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welfare rights

21 November

580,000 claimants still awaiting work capability assessments

Minister for Disabled People also says repeat assessments will resume when Maximus 'have the capacity to do so'

IIAC decides against recommending that ocular melanoma is added to the list of prescribed diseases

Council finds that there is insufficient link between risk and exposure for any occupation

74 per cent of local authorites have less than 10 EEA jobseekers restricted from claiming housing benefit

However, new DWP research shows that more than half the local authorities had affected EEA jobseekers who were families with children

Labour government would have 'no targets for sanctions', say Shadow Secretary of State and Employment Minister

Jobcentre staff will be 'focused on helping people into work, not simply finding reasons to kick them off benefits'

20 November

SSAC publishes report on regulations removing entitlement to housing benefit for EEA jobseeker's allowance claimants

Report includes government response to Committee's recommendations which focus on homelessness, monitoring and evaluation and the broader government strategy for migrants

Almost a third of post delivered to HMRC is not cleared within 15 working days

New performance report highlights problem due to the diversion of staff to the tax credits helpline

Curtailing maternity allowance, statutory maternity pay or statutory adoption pay

New statutory instruments provide for benefit that has not be taken to be paid to another person as shared parental pay and/or shared parental leave

Number of Mandatory Work Activity starts for year up to August 2014 down by more than 20 per cent on previous year

However, new DWP statistics also show Skills Conditionality training starts up by almost 40 per cent in same period

19 November

More than half of visits to food banks due to problems with benefits or tax credits

New research from CPAG, Oxfam, Church of England and Trussell Trust also shows that people only turn to food banks when all other coping strategies have failed

DWP to publish first statistics on PIP clearance times and waiting times in March 2015

In update to statistics release strategy, Department also advises that future releases may include information on volumes and outcomes of mandatory reconsiderations

Government launches review of Social Security Advisory Committee

Review to look at Committee’s functions and whether it needs to continue to exist

Bill providing for research into extending eligibility for tax credits and child benefit to apprentices introduced to House of Commons

Private Member's Bill expected to receive second reading on 9 January 2015

18 November

Labour would introduce two year residence requirement for EU jobseekers wishing to claim out-of-work benefits

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary also says that Labour would look at changes to in-work benefits and work to 'end the absurdity' of child benefit and tax credits being paid for children living in other countries

Roll-out of universal credit to claimants with responsibility for children

New statutory instrument sets out postcodes where claims will be accepted and limitations including that children must not be certified as severely sight impaired or blind or be entitled to a disability benefit

Social Security Advisory Committee launches consultation on localisation and social security

Views sought on issues including the impact localisation has had on benefits and services and whether there are particular groups whose circumstances place them at risk

Amendments to legislation relating to same sex marriages and civil partnerships

New statutory instrument

17 November

Government will have introduced cuts to working-age benefits of around £20bn per year by the end of this parliament, says IFS

However, new briefing also highlights that social security bill as percentage of overall spending has been rising over time, with more than half of current expenditure going to pensioners

Changes to benefits and taxes since May 2010 have led to cuts in income for poorer half of population and gains for wealthier half

New London School of Economics and University of Essex study finds that lone parent families, large families and children are amongst those whose income has decreased the most

DWP consults on introduction of mandatory reconsideration in relation to 'accidental errors' in child maintenance decisions

New procedure would allow Secretary of State to correct error without having to revise decision

English language requirement for jobseekers to be extended to Scotland and Wales from 27 November 2014

New edition of Touchbase also advises that requirement will be applied to universal credit claimants who are subject to intensive work search requirements from spring 2015

Next page

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

CSH/777/2014 — Deduction for under occupation (‘bedroom tax’) did not breach Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights — [2014] UKUT 467 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Wright

16 October

CIS/2708/2013 — Right to reside for primary carers of children in education does not extend to people who were self-employed — [2014] UKUT 401 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Jacobs

14 October

CPC/4570/2013 — District Valuer’s valuation of claimant’s share of property was unrealistic — [2014] UKUT 387 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Jacobs

8 October

CDLA/3765/2013 — What issues should be considered in order to supersede a tribunal decision relating to an overpayment of DLA — [2014] UKUT 309 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Markus

1 October

CDLA/3213/2013 — Cooking test does not fluctuate according to person's dietary needs / tribunal's failure to take evidence from claimant about ability to cook — [2014] UKUT 415 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Mitchell

30 September

CH/1782/2014 — Local Authority not limited to recovering amount specified in court compensation order following conviction for benefit fraud — [2014] UKUT 393 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Wikeley

29 September

CE/3453/2013 — What evidence of work-related activity is required when considering regulation 35 — [2014] UKUT 412 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Three-Judge Panel

25 September

CTC/1055/2014 — Tribunal not entitled to draw adverse inference about failure to provide evidence where claimant not given adequate explanation of what would be appropriate / inadequate submission to tribunal by HMRC — [2014] UKUT 383 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Rowley

More summaries

Complaining about a judge’s failure to supply a SoR

In Decision making and appeals. Last updated 21 November at 18.30 by matthewjay

“One option is a complaint about what is essentially [...] poor customer service. I would use the ordinary complaints procedure and copy in any Important People, making it very clear that your client’s health is seriously suffering and the DWP are ostensibly using this as”

Full digital UC to get live test in Sutton ...

