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welfare rights

17 December

DWP publishes first independent review of personal independence payment

Review leader Paul Gray makes recommendations on improving claimant experience, improving collection of further evidence and assuring fairness and consistency of award outcomes

Almost 240,000 claims for personal independence payment awaiting decision

New DWP statistics for period up to 31 October 2014 also show that more than 46,000 disability living allowance reassessments still to be cleared

National Audit Office qualifies opinion on DWP child maintenance client funds account for 2013/2014 due to level of errors in assessments

Comptroller and Auditor General also gives an adverse opinion on the truth and fairness of the DWP's figure of almost £4bn in outstanding maintenance arrears

22,900 people were on the universal credit caseload as at 13 November 2014

New DWP statistics also show that more than 44,000 people had made a claim in the period up to 11 December 2014

Average clearing time for ESA mandatory reconsiderations is 13 days, says DWP

However, new statistics also show that 25 per cent of ESA mandatory reconsiderations took more than 30 days to clear

Benefit uprating 2015/2016

DWP issues new HB guidance

DWP to close partially and fully compliant Child Support Agency cases simultaneously

Changes to Ending Liability scheme to allow 'on system' cases to be closed at the same time as those administered clerically

16 December

DWP announces £250m contract for continuation of Post Office Card Accounts

New contract ensures retention of valuable service for pensioners and benefit claimants and helps safeguard the future of the Post Office network, says Pensions Minister

DWP to make it clearer that evidence from care professionals can be valuable when assessing eligibility for ESA

New edition of Stakeholder Bulletin says that revised ESA50 form, which will list the types of evidence or information claimants could send, will be launched early in 2015

Almost 70 per cent of those affected by benefit cap report considerable barriers to employment

Research commissioned by DWP also finds that majority of affected claimants running out of money by the end of the week or month and borrowing from friends or family to cover the shortfall

Employment and support allowance and universal credit mobilising descriptors and use of a manual wheelchair

New DWP guidance following decision of Three-Judge Panel of the Upper Tribunal

15 December

Removing entitlement to winter fuel payments for those living in European countries with warmer climates

New statutory instrument provides that, from September 2015, those living in a country with an average winter temperature higher than that of the UK will no longer be entitled

Government announces £12m funding for pilots to help people with mental health problems find and stay in employment

Four pilot areas to test approaches that include provision of key workers and individual support packages for claimants

Employment and support allowance continence descriptors

New DWP guidance on changes to WCA Handbook following recent Upper Tribunal decision

Changes to legislation relating to same sex marriages and civil partnerships

New DWP guidance

Benefit cap is acting as an incentive to work, says DWP

Evaluation of policy's first year finds that movement into work is higher for households affected by cap than for similar households who are not affected

12 December

Whether 'space standards' are determinative as to whether a room is a bedroom for the purposes of the bedroom tax

DWP issues guidance following two recent Upper Tribunal decisions

11 December

People with mental health problems should be taken off mainstream back-to-work schemes, says Mind

New report calls for specialist programme as more than 80 per cent of those surveyed said that back-to-work support from Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus had made their mental health worse

More than 80 per cent of ESA claims started between January and March 2014 have either not reached or completed WCA process

New DWP statistics also show that, of those assessed, 14 per cent were placed in work related activity group and 62 per cent in support group

Universal credit still not signed off by Treasury

Meeting of the Public Accounts Committee also reveals that the Major Projects Authority still have universal credit graded as 'amber-red'

Next page

16 December

CSE/603/2014 — Tribunal erred by failing to properly consider the evidence and ESA Regulation 29 (substantial risk to health) — [2014] UKUT 502 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Bano

11 December

CE/1558/2014 — Issues arising from refusal to extend time for seeking tribunal’s statement of reasons — [2014] UKUT 491 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: West

CG/4925/2013 — Telephone marriage contracted while only one party is in the UK is not valid — [2014] UKUT 495 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: West

3 December

CE/2774/2013 — Claimant with use of one hand was able to use a suitable keyboard or mouse, but unable to transfer a light but bulky object — [2014] UKUT 455 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Mark

2 December

CE/1136/2014 — Discrepancy between summary reasons on tribunal’s decision notice and its statement of reasons was error of law — [2014] UKUT 482 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Mitchell

CIS/392/2014 — Tribunal erred by holding claimant did not have a right to reside because she did not provide direct evidence that she was a family member of a worker — [2014] UKUT 474 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Ward

1 December

CE/1613/2014 — Tribunal erred by ignoring breach of a direction for presenting officer to attend hearing; delay between ESA decision and appeal hearing did not breach Article 6 — [2014] UKUT 445 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Markus

CE/2522/2013 — Inadequate information and findings about risk to mental health of claimant not being placed in ESA support group — [2014] UKUT 473 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Mark

14 November

CSDLA/315/2014 — Need to establish grounds for supersession before considering a higher award of DLA, and the effect were regulation 12(1A) to be found ultra vires — [2014] UKUT 432 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: May

13 November

CH/1991/2014 — Claimant granted ‘long tenancy’ on exercising ‘right to buy’ not entitled to HB for service charges — [2014] UKUT 431 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Mesher

CI/1306/2014 — Tribunal hearing appeal about reduced earnings allowance must consist of a judge and doctor, unless a direction is made that a judge can sit alone — [2014] UKUT 417 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Ward

CDLA/1034/2014 — Whether autistic child had severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning — [2014] UKUT 426 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Knowles

12 November

CJSA/2775/2013 — Standard written information cannot trigger backdating under regulation 19(5)(d) — [2014] UKUT 430 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Wikeley

CE/3688/2013 — Duties of employers under Equality Act 2010 not relevant to assessment of risk to health if claimant found to not have limited capability for work — [2014] UKUT 428 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Wright

