High Court to rule on Government's failure to give the £20 uplift to Legacy beneficiaries

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.

The full story can be read at: https://osborneslaw.com/2m-without-benefit-increase-challenge-government/

Comments

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,539

    FIngers crossed....

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Further to my comment above the final hearing will now not be held until 28-29 September. Meanwhile I wrote an email to my MP back in April and have just had a response:

    Thank you very much for your email, and for writing to me again on this very important issue. Despite your health challenges, I hope that you are well. 

    As you note in your email, in terms of Government policy which you have asked me to address, the Government have confirmed that they plan to remove the temporary £20 UC uplift this Autumn – six months longer than initially proposed - which was intended primarily to support those on UC during the pandemic while work was not an option for so many.

    Now as we return to normality, working is now an option again for most people, and the Prime Minister confirmed at the time that the motivation behind this cut was ‘getting people into work and getting people into jobs.’ However, for people such as yourself, I recognise that work isn’t always a possibility.

    Of the 5.72 million working-age people on UC as of November 2020, around 491,000 (9%) were recorded as also being entitled to either PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Among the 1.79 million claimants of ESA who were not also on UC, 1.29 million (72%) were on PIP or DLA. It is estimated that increasing ESA, JSA and Income Support by £20 a week this year would cost in the region of £1.38 billion. This estimate is however based on pre-coronavirus benefit caseloads. It is not yet clear to what extent the pandemic has affected the number of people on these benefits.

    While it is unlikely that the Government will change policy on this, or backdate this £20 uplift to include those on PIP or DLA too, I will endeavour to raise it with the Chancellor in due course.

    However, I am hopeful that you are still in receipt of PIP which undoubtedly will be helpful to you. A great number of people who are unable to work, and on legacy benefits will be entitled to this and I have made a particular point of using my office to support claims and wherever necessary appeals.

    Kind regards,

    Derek Thomas MP

    For West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives)

    Roughly translated - "Don't hold your breath"!!

  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Moderator Posts: 376

    Hi @Mike1

    thank you for sharing this, it's always good to know what is going on

    Best Wishes

    Sharon

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 393

    It reads to me let’s baffle him with statistics which are probably incorrect, then remind us we should be grateful we get pip and his office is open unless he’s on holiday or very busy with covid (it’s not like they’ve had 18 months to get a handle on it) but your right Mike don’t hold your breath


    it’s blah blah black sheep have you any wool 🤔

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 393

    Just to share some good news with all you lovely people that have supported me and listened to my constant moaning I received a letter this morning to confirm I’ve been awarded ill health retirement having met both tiers a mixture of sadness and trepidation also hit me but in all something positive

    love Jona 🙂

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    It came as a blow to me too but at least you now do not have to worry so much about earning a living and can concentrate on getting as comfortable as you can. Find a hobby you like and can do without hurting, it makes a difference. Good luck.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    The final hearing concerning the £20 uplift to UC which was not extended to those of us on "legacy" benefits will now be held by the High Court on 17th and 18th November 2021.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    The High Court's decision has been put off yet again but only until Friday 19th November, fingers crossed till then. Some newspapers have said that those of us on ESA and PIP may receive £1500 in back pay which will undoubtedly wind some non-disabled up. Prior to the pandemic I had a whole £3000 in savings which was earmarked primarily for replacing white goods and TV etc between me now at 63 and my passing BUT at least a third of that has gone in increased living expenses since then which just goes to prove that basic living costs have risen dramatically over the past 20 months (especially on-line supermarket shopping) and that disability benefits in general are not what they should be. As my meagre savings have diminished so much it does make me worry about the future a bit more if something gives up the ghost will I be able to replace it.

  • ToneBlues
    ToneBlues Member Posts: 94

    Thank you for the updates @Mike1 - I look forward with anticipation, but not a great deal of hope, to Friday's High Court judgement,

    Best wishes

    @ToneBlues

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    The hearing began on Wednesday at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and wrapped up yesterday which was delayed from July BUT it could still take up to six weeks for the court to deliver a decision. But even if it goes in favour of us legacy benefits claimants it cannot compel the government to give us backdated payments.

  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Moderator Posts: 376

    thank you for this update @Mike1 let's hope it's a positive outcome

    Sharon

  • linrobscott01
    linrobscott01 Applicant2 Posts: 2

    Any further update on this?

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Nope! When it went to the High Court they said a judgement would be made in 6 weeks so we should have heard something by mid-January BUT we are still waiting. Even if a judgement is made in favour of us on Legacy Benefits there is no compulsion on the Government to pay it!!

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 393

    It could have been paid out of all those private planes the government takes when people can’t even afford taxi fare to the hospital disgusting privileged lot yeah we’re all in it together not

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Once again a Judge does not have a clue what he is talking about as Mr "Justice" Swift rejected the claim for the £20 uplift to be paid to legacy benefit claimants, i.e. those of us on ESA or PIP. In his statement rejecting the claim he claimed that the uplift was intended to be paid to Universal Credit claimants who had lost their jobs. This is clearly not the case as everyone on UC received the uplift. Lawyers for the four people who brought the case for a judicial review argued that those on legacy benefits faced the same financial pressures as those on universal credit, and the government's decision not to treat them the same amounted to unlawful discrimination, they are now considering an appeal. In addition a petition has been started: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/608486 So despite the fact that disabled people on "legacy" benefits, including myself, have been significantly financially affected (as millions of others have been) the Government have ignored us and the legal system has backed them up.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 393

    I’m really sorry for the rant but this government has proved time and time again that disabled people don’t matter it seems to be more about getting them off partygate and the royals paying off dirty little secrets no one asked for covid but it appears it’s the poorest of society having to pay for the mistakes they made I’ts corrupt from the top down

    they choose hampers from Harrods we have food banks we pay their rent and heating costs we have to put on extra clothing being cold makes conditions worse being without food makes people ill but shockingly classed as a drain on society being sick is not a choice

  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 58

    The irony here is that if the government had been more competent and legacy benefit claimants had been moved across to UC according to the dates originally set out then the uplift would have been paid. I think it's right to interpret the judgment like this:

    1 This payment was never intended for those out of work

    2 Unemployed/sick on UC received it only because this was the simplest and fastest way to make payments

    3 Legacy benefit claimants didn't receive it as it was never targeted at them in the first place

    4 Yes, this is discrimination as some people who received it are in exactly the same circumstances as some who didn't.

    5 This can be justified as per point 2. They were never meant to be the recipients, they got lucky.

    6 If the government had been competent everyone on legacy benefits would have been on UC and received the uplift

    7 But because the government was incompetent it's tough luck on you.

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