The Department for Work and Pensions were in the dock as two households challenge the department over the loss of hundreds of pounds in benefits due to mistakes made by the Government after being forced to transfer to Universal Credit.

Represented by the Child Action Poverty Group, which will represent the mother and child referred to as TD and AD and another woman, Ms Reynolds on the grounds that the women have faced “irrational and unlawful discrimination.”

Ahead of the hearing, Carla Clarke, CAPG’s solicitor, said: “The Government has consistently said no-one will be worse off if they move to universal credit without a change of circumstances. But our clients suffered significant income drops.

“Neither chose to claim Universal Credit — they were forced to, following incorrect decisions by DWP. Neither had any change of circumstances other than DWP making decisions in relation to their previous benefits which it ultimately recognised were incorrect and overturned.

“Yet DWP’s policy has left them stranded on Universal Credit, unable to return to their legacy benefits and yet without the protection against cash losses that people will have when they are moved from legacy benefits to Universal Credit under the managed migration process.

“We say what happened to them is both irrational and unlawful discrimination, treating them less favourably purely on account of DWP’s own incorrect decisions. To their credit, they are bringing the case to stop any more claimants from having to take the fallout of DWP’s poor decision-making.”

A spokesperson from the DWP said: “We are unable to comment on an ongoing legal case. Universal Credit is a force for good and over 1.6 million are receiving the benefit successfully.”

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Source: LocalGov/PR/The Canary/Huffington Post
Image: Flickr/KOMUNews

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