In Universal credit. Last updated 21 November at 17.28 by Jon Blackwell

“hkrishna - 05 November 2014 09:50 AMFurther commencement orders and regulations alluded to in explanatory memorandum. Commencement order has now arrived (just in time for next week’s trial start)... http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3094/contents/made ... there’s no equivalent of the gateway conditions (so almost”

ESA query [cb] to [ir] back to [cb]

In Housing benefit & council tax support. Last updated 21 November at 16.39 by Tom H

“MNM - 21 November 2014 03:09 PM 2. Appeal currently in against the capital - in my grounds of appeal I did ask for client to be reinstated to [cb] with nil entitlement (they haven’t reinstated) - I did this so we could do a supercession if they”

ESA successful appeal vs second ESA claim made

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 21 November at 16.34 by Mike Hughes

“Had almost exactly this and it should indeed lapse. However, as is their way, they can get themselves into quite a tangle over it. Mine is currently at complaint level. Beginning to get somewhere but goodness it’s slow.”

PIP mobility

In Personal independence payment & other disability related benefits. Last updated 21 November at 15.49 by MrFinch

“I’ve been thinking about their definition of ‘follow’ a bit more, and this is my latest opinion. Under regulation 5 the descriptors in column 2 must relate to the activity in column 1. The activity in column 1 for the first mobility activity is ‘planning and following journeys’.”

JCP refusing to reconsider ’action plan’

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 21 November at 15.16 by DManville

“Get it in writing and JR the refusal. The blanket referral to WP at given trigger points may well fall foul of art 14 ECHR and the Public Sector Equality Duty. It is certainly indirectly discriminatory. Ring Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345 should you wish or I”

New PIP Assessment Guide - spilling food, and commodes

In Personal independence payment & other disability related benefits. Last updated 21 November at 14.24 by Ken Butler

“Hi, I’ve now been sent by the DWP a breakdown table of the changes from the old version of the PIP assessment guidance to the new version. Please see the attachment.”

New three - judge panel decision looking at Reg 35 and evidence of WRA

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 21 November at 13.44 by Tom H

“With respect, I think we’ve all got the fact that para 109 is one of the paras responsible for the current DWP stay requests, although paras 104, 106 & 107 are more relevant than 109.  The heading in the judgment above para 102 “Information to be provided to the”

Premature ESA50s

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 21 November at 13.25 by DManville

“Fran Maloney - 21 November 2014 01:19 PMbenefitsadviser - 21 November 2014 12:01 PMIve had this issue before. Client of mine badly smashed up in a motorbike accident. Week 13 of claim still badly affected 14 months later got WCA and had healed to the point where he could just about manage to”


In Housing benefit & council tax support. Last updated 21 November at 12.53 by Jac

“Have now been told that he appealed immediately and sentence quashed so released immediately on that decision. Hopefully I can get more from the solicitor but will give it a go. Thanks for all the comments.”

Are welfare benefits exempt from bank charges?

In Other areas of social welfare law. Posted 21 November at 12.38 by shawn

“Just been alerted to a useful blog post from Desmond Rutledge, Barrister @ Garden Court Chambers that considers whether the protection conferred on welfare benefits under Social Security legislation continues once those benefits have been paid into a current bank account. Are welfare benefits exempt from”


In Working tax credit & child tax credit. Last updated 21 November at 12.09 by sovietleader

“Thanks Shawn - it says CTC/3981/2006 in the book, so must have been a typo there - 3981/2005 is the one!! Brian”

PCS union

In Advice sector policy issues. Posted 21 November at 11.18 by Owen Stevens

“PCS seem to be doing some very good work and produce some very good updates on their work for DWP staff here: http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/ They have lots of interesting news snippets, for example a recent”

Debt worker-advice needed

In Advice sector policy issues. Last updated 21 November at 11.16 by AEastwood

“Thanks for the advice, Alison”

Can an RSL recover an HB overpayment from their tenant when there is a HB official error?

In Housing benefit & council tax support. Posted 21 November at 10.50 by abexto

“Please can anyone assist with this matter? I have a client who was in receipt of HB - there has been an overpayment on the account - which the LA have admitted was down to an official error. Furthermore, the LA did not make a”

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