CE/4181/2013 — Whether separate claims are needed for contributory and income-related ESA — [2014] UKUT 480 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Rowland

31 October

CH/4417/2013 — Assessing value of the claimant’s interest in the matrimonial home occupied by his mentally ill wife — [2014] UKUT 427 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Ovey

22 October

CSH/374/2014 — Deduction for under occupation (‘bedroom tax’) not discriminatory — [2014] UKUT 463 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Gamble

CSH/372/2014 — No argument put by claimant’s representative to support contention that deduction for under occupation (‘bedroom tax’) is discriminatory — [2014] UKUT 464 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: May

CSH/188/2014 — Deduction for under occupation (‘bedroom tax’) did not breach Article 14 of ECHR, when read with Article 1 of Protocol 1 because its discriminatory effect was justified — [2014] UKUT 188 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Gamble

CSH/589/2014 — Deduction for under occupation (‘bedroom tax’) did not breach Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights – MA followed — [2014] UKUT 466 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Gamble

More summaries

official error not considered

In Working tax credit & child tax credit. Last updated today at 0.11 by PeterS

“Thanks all. Just to clarify… My client informed HMRC in mid-June that he’d stopped work and started to claim JSA on June 1st that same year (ie 2 weeks previously). This is backed up by the recording of the phone call. Somehow the HMRC system”

Local Welfare Asssistance Scheme consultation response

In Other benefit & tax credit issues. Last updated 17 December at 20.43 by ros

“Guardian reporting that announcement on provisional local government finance settlement has been delayed until tomorrow as Cabinet split over whether to continue extra funding for local welfare assistance, with Eric Pickles and Danny Alexander in favour and George Osborne against- http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014”

Advance DLA claims

In Personal independence payment & other disability related benefits. Last updated 17 December at 18.54 by Ruth_T

“A claim subsists until it is decided.  Since it usually takes more than a month from receipt of claim to decision, this should be OK. Have a look at KH v SSWP [2009] UKHT 54 (AAC)  (CDLA/59/2009) available at   http://www.osscsc.gov.uk”

DLA appeals: two issues, two appeal forms?

In Decision making and appeals. Posted 17 December at 17.31 by Craven CAB welfare benefits

“Hopefully a simple question.. Client has decisions that (a) he was overpaid DLA due to not reporting an improvement, and also (b) his ongoing entitlement should be nil. Has asked for recons on the grounds that (a) the improvement was later than they allege, and ”

Hopeless guestimates of distances/time

In Decision making and appeals. Last updated 17 December at 16.07 by JFSelby

“It is a simple thing but we bought a distance wheel which clients would borrow and try at home usually over a weekend or week, standard things they would measure would be distance from front door to car, door to gate, home to bus stop”

Inappropriate HCP assessments for PIP?

In Personal independence payment & other disability related benefits. Last updated 17 December at 15.39 by bexber

“I’ve seen an assessment led by a paramedic, and also one where it was a District Nurse Assessor (called in to clear the backlog) who hadn’t heard of CAMHS/CMHT, for a mental health based condition.”

Reasonableness of ESA Tribunal when appellant arrives 17 mins late !

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 17 December at 15.23 by Mike Hughes

“Edmund Shepherd - 17 December 2014 03:21 PMIn my experience, tribunals are unwilling to wait more than 10 minutes for an appellant to arrive. Thankfully, there have been no problems for me so far. I think that’s an accurate summary. Does depend on whether you have contact with”

Pemanent residency application

In Other areas of social welfare law. Posted 17 December at 15.21 by geep

“ My client has been married to an EU national and living in the UK for 5 years, although they separated before reaching the five year mark. I believe that their separation should not affect her eligibilty for permanent residency as long as they are still married,”

UC claim and retaining worker status & UC and JSA(CB)

In Universal credit. Posted 17 December at 15.17 by AndreaM

“Today I acquired my first client who needs to claim UC, and there are already a couple of things I am not clear about He is Hungarian and lost his job. He has worked solidly since Dec 12 with short gaps in between jobs and has”

’Anxious Scrutiny’

In Decision making and appeals. Last updated 17 December at 14.53 by Mike Hughes

““Anxious scrutiny” is a fine description of my approach to Rightsnet News each day. What will IDS have done now.”

a new rightsnet for a new year

In Advice sector policy issues. Posted 17 December at 14.51 by shawn

“Hi everyone .. We wanted to share some exciting rightsnet news with you - well we’re quite excited(!) - and also an update about rightsnet subscriptions for 2015 …. Following the fantastic response to the user survey we ran earlier in the year, we’ve been busy”

PIP not a qualifying benefit?

In Personal independence payment & other disability related benefits. Last updated 17 December at 14.01 by Tom H

“Jon Shaw - 23 October 2014 07:04 PM Hi all, PIP is not a qualifying benefit for the purposes of backdating a new PC claim beyond three months. This is because it was not included in the list of ‘relevant benefits’ in Reg 6(22) of the Claims and Payments”

HB liability while temporarily decanted.

In Housing benefit & council tax support. Last updated 17 December at 13.58 by JHogg

“Thank you HB Anorak, that’s really helpful.”

clearing time for MR requests

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 17 December at 13.56 by HB Anorak

““When a claimant makes contact with DWP to dispute a decision, they will be offered a detailed explanation of the decision (in addition to information about the decision contained in the decision notification). If this does not resolve the dispute, the next stage of the”

SDP backdating following award of enhanced PIP a year late

In Income support & JSA. Last updated 17 December at 13.41 by Redscooby

“Sadly he did it himself and only saw us when he received the PIP decision!”

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