Good morning

For the 2nd time in less than 1 year, DWP’s Universal Credit “Migration” rules, relating to severely disabled claimants, have been ruled “discriminatory” by the High Court.

In an earlier bulletin I explained how two appellants, referred to as TP & AR, had secured compensation for the loss of their “SDP” when they were “migrated” to Universal Credit. Their migration to Universal Credit followed moves to new local authority areas, which had originally incurred benefit losses to each of around £180 pcm.

The same two disabled men, plus a woman named SXC, pursued this further action against DWP when they realised, they could lose £100 pcm, along with other similarly affected claimants, due to the Government’s proposed solution of paying only limited compensation, for those who transferred over to Universal Credit in advance of the 16th January 2019 Gateway, that now prevents SDP recipients from migrating to UC until the Transitional Payment scheme is in operation (2020).

Following Friday’s announcement, they stated:

“After the High Court judgement last year, we thought we had finally forced the government to ensure that people with severe disabilities who had to move onto Universal Credit from the old system would not be without adequate protection or worse off. However, we then learned that the Government was proposing to short-change us and thousands of other severely disabled persons by around £100 a month. It is extremely frustrating that we have had to fight these cases through the courts when it is clear to all that the government’s unfair and dysfunctional universal credit system is indefensible.”

This latest success means that those who migrated, prior to 16th January 2019 will receive compensation for their earlier loss and protection, moving forward, that will compensate them on their actual loss.

Just how long the estimated 10,000 potential beneficiaries will have to wait, before receiving payment, remains in doubt as DWP is seeking to overturn the 1st High Court decision on the grounds it erred in law at arriving at its conclusions. However, in a letter to the Work & Pensions Select Committee on 24th April 2019, Secretary of State, Amber Rudd, gave the assurance – that the necessary legislation Universal Credit (Managed Migration & Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 “will proceed regardless of the judgement on the appeal in this matter”.

Great outcome for all those potentially affected, but whether the promised compensation will be delivered this year, I’ve got my doubts.

Bill Irvine

UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd.