Free Webinar - Welfare Benefits and Housing

Wednesday 17 July 2024, 1pm-2pm


This webinar is brought to you by the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team, ranked in both Band 1 of the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2024 and Tier 1 in the Legal 500 2024.

Date: Wednesday 17 July 2024
Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Housing Law , Welfare Benefits Law

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In this webinar, speakers will cover developments in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit housing costs. This includes the replacement of Housing Benefit (HB) by the housing costs element of Universal Credit by managed migration.

The webinar will also contain a survey of recent case law. Topics covered include:

  • The correct test for temporary absence due to ‘essential repairs’;
  • The correct approach to ‘take advantage’;
  • Whether a student loan counts as income when it has been refused due to religious objections to the payment of interest;
  • Housing costs for prisoners on Universal Credit; and
  • When is a claimant ‘on’ Universal Credit for the purposes of passporting to maximum Housing Benefit; and
  • The case of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v AT [2023] EWCA Civ 1307 which confirmed that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights has a role to play in respect of EU citizens with pre-settled status in receipt of Universal Credit.


Matthew Ahluwalia, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Matthew is a social welfare and public law barrister. He has a particular interest and experience in housing, homelessness, public law, welfare benefits, and migrants’ rights. Matthew’s experience enables him to provide a holistic approach. Matthew is an experienced tribunal advocate with particular expertise in Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance, as well as cases concerning the right to reside and eligibility. He is also a contributing author to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) Benefits for Migrants Handbook.

Bethan Harris, Garden Court Chambers
Bethan specialises in community care law, social housing, Court of Protection, and related areas of public law. Her housing work includes judicial reviews, Children Act 1989 issues, Equality Act 2010 issues, and cases involving both housing and community care law. She is a member of the panel of counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. She is the co-author, with Desmond Rutledge and Kevin Gannon, of the annual Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Housing Costs Update in Legal Action Magazine.  

Desmond Rutledge, Garden Court Chambers
Desmond’s main area of expertise is in welfare benefits, which is rooted in his work as an advice worker before he came to the Bar. He provides representation to claimants before tribunals and the higher courts.  Desmond is also a member of the housing team, with special interest in homelessness and defending possession proceedings. His practice includes challenging negative homelessness decisions involving issues relating to suitability, intentionally, non-priority or ineligibility based on immigration status. Desmond also covers rights of succession cases. Desmond is ranked for community care in the Legal 500, 2024.

Will Ford, Partner, Osbornes Solicitors
Will is a partner at Osbornes Solicitors specialising in housing, public law, welfare benefits and community care law.

Reserve your online ticket
Please fill in the form below to reserve your online ticket. We will send joining details on the day of the event. Please check your junk inbox if you have not received the link by Wednesday 17th July. If you have not received the link by 11am on Wednesday 17th July, and it is not in your junk inbox, please email

Book Online

To book your place on this webinar, please use the booking form below. If you have any queries, please contact the Garden Court Chambers events team at

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