Finally. The DWP £20 uplift is facing legal action.

The Royal Courts of Justice and the DWP logo

The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) £20 uplift to Universal Credit is facing a legal challenge. It’s from people on so-called legacy benefits. And the case may open the floodgates for thousands of other claimants.

DWP uplift: one rule for workers

The £20 uplift for Universal Credit from chancellor Rishi Sunak and the DWP has been contentious. This is because the government hasn’t helped people on things like Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Recently, Martin Lewis interviewed Sunak. It was after Sunak said in the budget that he would extend the uplift until September 2021. During the interview, Lewis asked him why he hadn’t increased so-called legacy benefits in line with Universal Credit.

Sunak said the £20 uplift:

was to help those in work

As The Canary said at the time:

In other words, the Tories think sick and disabled people don’t need extra money due to the pandemic.

On Twitter, people questioned the legality of Sunak’s policy:

Now, a legal case could answer that question.

A legal case

Disability News Service (DNS) has reported on a legal challenge to the uplift. Two disabled people are using legal aid to mount a judicial review. Firm Osbornes Law is representing them. The firm is looking at the government’s decision not to give an uplift to people on ESA. The case will argue that this is discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights, because the claimants are disabled people.

Philip Wayland is one of the claimants. He told DNS that the DWP’s lack of action for ESA claimants was “blatant discriminatory policy”. Wayland said:

Their claim is ‘we have put our arms around the most vulnerable people’, when they have categorically not done that.

After 10 years of it, that is what pushed me into it, because I have had enough.

It was an accumulation of the last 10 years, feeling as though we were being treated as second-class citizens, of years of feeling ignored and treated badly.

Systemic negligence

Sick and disabled people having to take the government to court in the first place is concerning. And this has happened before. As The Canary previously reported, the DWP lost a court case over Universal Credit in 2018. And as we predicted, this ‘opened the floodgates’. Because the ruling forced the DWP to change policy.

For some, the issue of the £20 uplift may well be a clear case of discrimination. And ultimately, it shows the DWP’s systemic negligence towards sick and disabled people. It shouldn’t take a court case for the government and DWP to admit they’re at fault. But in this instance, the legal route seems to be the only one that might bring the change that’s needed.

Featured image via Dan Perry – Flickr and Wikimedia 

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  • Show Comments
    1. Those whom voted tory and fail to see the worth of the ‘Welfare state’ will soon enough achieve the tory goal of a complete insurance based healthcare system and full privatisation of hospitals and clinics. Tis only then that’ll they realise their selfish short term thinking and denial of what they received to the future generations will surely confine the ‘Blue rinse Thatcherite boomers’ into the history books as the last ‘great stupid generation’… And good riddance..

    2. Finally. The DWP £20 uplift is facing legal action.
      ///
      Well, here we go again more C**p about the Tory Scam U-Credit payments
      Plus E.S.A. payments I know someone on legacy payment E.S.A. that get
      Is new payment update this year he laughed at it? It was nothing to boost about
      Tory Gvot Sunak including D.W.P. Minister or Boris or M.P. of Tory Govt.
      He told me he only got 60p payment rise to cover the cost of his Living bill food/energy/rent/ he has never had the £20.00 payment cash help form
      U-Credit given other claimant. FACT the 60p may get him a packet of crisp
      (the cheap ones)
      ///
      Q-So why is E.S.A payment not gone up with inflation under
      Tory Party rule in Govt the people on E.S.A. legacy payment have proven they
      cannot work over many years of being tested by D.W.P. assessment people
      Questions plus points to D.W.P + Boris and all Tory party members.
      ///
      Q-Therefore, why do people on E.S.A does not get the right inflation rate as other Benefit claimants do on Tory SCAM -U-Credit payment I would love to know from all Tory party members the answer to my question in this post before May 2021 election as it will
      determine who I vote for which party Cllr in my area fact Tory Cllr support Tory Govt in LONDON on all welfare cuts including cut to local areas funding plus benefits now ongoing like legacy E.S.A. Benefits
      //.
      so, I see no point in having any Tory Cllr that are trashing our way of life for party gains only now (them in LONDON area) not looking after us resident’s needs. In addition
      them on legacy E.S.A. payments have already paid into the Govt taxpayer pot plus N.I. payment pot over many years while working full time all you in Tory Govt seem to forget ill health has put them out of work not being lazy so they should get the true help from Tory Govt + D.W.P. Dept not the C**p 60p increase in their benefits.

    3. Yes, I too got the cr*p 60p increase in ESA payment.
      Plus another letter from my Doctor’s surgery telling me that the NHS needs to save money on prescription costs, so that is another blow as another four more items have now been removed.

      Including Vitamins and minerals I was taking. These cost, the NHS £9.92 per 30 tablets, but are £17 over the counter to me.
      I am now in the situation of wondering whether to buy vitamins or food?

      I have Coeliac Disease which means my body does not absorb vitamins and minerals properly. Unfortunately the food bank doesn’t cater for gluten free either.

      No wonder this government has murdered more sick and disabled people, than have died from Coronavirus.
      We are under attack, just as the sick and disabled were in WW2 under Hitler.

    4. Anyone who isn’t fit or of age to enlist in the military is a deadbeat I guess from the looks of it and the DWP defines benefits as only suitable for those working. Their humantitarian vision appears to be that simple.
      Culling DWP undesireables from the population looks like a eugenic’s program for the poor.

      1. Seeing that the £20 uplift will last until September, I applied to move from JSA to UC. So far, it’s been fine, despite the three-week wait after the two-week run-on final JSA payment. DWP staff have been helpful and friendly over the phone. The commitment to look for work for 35 hours a week, which attracted controversy a while back, is – at least, so far as I can tell over the last few years – not seriously demanded. Let’s not attack workers in the DWP who appear to be doing the best they can.

    5. When thay stop treating us like none humen then we will stop you don’t understand the suffering of disabled people and to not get payed a lot is insulting to are existence did I arks for the disabilitys did I arks for any of this if I didn’t have any issues I’ll be working but I was robed of that opportunity there’s so much I miss out on you think it’s fair for the dwp and govment to not take disability seriously if anything we should be treated with compassion and respect as we have it the hardest in life not workers that have a choice of what thay work as and how much thay get payed as disabled people we don’t get a choice the government gives us peanuts and even if we were to go back to work if your disability allows you will just get payed less for being everybody’s ecsape gote and the fact that thay will use you and then dump you before I got ill I still had disabilitys and I Worked and I was used from job to job if anything I think the disabled community need to make there voices herd and stop putting up with this bs also to anyone that will bash my comment and be like but are tax pay your benefits and you should be grateful let me clarify something hear you try living with physical and mental disabilities it’s no picknick and we are robed of so much and the pay even on max rate still sucks as we can never afford a brake on holiday or anything remotely decent so count your self lucky you can work and stop bashing disable as you think thay arks for it thay bloody well don’t and tbh everyday is such a challenge I bet its harder then most of your jobs tbh I feel that the govment and people alike are igrent if I had it my way I would make it mandatory to take a new tax off pay checks just small amount to go to fixing disability for good so no one will have to suffer mental disabilities and as many physical disabilities as possible

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