Two million could get £1,500 in backdated benefits if DWP loses high court fight

TWO million Brits on benefits could be in line for a payout if the Government loses a legal challenge which heads to court today.

People on Universal Credit were given a £20 a week uplift to help them through the pandemic.

But around 1.9million struggling households still on the legacy benefits system were excluded from this support.

Many of those left out of pocket are disabled, claiming benefits such as personal independence payments (PIP) or employment support allowance (ESA).

Two Brits are taking the fight for the equivalent cash to the High Court, arguing that the treatment was unfair.

The case against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will be heard today (November 17) and Friday (November 19), but a judgement is not expected for a few weeks.

Even if the court does rule that the treatment was unfair and unlawful, there's no guarantee of a payout.

The DWP will have to make amends and but there are several ways they can do this.

One option is in the form of a back payment for those affected, worth up to £1,560.

This is equal to the 12-month uplift from March 2020 worth £1,040 a year, plus the £560 paid out through the six-month extension to the end of September.

The DWP may also decide to take action without the case reaching court.

Disabled welfare claimants have been protected from moving onto the Universal Credit since 2019 over fears they will see their welfare payments drop.

But as of January this year, the "gateway" was removed, meaning anyone on the tax credit system will be rolled onto Universal Credit if they have a change in circumstances, such as moving house.

William Ford, solicitor for the at claimants at Osbornes Law, previously said: "Whilst the uplift for those on Universal Credit is very much welcomed, there is no evidence to demonstrate that those in receipt of Universal Credit were more in need of the uplift than those on legacy benefits.

"This two- tiered approach to the UK social security system should end and we would encourage the government to re-think its position."

The case had originally being earmarked for July and then dates set for September, but that was delayed due to a lack of judges.

Helen Barnard, director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation think tank, previously said: "Disabled people and carers already face a greater risk of poverty, so there can be no justification for offering them less support than people claiming Universal Credit simply because they are in a different part of the system."

Save the Children UK’s head of child poverty, Becca Lyon, added: "All families deserve the security of being able to provide food for their children and pay for rent, bills and essential items.

"The UK government must make sure that the social security system works for all those who need it, and extend the uplift to families on legacy benefits."

A DWP spokesperson said: “It has always been the case that claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for Universal Credit if they believe that they will be better off.

"We do not comment on specific legal matters.”

Meanwhile millions of Brits on Universal Credit and in work will keep an extra £1,000 a year after the government announced a change to rules.

There's fresh hope for parents forking out for childcare after one mum pledged a fresh legal battle against unfair rules about costs.


We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun Money team?

Email us at m[email protected]


    Source: Read Full Article