the process will not be complete until 2024 at the earliest. Meantime, those on legacy benefits face the same financial pressures as those on UC, and yet the DWP has decided not to treat them in the same way.

    Many have argued that this is unfair, including the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee: “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.” See also:

    Disabled people denied benefit uplift during pandemic because it would be ‘too complicated’ for DWP IT system, Independent, 18.11.2020.
    Chancellor Rishi Sunak under pressure to increase legacy benefits for two million people, Sky News 3.02.2021.
    William Ford, solicitor for the Claimants, commented as follows:

    “We are pursuing this legal challenge based on the proposition that the pandemic means those dependent upon basic allowances are facing higher basic living costs, and yet despite their very similar circumstances, only some of them receive a Covid-specific uplift to help meet those costs. This unfairness calls for a properly evidenced justification, particularly as almost 2 million disabled people are disproportionately affected by this decision and the pandemic generally. Thus far the Government has failed to provide any objectively verifiable reason for the difference in treatment of people in essentially identical circumstances.”

    Notes to Editors

    In March 2021 two disabled people launched a legal action against the SSWP, represented by legal firm Osbornes Law, in which they argue that the SSWP’s failure to extend the uplift to those on ESA unlawfully discriminated against them as disabled people contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. Both are in receipt of ESA and both claimants have been assessed as having limited capability for work-related activity (“LCWRA”). This means that their disability or medical condition has been assessed as so severe that they have been placed in the ‘Support Group’ for ESA. This means they are not required to look for work or engage in work related activity as a condition of receiving ESA.

    UC and the subsistence benefits it is replacing, (e.g. ESA, Jobseekers Allowance (“JSA”) and Income Support (“IS”)) all include an allowance for basic living costs (known as the “standard allowance” for UC and the “personal allowance” for ESA, JSA and IS). These basic allowances had been set at the same rate within UC and those legacy benefits for many years. Until January 2021 many of the more severely disabled people on ESA were not permitted to claim UC instead. As a result of the decision to include a £20 a week uplift in UC, the standard allowance for UC is now significantly higher than it is for ESA and the other legacy benefits. But both groups of claimants depend on the basic allowance in their subsistence benefit payments to meet their basic needs. Regardless of the reasons for making the decision in March 2020, the claimants argue that it has become increasingly untenable for those claimants on legacy benefits to be treated differently from those on UC as they all face the same consequences of the pandemic. To continue to exclude those from legacy benefit from the uplift is “risking the establishment of a two-tier social security system”: see Francesca Maddison, Joseph Rowntree Foundation., 18th Nov 2020.

    In summary the legal challenge is based on the proposition that it is clear that because of the pandemic those dependent upon basic allowances are facing higher basic living costs, and yet despite their very similar circumstances, only some of them receive a Covid-specific uplift to help meet those costs. This unfairness calls for a properly evidenced justification, particularly as very many disabled people are disproportionately affected by this decision and the pandemic generally. Thus far the Government has failed to provide any objectively verifiable reason for the difference in treatment of people in essentially identical circumstances.

    Contact details

    The claimants’ legal team are Jamie Burton QC at Doughty Street Chambers, Desmond Rutledge at Garden Court Chambers, instructed by William Ford, partner at Osbornes Law.

    Main point of contact for media:

    William Ford
    william.ford@osborneslaw.com
    Partner
    Housing & Social Care Department
    Direct Dial: 020 7681 8668

    Joss
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    #147333 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    Does anyone know if or when we may get the esa uprating,

    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.

    Joss
    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
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    #147335 Reply
    lab
    Participant

    The DWP did not want to give the £20 PW to all UC claimants they wanted to give it only for new claims that involved claims due to Covid, this meant a change in law and the DWP wanted it rolled out quickly, therefore there was no time to change the law.

    I received an email from 38 degrees informing me of the upcoming case I believe it will be some time at the end of July 2021. If the case is won and not appealed all legacy benefits should receive a backdated payment, to be honest the DWP are so inept I expect they will mess this up in some way.

    Some people were paid tens of thousands in backdated payments for the IB transfer to contribution based ESA fiasco, then told they had to reduce the money to below the savings threshold within one year, or it would be counted against them.

    #147336 Reply
    Peter

    It’s my understanding that UC claimants were initially given this £20 weekly uplift for a one year period (March 2020 to March 2021).  This was then extended for another six months to Sept 2021.

    This means that if this court case is successful, as it should be, people like myself on income related support group ESA should receive the £1040 for the initial one year period and a further £520 for the six month extension.  A total of £1560 to the end of sept.

    Excluding the disabled and people on JSA and Income Support was a rediculous decision that must be put right.  That money would make a massive difference to me, as I’m sure it would to you.

    #147337 Reply
    Richard

    It is indeed a monumental amount of money to suddenly acquire. Given the way things are going it’ll just about pay for 5 days camping 😂

    It’d pay for a lot of work to be done to make the garden more enjoyable that’s for sure it’d be great to have some paved flat patio areas

    #147364 Reply
    Richie

    is It bad that I don’t care about it, I mean my life is still the same really even with pandemic no change apart from , extra 5 a week for shopping online cost. Apart from that its been pretty much the same minus visiting parents.

    #147369 Reply
    Richard

    Not really the point whether an individual cares or not its discrimination and there’s enough of that going round already. If you didn’t lose out that’s great news, honestly happy for you.

    Often UC pays more than ESA, Housing benefit, council tax benefit etc separately and then they add £20 a week extra on but not for legacy benefits?

    I know it’s not always obvious and not always a lot of money but extras like more water use from more hand washing, gloves, face masks etc, prices rises, hand cleaning products, eventual increases in insurance (like life policies), delivery fees and more have all added up. Also huge electricity and heating oil increases due to having kids at home all day every day, computers on for schooling, heating on when it would’ve been off etc, mobile phone costs (data no broadband here). Between Sept & Dec we had to wash school uniform EVERY NIGHT.

    Plus when the online supermarket delivery screws you over and you have to go out shopping anyway (like delivering coffee hot x buns, fresh pasta not dry, rotting veg, stuff with 12 hours left on use by all of that was in one shop, got to laugh really absolutely pathetic.

    Anyway don’t want to go off topic just to highlight that many have had additional expenses and that £20 top up is the least they can do it’d clear debt built up on utilities & cards too

    #147629 Reply
    Rachel

    Brilliant post Richard, I agree 100% with everything you’ve said. My daughter is doing a full time BTEC Business and Finance course and is still studying online at home most of the time. She’s always cold so she’s forever turning up (while I turn it down🙄!) and her iPhone is constantly on charge. Yes, I’m worried about the rising fuel costs and it had risen considerably so the ‘extra’ £20.00 per week would be very helpful. Let’s hope ‘we’ are able to receive it as it’s a disgrace if not!

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