This may apply to you if you are getting ESA or JSA or have been during the pandemic – since March 2020.
We will be keeping an eye on the outcomes and sharing information as we get it.
DWP court battle means millions could get £1,000 benefits back pay.:
People on older ‘legacy benefits’ could be in line for a payout as the Government faces a court benefits battle.
The legal fight centres on the £20 a week uplift given to people on Universal Credit at the start of the pandemic, The Mirror reports.
The payment didn’t go to those on older benefits, like employment support allowance (ESA), income support, and jobseekers’ allowance (JSA).
Many of those still claiming the older benefits are disabled, sick, or carers. According to Disability Rights UK, over 1.9million disabled people are still claiming ESA payments.
And this week, two recipients of ESA challenged this decision at the High Court for judicial review.
They argued it was discriminatory and unjustified to exclude people from higher payments just because their benefits were administered under an old system. On Thursday, the High Court agreed the issue could be arguably unlawful and will decide the case later this year.
The claimants have asked for the trial to be heard before the end of July 2021.
William Ford, of Osbornes Law, which is representing the claimants, said: “We are pursuing this legal challenge based on the proposition that the pandemic means those dependent upon basic allowances are facing higher basic living costs, and yet despite their very similar circumstances, only some of them receive a Covid-specific uplift to help meet those costs.
“This unfairness calls for a properly evidenced justification, particularly as almost 2 million disabled people are disproportionately affected by this decision and the pandemic generally. Thus far the Government has failed to provide any objectively verifiable reason for the difference in treatment of people in essentially identical circumstances.”
A DWP Spokesperson told The Mirror: “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.”
Helen Barnard of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said “everyone should have access to a strong social security system that protects them from harm when they are struggling to stay afloat.”
She added: “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.
“Discrimination has no place in our social security system and every day we fail to act undermines public trust and intensifies hardship. Ministers must right this injustice by urgently extending the £20 increase to legacy benefits.