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A terminally ill claimant, known as TP, has won the right to a judicial review of the decision to force him to claim universal credit (UC), resulting in a large drop in his income. The case comes after the DWP recently lost a judicial review which will lead to an increase in personal independence payment for hundreds of thousands of claimants.

TP became terminally ill with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Castleman's disease in 2016 and was in receipt of Severe Disability Premium (SDP) and Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP).

However, on medical advice he moved back to London to receive treatment.

Because he had moved into a full service area he was obliged to claim UC, which does not include SDP or EDP. As a result he is now £178 a month worse off.

The government have argued that there is transitional protection to ensure that claimants do not lose out as a result of moving on to UC if their circumstances remain the same.

However, what they do not make clear is that this protection will only be available to existing claimants who are part of the mass ‘managed migration’ onto UC beginning in July 2019.

Anyone who is forced to claim UC because they live in, or move to, a UC full service area and have a change of circumstances will not receive any transitional protection.

There is no logical reason whatsoever why something as simple as a change of address should lead to a cut in benefits intended to support a claimant who is disabled and living alone.

As TP’s solicitor, Tessa Gregory at Leigh Day explained:

"We believe that by taking away these essential benefits from some of the most vulnerable people in society, the government has acted unlawfully.

"For my client who suffers from a terminal illness and is undergoing gruelling chemotherapy the additional benefits are quite literally a lifeline. At a time like this he should be focussing on his health not worrying about his benefits being axed by the DWP. We believe the safety net, which any one of us might need to rely on, is being unlawfully eroded by the way Universal Credit is being introduced"

The DWP has already had to take on hundreds of extra staff to deal with reviewing all 1.6 million PIP claims after their earlier court defeat. A ruling against them in this case could throw UC into a similar state of chaos and bring much needed relief to thousands of UC claimants.

Comments  

+1 #4 naheegan 2018-02-14 10:56
How long will this process be and how many weeks or months will TP have to wait before knowing the JR outcome? This is totally unnecessary that ill and disabled claimants are being forced to battle unfair decisions in the courts and go without vital support during times they very much need the help.
What claimants are forced to exist on is a pitiful scrap -only a small fraction of the average weekly income of most, and doing so with the extra costs and difficulties that being disabled means.
I am looking to move as my housing is literally killing me, a situation on-going for many months. The only housing that I have been accepted for is into an active UC area, which means I won't get transitional protection and will likely be 'invited' to claim PIP -that will probably see another drop in income, while my rent will increase even though it is social housing.
I wish TP all the best of luck with this challenge to the DWP. It often seems though that nothing ever changes for UK's disabled.
+2 #3 Crazydiamond 2018-02-12 15:05
The DWP aren't bothered at all about taking cases through the judicial system, because the large amount of costs incurred are paid by the taxpayer.

It has just been revealed in The Guardian that it costs the DWP about £579 to fight one appeal for disability benefits. Disgraceful, when you consider that legal help was withdrawn for all claimants appealing below Upper Tribunal level, whereas the DWP seem to have a magic money tree when pursuing appeals before the courts!

On the question of these extra staff to whom the DWP refer, given that it takes about five years to become fully knowledgeable and competent with benefit administration, it simply is not a matter of 'taking on' extra staff to review PIP claims, because they should require intensive training, and where are these staff actually coming from? You cannot just move staff from one job to another within the Department - it doesn't work!
+1 #2 terry 2018-02-10 16:59
Good luck
With your case,I hope you win.About time these people are shown, that we may not be 100 percent healthy, but we are human. GOOD LUCK TO.
+3 #1 Battle ESA 2017 2018-02-06 08:58
Good to see others taking on the DWP, it's great the Courts are now looking out for the less well off in society.

I hope this gets the same outcome as the last case fingers crossed and wishing you get the result for yourself and others in this situation.
Good luck TP stay strong and keep well.

I'm also scared if I move and moved onto UC and loose my premiums, as many of us are.

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