Universal credit adverts from government ‘deliberately misleading’, say charities – The Independent

‘A coalition of more than 80 benefit charities has submitted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority over government ads for Universal Credit which they claim are “deliberately misleading”.’

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The Independent, 19th June 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Reasonable Expenses and intentional homelessness – Nearly Legal

‘Samuels v Birmingham City Council (2019) UKSC 28. The Supreme Court, finally, has delivered its judgment on the issue of the assessment of “reasonable expenses” when considering the affordability of rent in homelessness decisions.’

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Nearly Legal, 16th June 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Lone parents lose benefits cap challenge at supreme court – The Guardian

‘The UK’s highest court has rejected a legal challenge to the benefit cap made by campaigners who argued that it discriminated against single parents with young children.’

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The Guardian, 15th May 2019

Source: www.theguardian.com

New Judgment: R (DA & Ors) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; R (DS & Ors) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] UKSC 21 – UKSC Blog

Posted May 15th, 2019 in appeals, benefits, children, equality, families, news, proportionality, Supreme Court by sally

‘This appeal considered whether the application of the revised benefit cap, introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, s 8, to lone parents with children under two years old (i) unlawfully discriminates against parents and/or the children, contrary to ECHR, art 14 with art 8, and/or art 2 of the First Protocol and in breach of the UK’s international obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, art 3, and/or (ii) is irrelevant.’

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UKSC Blog, 15th May 2019

Source: ukscblog.com

The socio-economic duty: A powerful idea hidden in plain sight in the Equality Act – Oxford Human Rights Hub

‘Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 asks public authorities to actively consider the way in which their policies and their most strategic decisions can increase or decrease inequalities. I am talking about the socio-economic duty. However, successive governments since 2010 have failed to commence it, to bring it to life in technical terms, which means that public authorities are not technically bound by Section 1.’

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Oxford Human Rights Hub, 15th May 2019

Source: ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk

Woman, 81, killed herself after pension was frozen in error – The Guardian

Posted May 10th, 2019 in benefits, elderly, inquests, news, pensions, suicide by sally

‘An 81-year-old woman killed herself after running out of money when her pension was frozen due to an administrative error.’

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The Guardian, 9th May 2019

Source: www.theguardian.com

High court suspends Home Office policy limiting support for slavery victims – The Guardian

‘A high court judge has suspended a Home Office policy that cuts off after six weeks all statutory support to slavery victims in the UK, ruling that it risks causing “irreparable harm to very vulnerable individuals”.’

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The Guardian, 17th April 2019

Source: www.theguardian.com

I’m still at a loss’: Windrush victims who were forced into homelessness and debt due to scandal still living in anguish and destitution a year on – The Independent

‘On 16 April 2018, Amber Rudd – then home secretary – stood up in the House of Commons to formally acknowledge the Windrush scandal for the first time. The treatment of immigrants by her department’s “hostile environment” was appalling, she said, vowing to deal with cases within two weeks and put things right. But exactly one year later, the suffering goes on. Many are yet to receive a response to their application to the taskforce, leaving them in a “state of limbo” with little or no information about how their case is progressing.’

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The Independent, 16th April 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Two-thirds of councils say they can’t afford to comply with homelessness law – The Guardian

Posted April 10th, 2019 in benefits, budgets, homelessness, housing, local government, news, statistics by sally

‘The Homelessness Reduction Act, in operation for the past 12 months, is potentially the greatest piece of homelessness legislation for 40 years in England, according to Southwark council in south London. The Labour-run council pioneered the government’s new flagship act, and is upbeat about it. While homelessness went up in the borough last year, as it did across London, the rise was less steep than expected: 8.6% for families placed in temporary accommodation and a similarly small increase for rough sleepers. At the same time, there was also a 50% increase in the number of people the council helped to stay in their home. “It shows the act works,” says the council’s cabinet member for housing, Stephanie Cryan.’

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The Guardian, 10th April 2019

Source: www.theguardian.com

Ending duties after the HRA – Nearly Legal

‘This is a settled judicial review, I’ve seen the grounds, interim order and final consent order. It raises a number of issues about the performance of the new Housing Act 1996 Part VII duties as amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.’

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Nearly Legal, 7th April 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

The Inheritance Act and Adult Child Claimants – recent guidance from the Chancery Division – Family Law Week

‘Gwyn Evans, barrister of Tanfield Chambers, explains the court’s judgment in a recent Inheritance Act case involving an estranged adult claimant, reliant on state benefits, and defendants for whom inheritance was a windfall.’

