Universal Credit: DWP faces High Court compensation claim from hundreds for ‘lost income’

The group, who are represented by Leigh Day solicitors, say they have missed out on at least £170 per month since they were moved onto Universal Credit as part of the new benefits system being rolled out across the UK. All of this group were moved onto the system before January 2019.


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As such, they lost the severe disability premium which they had previously claimed, leaving them worse off.

However, severely disabled people who have been moved onto the new benefits system since January 2019 have not missed out on the premium.

Rather, those moved after this date have seen their Universal Credit claims be managed by the Severe Disability premium Gateway system.

This is something which has been put in place to ensure that severely disabled benefits claimants do not end up worse off under the Universal Credit system.

The DWP later offered transitional payments of up to £405 per month to those already affected.

However, solicitors Leigh Day argue this money is not enough.

Now, they’re arguing for compensation in the form of damages for the “stress caused”, as well as compensation equal to the amount of money they have lost in the process and for the previous level of benefits to be restored until a new migration scheme is established.

The claimants argue that they have suffered because of the unlawful implementation of the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) 2014, the SDP Gateway Regulations, January 2019, and the Managed Migrations Regulations 2019.

They also allege they have suffered discrimination under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Leigh Day solicitors said yesterday.

Last month, the group filed a “pre-action” letter.

However, they claim the government has “failed to substantively respond” to the Pre Action Protocol letter.

Leigh Day solicitors added that the group believes that up to 13,000 disabled people in the UK have been affected by the change, and may be entitled to make a claim to retrieve lost benefit payments.


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Leigh Day solicitor Ryan Bradshaw said: “Our clients believe that it clearly cannot be right that they find themselves £170 a month worse off under the Universal Credit system when other claimants have the assurance that they will not be worse off on Universal Credit.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment on an ongoing legal case.

“We are committed to supporting the most vulnerable in society and spend over £95 billion a year on working age benefits.”

Universal Credit is replacing six legacy benefits, and these are:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit.

If a person currently gets any of these benefits, they do not need to do anything unless they have a change of circumstances they need to report, or the DWP contacts them about moving onto Universal Credit.

GOV.UK states that a person cannot claim Universal Credit if either they:

  • Get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it
  • Got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and they’re still eligible for it.

Should a person have a change of circumstances that affects the severe disability premium or other benefits, then they need to report it and would be told what to do next.

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