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Lord Singh lobs grenade into DWP lobster pot - Case No: C1/2019/0640

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In R (TD, AD and Patricia Reynolds) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] EWHC 462 (Admin) Lord Singh found that DWP errors resulted in three benefit claimants making claims for Universal Credit which they need not have made. The claimants lost benefit as a consequence and were prevented from reclaiming their original or "legacy" benefits because of '“the lobster pot” principle' (see para. 5):

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...

Lord Singh, at para. 69, deals with the Secretary of State's argument that as the claimants had applied for UC they could not revert to their original benefits. He dismissed it:

“In my view, this is to elevate form over substance. Although it is true that the Appellants were not compelled by law to apply for UC, as a matter of practical reality they had no choice but to apply for UC. It is important that the legislation in this country governing social security should be interpreted in a way which conforms to practical reality, given the potential impact on some of the poorest people in society.'

1. Please provide all information you hold related to how legacy benefit claimants who make a claim for Universal Credit because of an incorrect determination by the Department that their circumstances have changed can return to claiming legacy benefits.

Lord Singh, at para. 94, wrote:

“It will be a matter for the Secretary of State to decide how to respond to a declaration by this Court that there has been a violation of these Appellants’ rights under Article 14. That may or may not lead to a scheme being designed which benefits other people, who are not before this Court, but the design of any such scheme will in the first instance be for the Secretary of State, although it must be done in a way which is lawful, including by reference to the Convention rights.”

2. If such a scheme referred to were to be designed, please provide me with the address details of the part of your organisation that would be responsible for designing it.

3. Please provide brief details of any other instances within the past five years were the Department was found by a court to have violated a person's rights under Article 14. Additionally, if the Department designed any scheme to remedy the violation concerned, please provide brief details.

Yours faithfully,

D Moore

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DWP Central FOI Team,

Our ref: FOI2020/25034

Contact email: [1][email address]

Dear D Moore,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 22nd May.
Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

You can normally expect a response to your FoI request within 20 working
days. However due to the current situation with COVID-19 it may not be
possible for us to reply to you within this timeframe.

The DWP will make every effort to respond to FOIs as we would usually but
the current situation may mean that available Departmental resources are
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We kindly ask for your understanding during this unprecedented si tuation
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