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High Court decision on legacy benefits claimants and Universal Credit a welcome step, says BPS

30 April 2021

The BPS is delighted that the High Court has granted legacy benefit claimants permission to challenge the Department for Work and Pensions’ decision not to increase their benefit in line with Universal Credit.

At the beginning of the pandemic the Chancellor announced a £20 per week increase to the standard allowance of Universal Credit, but this was not extended to those on so-called ‘legacy benefits’, the majority of whom are disabled, sick or carers.

The BPS has previously criticised this and the decision by the High Court is a welcome step towards righting that wrong.

Diane Ashby, deputy chief executive of the BPS, said:

“The exclusion of those on legacy benefits from the uplift to Universal Credit has seen some of the most vulnerable members of our society left adrift without the support they need during this pandemic. Being disabled or being a carer often means you are more likely to be living in poverty, and more susceptible to the mental health impacts of poverty – increased uncertainty, stress and worry.

“We have long championed the belief that an investment in the social security system is an investment in the nation’s mental and physical health and this must apply to all members of society. This is very welcome and offers claimants hope, we urge ministers to extend the £20 uplift to those on legacy benefits.”

 

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