Fresh hope for millions on legacy benefits over Universal Credit £20 uplift

MILLIONS of Brits on benefits have been given fresh hope that they could get cash equivalent to the £20-a-week uplift given to Universal Credit claimants during Covid.A court ruling last month dashed hopes of a payout that could have been worth £1,500 in backdated benefits.
1Brits getting legacy benefits did not get extra cash like those on Universal CreditCredit: Getty – Contributor
Now lawyers in the case have made an application to appeal that decision.
A £20 a week uplift was given out through the pandemic to help millions on Universal Credit.
But nearly two million struggling households still on the legacy benefits system were excluded from this support.
Those claiming benefits such as personal independence payments (PIP) or employment support allowance (ESA) and disabled people are among those left out of pocket.
Several claimants affected took their fight to the High Court, arguing that the treatment was unfair and they should get the equivalent cash.
After a hearing last year, the judge ruled in February in favour of the Department for Work and Pensions in a blow to millions of legacy benefit claimants.
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The ruling concluded the DWP was “justified” in its “difference in treatment” between Universal Credit and legacy benefits.
Lawyers representing the claimants called the result “extremely disappointing” and a “devastating blow” to millions of others in the same situation.
And they have now decided to challenge the decision in the courts.
William Ford, partner at Osbornes Law, who is representing some of the legacy benefit claimants said: “The Claimants in this case hope to be able to challenge the decision of the High Court and we have now submitted an application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
“This will first be considered by the High Court. If the High Court refuse permission we can seek permission to appeal directly from the Court of Appeal.”
It’s a lengthy legal process and the application to appeal could still be turned down by either court.
Even if it did get the go ahead and was successful, there’s still no guarantee a payout would be made.
The DWP would have to make amends, but there are several ways it can do this.
As The Sun previously reported, 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.
Disabled welfare claimants have been protected from moving onto Universal Credit since 2019 over fears they will see their welfare payments drop.
But as of January last 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.
Charities, including Save the Children and The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, have said the uplift for Universal Credit should be extended to legacy benefit claimants.
The DWP has been contacted for comment.
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