Blind Student Wins Universal Credit Litigation That Could Help “30,000 People”
Tens of thousands of people could be eligible to reapply for universal credit after being denied thanks to a new legal decision.
A blind student who prevented her from getting Universal credit won her case against the government after a judge ruled it was unlawful.
Sidra Kauser is visually impaired and has been denied a workability assessment that determines whether someone is fit for work or not.
Without them, the 22-year-old student who is doing a Masters at the University of York couldn’t claim Universal Credit.
And an estimated 30,000 disabled students in the same situation could now ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to reconsider their decision to decline assessments.
Ms. Kauser applied for UC when she found that her Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and student loan were not enough to support her.
According to the regulations of the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), disabled students applying for PIP can apply for UC, but only if they have a limited ability to work.
A work ability assessment is one way of demonstrating this impaired work ability – but students are not allowed to take this test, which creates a catching situation
What to do if you are having trouble applying for universal credit
If you have problems applying for your universal loan or the payments do not cover the costs, you have the following options:
- Apply for an advance – Applicants can get some cash within five days instead of waiting weeks for their first payment. However, it is a loan, which means that the repayments will automatically be deducted from your future universal loan disbursement.
- Alternative payment methods – If you default on the rental, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an APA which transfers your payment directly to your landlord. You might also be able to modify your payments to get them more often, or you can split the payments if you’re part of a couple.
- Budget advance – You may be able to get government help for emergency household bills of up to £ 348 if you are single, £ 464 if you are part of a couple, or £ 812 if you have children. These are just cases when your stove breaks down or to find a job. You must repay the advance through your regular universal loan payments. You still have to repay the loan, even if you are no longer entitled to universal credit.
- Lower your council tax – You may be able to get a discount on your council tax or be eligible for freely disposable housing allowances if your existing payments are insufficient to cover your rent.
- Panel – If you are really in need and struggling to buy groceries and toiletries, you can find your local board to help you for free. You can find your nearest one on the Trussell Trust website.
But Miss Kauser requested a judicial review of the rule and a judge agreed that she should not have been denied an evaluation and would now receive one.
A judge said the DWP had violated its own universal credit laws and ordered the government department to pay its legal bill of £ 12,000.
Attorney Lucy Cadd, of Leigh Day law firm, who represented Ms. Kauser, said: “Sidra has bravely opposed the decision to deny her a work ability assessment and it has proven successful.
“According to estimates by the charity Disability Rights UK, the Secretary of State’s unlawful policies since 2013 may have adversely affected 30,000 disabled students.”
Ms. Kauser said: “I am glad I decided to take a stand and enforce my right to a judicial review of the DWP’s decision to deny me a work ability assessment. Hopefully other students will benefit from the court ruling.”
The sun wants to make universal credit work
UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.
By the time the system is fully deployed in 2023, nearly 7 million of these will be in use.
But there are big problems with the flagship system – it takes five weeks to get the first payment, and some families could be put off thousands of pounds annually.
And while working families can claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs, they have to come up with the childcare money up front – we’ve heard of families who wait up to six months for the money.
Working parents across the country told us they were unable to take more hours – or even turned down better paying jobs or more hours because their benefits were cut.
It’s time for Universal Credit to work. We want the government to:
- Get paid faster: The government must cut the time the British wait for their first universal loan payments from five to two weeks to prevent millions from being driven into debt.
- Keep more of what you deserve: Wages should be increased and the interest rate lowered from 63p to 50p to help at least 4 million families.
- Don’t be punished for having a family: Parents should get 85% of the money they can ask for childcare upfront, rather than being paid in arrears.
Together, these changes will help Universal Credit Work work.
Anyone who found themselves in the same situation that the assessment was denied before August 5th could now request that the DWP re-examine their application.
The DWP changed the rules effective August 5, so the ruling will only apply to claims filed prior to that date.
However, Leigh Day believes the change, which still prevents disabled students from completing a work ability assessment, could also be challenged in court.
A DWP spokesperson said, “After examining the outcome of the litigation, the department will conduct a review of rejected universal credit claims by disabled students before implementing the new rules.”
Tens of thousands of die-hard Brits could see universal loan payments spike after a gap has been remedied.
A single mother is suing the government because childcare and universal credit don’t work.
This is how you can verify that you are eligible for Universal Credit and other benefits so that you know that you are not missing out.