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Family Law Week, 29th March 2019

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

DWP defeats public sector equality duty challenge over method of communication with homeless man – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Department for Work & Pensions has successfully defended a High Court challenge brought by a homeless man who claimed that its approach to communication was in breach of its duties under the public sector equality duty.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 11th March 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Successful Judicial Review of Benefits Payment in the UK – Oxford Human Rights Hub

Posted March 11th, 2019 in benefits, equality, judicial review, news, statutory interpretation by sally

‘R (Johnson and others) and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] EWHC 23 (Admin) is an English High Court case relating to the benefit payment, Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a UK benefits payment, paid by the UK Government to support those out of work or in very low income work.’

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Oxford Human Rights Hub, 11th March 2019

Source: ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk

Defined penalties gives Pensions Regulator powers to protect defined benefit schemes – Doughty Street Chambers

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd MP has announced that the government will introduce two new criminal offences to penalise the mismanagement of pension schemes.

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Doughty Street Chambers, 11th February 2019

Source: insights.doughtystreet.co.uk

LASPO Review: Bar Council reaction – The Bar Council

‘The Bar Council has reacted to the Ministry of Justice’s LASPO Part 1 review, published today. Richard Atkins QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said: “The Bar Council is disappointed with the Government’s post-implementation review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (“LASPO”), published today. When the Bar Council gave evidence to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) last year on the impact of the LASPO cuts to legal aid we identified five priorities to help reverse the decline in legal aid provision over almost six years. (See notes to editors). Few have been addressed.” ‘

Full press release

The Bar Council, 7th February 2019

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

Case Comment: In the matter of an application by Siobhan McLaughlin for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2018] UKSC 48 – UKSC Blog

‘It may seem somewhat Dickensian that an unmarried parent would be ineligible for social benefits as a widow/er upon the death of their partner and co-parent, but that was the situation created by the legislation challenged in Re Siobhan McLaughlin for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2018] UKSC 48 (Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Hodge and Lady Black). The issue under scrutiny was entitlement to widowed parent’s entitlement (WPA). WPA is a contributory social security benefit payable to parents of dependent children who are widowed; but, at the time of the claim, a widowed parent was only eligible for WPA if at the time of the death, s/he was married to, or the civil partner of, the deceased [para 1 of the judgment]. The appellant, who had four dependent children with her deceased partner, but had never married him, argued that this requirement discriminated against the survivor and/or the children on the basis of their marital or birth status, contrary to ECHR, art 14. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal majority of 4 to 1 (Lord Hodge dissenting) and made a declaration that s 39A is incompatible with ECHR, art 14 read with art 8, insofar as it precludes any entitlement to WPA by a surviving unmarried partner of the deceased.’

Single mother takes government to court after being forced into homelessness due to housing benefit shortfall – The Independent

Posted January 31st, 2019 in benefits, homelessness, housing, local government, news, Supreme Court by tracey

‘A single mother of four who was was forced into homelessness due to a shortfall in housing benefit is to challenge the government in Britain’s highest court.’

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The Independent, 31st January 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

UK Benefits System Fails Mentally Ill Claimants ‘Disproportionately’ By Refusing Benefits – Rights Info

Posted January 23rd, 2019 in benefits, disabled persons, mental health, news by sally

‘The UK benefits system’s Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been designed to support people living with disabilities – but handouts may be unfairly benefiting claimants with physical injuries over those with mental illnesses.’

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Rights Info, 22nd January 2019

Source: rightsinfo.org

Council pays rogue landlord £500,000 in housing benefit – The Guardian

Posted January 21st, 2019 in benefits, housing, local government, news by tracey

‘A repeatedly convicted landlord, ruled unfit to rent out property in a north London borough in 2015, has since received more than £500,000 in housing benefit payments from the same council that banned him. The discovery that a local authority is directly paying public money to a landlord its own officers describe as “rogue” is the latest example of the ineffective regulations designed to police the private rented sector’s worst offenders.’

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The Guardian, 20th January 2019

Source: www.theguardian.com

Legal aid for welfare benefits plummets over a decade – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted January 18th, 2019 in appeals, benefits, budgets, legal aid, news, statistics by tracey

‘The Ministry of Justice says its delayed review of the impact of its controversial legal aid reforms is nearly done after publishing a table showing an alarming drop in the number of people who have been granted public funding in welfare benefits cases over the last decade.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 17th January 2019

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk