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Judgment due in first legal challenge to Universal Credit | UNITE Magazine

The judgment in the first legal challenge against the Government’s controversial Universal Credit scheme will be handed down tomorrow at 10am (Thursday 14 June 2018). 

This is the first legal challenge to the Government’s controversial decision to implement Universal Credit, a single benefit which replaces a range of existing means-tested welfare benefits

The judicial review is being taken on behalf of a 52-year-old terminally ill man, who is suffering from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Castleman’s Disease. The man whose identity is protected, and is referred to as TP, is a Cambridge graduate who had worked in the City and around the World within the financial sector.

Alongside TP, law firm Leigh Day are also representing a man known as AR, who is 36 and suffers from severe mental health issues.

TP became terminally ill in 2016 and was in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) and Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP), which were specifically aimed at meeting the additional care needs of severely disabled people living alone with no carer.

However, with the recent introduction by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions of Universal Credit, both EDP and SDP were removed with no transitional protection put in place for those previously in receipt of the premiums making a claim for Universal Credit.

The removal of these two benefits has seen both TP and AR lose £178 each month.

In the application to the High Court, lawyers argued on behalf of the men that the decision by the Government to remove SDP and EDP, and not provide transitional protection to those who had previously received the benefits was unlawful and undermines the government’s stated policy intention on the introduction of Universal Credit which was to focus additional support on the severely disabled.

Tessa Gregory, a partner in the human rights team at Leigh Day speaking before the hearing which took place in May 2018 said: “We believe that by taking away these essential benefits from some of the most vulnerable people in society, the government has acted unlawfully.

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