DWP Court Challenge

Hi there,

I am on income based ESA and was advised that a court case was going ahead for those on legacy benefits as we were excluded from extra money to help out throughout the pandemic where Universal Credit recipients got an extra £20 per week.

Does anyone know anything else about this? I couldn’t find a thread where it was getting discussed? Is the court case likely to be successful and if so are those on benefits like ESA likely to get back payments?

Thanks,


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Replies

  • edited 28 September at 7:12PM
    NedSNedS Forumite
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    edited 28 September at 7:12PM
    The extra £20/week was never to "help out" those on UC. It was to address a very specific imbalance between what those entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) could claim (~£95/week) and what someone claiming the personal element of UC could claim (~£75/week) should they be affected by Coronavirus and unable to work, and for whatever reason not entitled to SSP.
    Unfortunately the government had no easy way to target the help at very short notice specifically to those affected, so they introduced the uplift and paid it to everyone (on UC) to make sure the small number of people affected did not miss out.
    Do you think you were affected by this? Did you have to stop work due to covid and were unable to claim SSP from your employer?

  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • Jay_1987Jay_1987 Forumite
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    NedS said:
    The extra £20/week was never to "help out" those on UC. It was to address a very specific imbalance between what those entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) could claim (~£95/week) and what someone claiming the personal element of UC could claim (~£75/week) should they be affected by Coronavirus and unable to work, and for whatever reason not entitled to SSP.
    Unfortunately the government had no easy way to target the help at very short notice specifically to those affected, so they introduced the uplift and paid it to everyone (on UC) to make sure the small number of people affected did not miss out.
    Do you think you were affected by this? Did you have to stop work due to covid and were unable to claim SSP from your employer?

    Hi Ned,

    I am simply asking a question about the impending court case. If they never had a leg to stand on then surely it would not have got to this stage?
  • NedSNedS Forumite
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    Anyone has the legal right to challenge the government over the decisions it makes in law. Only the judge (if they can find one!) can answer your question as to how likely that challenge is to succeed.
  • edited 28 September at 10:54PM
    MuttleythefrogMuttleythefrog Forumite
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    edited 28 September at 10:54PM
    NedS said:
    The extra £20/week was never to "help out" those on UC. It was to address a very specific imbalance between what those entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) could claim (~£95/week) and what someone claiming the personal element of UC could claim (~£75/week) should they be affected by Coronavirus and unable to work, and for whatever reason not entitled to SSP.
    Unfortunately the government had no easy way to target the help at very short notice specifically to those affected, so they introduced the uplift and paid it to everyone (on UC) to make sure the small number of people affected did not miss out.
    Do you think you were affected by this? Did you have to stop work due to covid and were unable to claim SSP from your employer?

    Others would take a different view... including that it was for political reasons... i.e. protecting those middle classes from the deficiencies of income related benefits they may (in large numbers due to pandemic) be forced to live on temporarily. The DWP if I recall claimed it was too difficult to deliver the increase to other related benefits than U/C due to the computer systems while pointing to the idea people could move to Universal Credit if they'd be better off (something I only discovered by accident reading threads here since I assumed I would only move to U/C if significant circumstances changed - I hadn't kept forensically up to date with the screwed up perennially delayed rollout of U/C).

    However as above.. it is being challenged in court as it seemed discriminatory depending on whether you were stuck on legacy benefits or not... and unfortunately there has been a delay to that process as Alice points to.

    Hopefully it will be a successful challenge but.. who knows which way it'll go... or indeed how the DWP will respond if they lose the case.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • NannytoneNannytone Forumite
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    On question time last week, they discussed the removal of the uplift.
    One of the contributers was a non working disabled woman, who stated that she would be unable to manage.
    My point being, that although we know WHY the uplift was restricted to UC and WTC, MOST people , invluding those on the panal, see the uplift as something that was put in place to protect the most vulnerable.

    They just dont seem capable of acknowledging that a whole other group of vulnerable people were overlooked.

    That is what the court case is seeking to address.
  • Gig1968Gig1968 Forumite
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    Me too I'm on income related ESA and I refused to jump ship to Universal credit to get the increase. I do not believe it is down to the individual to choose which benefit they should be on due to monetary values. Before the pandemic I was placed in the ESA group and that's where I will stay whether the benefit is increased or not due to the high court challenge or not. I believe the government are discriminating against people on legacy benefits but that's my opinion. We must also remember that all ESA claimants are being migrated to UC in the next few years, so that defeats the object about move yourself if you want the extra £20. All ESA people must have the same rights if they are being migrated by DWP.  Like I say the government placed me on ESA so if they want to move they should. But can you find a difference if people jumped ship, or should the government should have just done it anyway. One argument that doesn't stand up is that people on ESA didn't have any extra costs due to the pandemic, because iff they moved to UC and just transferred on income related ESA terms they would have got with got it and people would have said all people on universal credit need it because they  incurred extra costs because of the pandemic.
  • Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
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    Gig1968 said:
    Me too I'm on income related ESA and I refused to jump ship to Universal credit to get the increase. I do not believe it is down to the individual to choose which benefit they should be on due to monetary values. 
    … that's exactly a claimant's responsibility. 

    DWP are there to administer the benefits, and they don't always even get that right.  It would be a huge conflict of interest even if the workers actually understood how all the different benefits worked - which they don't, and often give wrong advice about the one they are supposed to know - so them having to give official advice for people's individual circumstances would open up a whole world of trouble.  Plus, Tax Credits are administered by HMRC and Housing Benefit by the local council so those are not even within DWP's remit so there's no way they could give fully informed advice about moving from legacy benefits to UC.

    If the individual is not capable of fully understanding the different benefits, they should get proper advice from a reputable charity - but ultimately it is still the claimant's own choice whether to act on any advice to stay on their current benefits or change.
  • edited 29 September at 12:20PM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 29 September at 12:20PM
    Gig1968 said:
    Me too I'm on income related ESA and I refused to jump ship to Universal credit to get the increase. I do not believe it is down to the individual to choose which benefit they should be on due to monetary values. 
    … that's exactly a claimant's responsibility. 
    In exactly they say way they might, in different circumstances, choose between different job opportunities. There have always been some situations where claimants can enhance their benefit income by making informed decisions about which benefits to claim. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Jay_1987Jay_1987 Forumite
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    Gig1968 said:
    I believe the government are discriminating against people on legacy benefits but that's my opinion. We must also remember that all ESA claimants are being migrated to UC in the next few years, so that defeats the object about move yourself if you want the extra £20. All ESA people must have the same rights if they are being migrated by DWP.  Like I say the government placed me on ESA so if they want to move they should. But can you find a difference if people jumped ship, or should the government should have just done it anyway. One argument that doesn't stand up is that people on ESA didn't have any extra costs due to the pandemic, because iff they moved to UC and just transferred on income related ESA terms they would have got with got it and people would have said all people on universal credit need it because they  incurred extra costs because of the pandemic.
    This was my understanding of it to be honest. People on income related ESA had the same extra costs throughout the pandemic as everyone else? Now I am definitely not holding my breath as the court case altogether does seem to have been kept on the down low, strangely. 
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