Welfare Benefits

Some of the legislation

Welfare Reform Act 2012
Child Poverty Act 2010
Welfare Reform Act 2009
Welfare Reform Act 2007
Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
Pensions Act 2004
Tax Credits Act 2002
Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 (original text only)
Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999
Social Security Act 1998 (original text only)
Jobseekers Allowance Regulations 1996
Social Security Administration Act 1992 (original text only)
Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (original text only)

Some of our recent notable cases

HB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2013)
Income Support – on whether the abolition on 14.06.07 of reg 21ZB of the IS Regs (the rule backdating income support awarded to a refugee to the date his or her asylum application had been made) is contrary to EU law under article 28 of Directive 20044/83/EC or a breach of the appellant’s human rights.
[2013] UKUT 443 (AAC) 6/9/2013
Desmond Rutledge

R (Sanneh) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others (2013)
Interim relief requiring mainstream benefits to be paid was refused to a Zambrano family, on the basis that they could secure accommodation and support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
[2013] EWHC Admin 793 10/4/2013
Stephen Knafler QC & Desmond Rutledge

Pryce v London Borough of Southwark & Secretary of State for the Home Department (2012)
Ms Pryce was unlawfully present under domestic law but the sole carer of her British citizen children. She was successful in establishing that she has an EU right of residence under Article 20 TFEU, following the case of Zambrano. This enabled her to be eligible for homelessness assistance because she was not a person subject to immigration control and was a person with a right of residence. This right was not excluded by the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006.
[2012] EWCA (no judgment available yet) 7/11/2012
Adrian Berry

Burnip v Birmingham City Council & Anor (2012)
Test case on whether a failure of the housing benefit rules to differentiate between the disabled and able-bodied amounted to a breach of article 14 of the ECHR under the Thlimmenos principle.
[2012] EWCA Civ 629 15/5/2012
Desmond Rutledge

R (Payne & Cooper) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2011)
Whether the Secretary of State’s power to make deductions from social security benefit entitlements to recover overpayments and Social Fund loans ceases to be available when the individual in receipt of the benefits becomes subject to a Debt Relief Order under Part 7A of the Insolvency Act 1986 and the overpayment or Social Fund loan is specified as a debt within the Debt Relief Order.
[2011] UKSC 60 14/12/2011. Reported at [2012] 2 All ER 46
Desmond Rutledge

Secretary of State for Work & Pensions v Dias (2011)
Free movement of persons – Directive 2004/38/EC – Article 16 – Right of permanent residence – Periods completed before the date of transposition of that directive – Legal residence – Residence based solely on a residence permit issued pursuant to Directive 68/360/EEC, without the conditions governing eligibility for any right of residence having been satisfied.
EU ECJ C-480/08 21/07/2011
Adrian Berry

AD v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2011)
Whether alcohol and drug dependency constitute ‘mental condition’.
[2011] UKUT 307 (AAC) 29/7/2011
Desmond Rutledge

DK v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2011)
Tribunal’s decision to go ahead with hearing in claimant’s absence / whether overpayment decision properly made.
[2011] UKUT 230 (AAC) 26/5/2011
Desmond Rutledge

CP v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2011)
Whether compensation to disabled claimant for death of mother when she was a child should be ignored as capital / whether failure to make special provision breached human rights.
[2011] UKUT 157 (AAC) 7/4/2011
Desmond Rutledge

Scott v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2011)
Whether a Benedictine nun was excluded from any entitlement to state pension credit under the rule that she was a member of a religious order and was fully maintained by her order.
[2011] EWCA Civ 103 21/1/2011
Stephen Knafler QC & Desmond Rutledge

Sandhu v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions (2010)
The claimant could only walk with the aid of crutches after a serious road traffic accident but could not place any weight on one leg. The appeal was allowed but remitted to a new tribunal. The Department of Work and Pensions has issued new guidance (Memo DMG 47/10) in light of the case, reminding decision-makers to take into account the case-law on the use of crutches and ‘weight bearing’.
[2010] EWCA Civ 962 10/6/2010
Desmond Rutledge

