Two million could get £1,560 benefits back pay if DWP loses legal battle this month

TWO million Brits on benefits could be in line for a payout worth £1,560if the Government loses a legal challenge this month after excluding them from Covid support.

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

But the extra help was not extended to around 1.9million struggling households still on the legacy benefits system.

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

In April, two Brits were given the go-ahead by the High Court to take legal action against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), arguing that the treatment was unfair.

Now the case will be heard on November 17-18 after originally being earmarked for July.

Dates has been set for the hearing to take place in September but were delayed due to a lack of judges.

However, the judgement might not be announced on the day – it could be announced a couple of weeks after the case is heard in court.

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

The DWP will have to make amends and can decide how it will 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.

Helen Barnard, director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation think tank, 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.

 

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