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welfare rights

19 December

65 per cent of discretionary housing payment allocation spent in first half of 2014/2015

New statistics from the DWP show wide variation in expenditure between local authorities

Causal link between benefit cap and decisions about moving into work is not demonstrated

Letter from UK Statistics Authority finds that DWP should 'adopt more cautious wording' in its press release

Government must do more to support disabled people in work

New report from the Work and Pensions Committee finds Access to Work scheme is helping only a minority of people it could benefit

18 December

Ensuring that the assessment of the severity of injuries results in fair awards under the industrial injuries benefit scheme

Industrial Injuries Advisory Council publishes review of international comparator schemes

64 per cent of separated parents using the new Child Maintenance Service are making their own financial arrangements

New figures from the DWP also show that the number of cases where the state is involved in collecting and paying out money has fallen to 36 per cent

Amendments to the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) England Regulations 2012

New statutory instrument

Services provided by the Work Programme are not reaching everyone

Easier-to-serve claimants are given preference whilst harder-to-serve claimants are 'parked'

DWP publishes mid-year report to parliament

Department is implementing government’s transformational changes to the welfare state to make it fairer and more affordable, says Permanent Secretary

Final evaluation of the ‘Direct Payment Demonstration Projects' finds that tenants paid 5.5 per cent less rent than if housing benefit had been paid to landlord

New DWP commissioned research warns of difficulties this level of arrears could cause to landlords when direct payments scaled up under universal credit

DWP confirms details of further roll out of personal independence payment

Benefit to be extended to existing DLA claimants in seven additional areas from January 2015

Local councils will continue to be able to offer local welfare assistance from within existing budgets 'if they judge it a priority in their area', says government

Local Government Minister announces provisional local government finance settlement for 2015/2016

Government responds to Work Programme: Building Best Practice recommendations

Information about sub contractor performance to be shared and new Customer Service Standards implemented

70 per cent of Work Programme participants return to jobcentre plus at the end of their two years on the programme

New DWP statistics also show that 28 per cent of participants had achieved a job outcome during their two years

Opposition motion calling for abolition of the bedroom tax defeated in the Commons

However, amendment to motion to effect that abolition would be financially unsustainable passed by 38 votes

DWP to be allowed to recover tax credit debt from April 2015

New statutory instrument

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

Next page

19 December

CSH/41/2014 — Whether room size should be taken into account in determining whether a room can be classed as a bedroom — [2014] UKUT 525 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Three-Judge Panel

CSH/42/2014 — Whether room size should be taken into account in determining whether a room can be classed as a bedroom — [2014] UKUT 525 (AAC)

Commissioner / Judge: Three-Judge Panel

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

More summaries

ESA payment pending WCA appeals

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 19 December at 20.10 by Tom H

“Continued from last post… It’s not clear to me, given that the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities (51%), how a DM could think it “fair to assume” a claimant would pass the test without effectively carrying out the test, making Reg 30 n”

Who checks the contribution records?

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 19 December at 20.04 by Ruth_T

“The fact that an employee has paid NI contributions does not guarantee that these have been paid over by the employer.  Employers pay the NI they have collected at the end of a tax year, and mistakes are sometimes made.  I have personal”

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

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 19 December at 17.55 by Billy Durrant

“Is it definitely confirmed that SSWP is no longer appealing IM? I’ve just seen a directions notice today, issued on 15 December, posted out on 17 December but signed on 5 December where stay is still being referred to (see below)”

EEA National and Housing Benefit (no JSA or IS)

In Housing benefit & council tax support. Last updated 19 December at 17.16 by chacha

“That is probably the best option, she wouldn’t necessarily need to find full time work, I would think working between 8-12 hours a week, on maybe £7-£8 per hour, part time should just about get her over the line and be deemed a worker.”

Changing from HB to LHA

In Housing benefit & council tax support. Posted 19 December at 15.30 by DWRS

“We’ve read with interest some archive discussion threads about whether there has to be a gap of a week in entitlement when a person moves from HB to LHA. It appears that the thread comes to an end without a definate answer. We have”

IB appeal from 2011

In Decision making and appeals. Last updated 19 December at 15.28 by DManville

“if there was an unrecoverable o/p then there’s still a decision that he wasn’t entitled. It’s implicit and if if there’s a decision in ‘14 that the overpayment is not recoverable I’d be launching an MR against that argoing no”

Reasonableness of ESA Tribunal when appellant arrives 17 mins late !

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 19 December at 15.00 by DManville

“Well, I asked for a set aside application in very similar circumstances to be expedited at the beginning of November last year and Birmingham ASC said “no probs we’ll stick it in front of the Judge now”. They didn’t tell me that the”

Backdating of Severe Disability Premium (SDP)

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 19 December at 14.34 by Tom H

“LauraN - 18 December 2014 05:44 PM ...Can the SDP be backdated to the start of her ESA claim? If she was previously on JSA do you know if it can be applied to this also? If the DLA was awarded when client was on income-based JSA then”

Local Welfare Asssistance Scheme consultation response

In Other benefit & tax credit issues. Last updated 19 December at 13.08 by Paul_Treloar_CPAG

“There is a blog on the New Statesmen website by Megan Jarvie and Lindsay Judge from our policy and campaigns team on yesterday’s announcement. ”“The last backstop for the most vulnerable”: what now for local welfare schemes? In terms of what this means at”


In Housing benefit & council tax support. Last updated 19 December at 12.51 by HB Anorak

“That analysis is spot on - Schedule 1 is simply not engaged at all in an LHA case. Only other thing to emphasise here is that the fuel charge satisfies the threshold C.O.T. requirement in Reg 12(1) (or C.O.L. in this case I”

Minutes of SSAC meeting discussing proposed ESA (repeat assessments) regs

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 19 December at 12.43 by DManville

“oooohh! The bloke from DWP contradicted himself between this meeting and the consultation on Wednesday, he told us that there were no plans to change the WCA; point 3.5 i reserves a position with “no immediate [/] plans””

ESA/SDP/Health Charges Penalty increase

In ESA & other incapacity related benefits. Last updated 19 December at 12.32 by DManville

“I’ve had two overturned this week. One was “how do you think…” as above with a severe and enduring diagnosis, the other was a person who’d been given a genuine impression they’d be entitled to IS but as it turned out they”


In Decision making and appeals. Last updated 19 December at 12.27 by nevip

“Some tribunals are more formal than others and there are variations in the procedures and rules.  For example, in immigration tribunals the appellant is well served by a solicitor or immigration specialist who must be a qualified person under s84 of the Immigration and”

Can the same judge who refused permission to appeal to the upper tribunal be on a new first tier tribunal?

In Decision making and appeals. Last updated 19 December at 12.07 by alex paul

“I had a DLA appeal where leave was refused by the District Judge, but granted by UT. When the appeal came back for re-hearing, the District Judge who refused leave was in the chair. He openly asked if I objected to him hearing the appeal”

bedroom tax in the upper tribunal

In Housing benefit & council tax support. Last updated 19 December at 11.10 by tony pickering

“Hello all I have a number of cases stayed at the UT pending a lead case CH/153/2014.  Does anybody know what has happened to that case.  The directions I have refer to CH/153/2014 being a lead case concerning size and use.  In”

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