RM v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2010)
Human rights – funeral payment – whether statutory scheme discriminatory contrary to Article 14 of the Convention in case of Jewish funeral.
[2010] UKUT 220 (AAC)1/7/2010 Reported at [2011] AACR 8
Desmond Rutledge

Teixeira (European citizenship) (2010)
Whether an EEA national who is both a former worker and the primary carer of her children who are in education, is eligible for homelessness assistance.
[2010] EUECJ C-480/08 23/2/2010
Adrian Berry

Malekout v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions (2010)
In assessing a claimant’s entitlement to income support under the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987, certain personal injury payments received as a result of a workplace injury could not be disregarded under Schedule 9.
[2010] EWCA Civ 162 2/2/2010
Adrian Berry

R (on the app. of Gargett) v Lambeth London Borough Council (2008)
Test case on the calculation of discretionary housing payments in which the Court of Appeal decided that discretionary housing payments may be paid in respect of rent arrears, even in circumstances where the claimant is now receiving full housing benefit entitlement.
[2008] EWCA Civ 1450 18/12/2008. Reported at (2009) ACD 29
Stephen Knafler

Rowley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2007)
Whether common law of duty was owed to child support applicant by the SSWP under the Child Support Act 1991.
[2007] EWCA Civ 598 19/6/2007. Reported at [2007] 3 FCR 431
Adrian Berry

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Doyle (2006)
The court considered the had to decide what rules applied to in the calculation of earnings for exempt work where a claimant in receipt of incapacity benefit can retain entitlement to the benefit while working so long as their earnings remain within a prescribed financial limit
[2006] EWCA Civ 466 27/4/06
Desmond Rutledge

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Bhakta (2006)
The Court considered the correct approach to the habitual residence test and whether there is a power to make an advance award from a date in the future. The Court preferred the submissions advanced on behalf of the claimant and dismissed the Secretary of State’s appeal. New guidance has been issued to decision makers as a result of the judgment – see DMG 03/06 ‘Habitual residence Test and advanced awards.
[2006] EWCA Civ 65 15/2/06. Reported at Times, March 20, 2006
Desmond Rutledge

Szoma v Secretary of State for Department of Work and Pensions (2005)
The meaning of ‘lawful presence’ for social security purposes
[2005] UKHL 64 27/10/05. Reported at (2006) 1 AC 564.
Duran Seddon

[2005] UKSSCSC CIS_2680_2004 (2005)
This concerned a Dutch national who came to the UK with her children having been in receipt of the equivalent to Income Support in Holland as a lone parent. The case considered the compatibility of the habitual residence test with EU law and the applicability of Reg EEC No. 1408/71, in particular, whether a claimant could come within the person scope of the Regulation merely by having been subject to the social security legislation of one or more Member States.
Reported as R(IS) 1/06 12/8/05 .
Desmond Rutledge

Department for Works & Pensions v Richards (Michael) (2005)
Criminal compensation orders in social security benefit overpayment cases
[2005] EWCA Crim 491 3/3/05. Reported at Times, March 11, 2005
Jan Luba and Kate Aubrey-Johnson

Cooke v Secretary of State for Social Security (2002)
Correct test for appeal to Court of Appeal from Social Security Commissioner and other specialist tribunals
[2001] EWCA Civ 734 25/4/01. Reported at [2002] 3 All ER 279
Rajeev Thacker

Useful links

Up-to-date benefit & tax credit rates 2014/15
National Statistics Report: DWP Reports on Fraud and Error in the Benefits System
DWP guidance to Local Authorities – Urgent Bulletin No HB/CTB U6/2011
Universal Credit: welfare that works: Government White Paper (Nov 2010)
Consultation Responses to 21st Century Welfare (DWP, Nov 2010)
Social Security, Child Support and Pensions Appeal Commissioners (Commissioners Decisions from 2000 onwards)
DWP official guide to Universal Credit
Child poverty research and policy
Rightsnet (up-to-date news in areas of social welfare law)