Tens of thousands of people may be eligible to file a new Universal Credit application after being rejected, thanks to a new legal decision.
A blind student who was barred from taking Universal Credit has won her case against the government after a judge ruled it was illegal.
Sidra Kauser is visually impaired and was denied a job aptitude assessment which determines whether someone is fit to work or not.
Without it, the 22-year-old student who is doing a master’s degree at York University was unable to make a claim for the Universal Credit.
And about 30,000 students with disabilities in the same situation can now ask the Department of Labor and Pensions (DWP) to reconsider their decision to reject the assessments.
Miss Kauser applied for UC when she found her Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and student loan would not be enough to support her.
Under Department of Labor and Pension (DWP) rules, students who are disabled and claim PIP can apply for UC, but only if they have a disability for work.
An aptitude test is a way to test this disability for work – but students are not allowed to take this test by creating a catch-up situation 22
What to do if you have problems with claiming Universal Credit
IF you are having trouble applying for your Universal Loan, or the payment simply does not cover the costs, here are your options:
- Apply for a down paymentPlaintiffs are able to receive some cash within five days of waiting weeks for their first payment. But it is a loan which means that repayments will be automatically deducted from the next Universal Loan payment.
- Alternative payment agreements– If you are lagging behind in renting, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an APA which will send your payment directly to your landlord. You may also be able to change your payments to receive them more often, or you may split payments if you are part of a couple.
- Budget Advance– You may be able to get help from the Government for emergency household expenses up to 348 if you are single, 464 if you are part of a couple or 812 if you have children. These are just in cases like breaking your pot or for help finding a job. You will need to repay the down payment through your regular Universal Credit payments. You will have to repay the loan again, even if you stop applying for the Universal Loan.
- Cut your council fee– You may be able to get a discount on your Tax Council or be entitled to Free Housing Payments if the existing ones are not enough to cover your rent.
- Food banks– If you are really struggling and are struggling to buy food and toiletries, you can find your local food bank that will offer free help. You can find your nearest atTrussell Trust Website.
But Ms Kauser applied for a judicial review of the rule and a judge agreed that she should not have been denied an assessment and would now be given an assessment.
One judge said the DWP had violated its Universal Credit laws and ordered the government department to cover its 12,000 legal bills.
Lawyer Lucy Cadd of the law firm Leigh Day who represented Ms Kauser said: “Sidra took a firm stand against the decision to refuse her an aptitude assessment and it has proved successful.
“It is estimated by the charity Disability Rights UK that the illegal policy of the Secretary of State, which has been in place since 2013, may have negatively affected 30,000 students with disabilities.”
Ms Kauser said: “I am delighted to have decided to take a stand and pursue my request for a judicial review of the DWP decision to refuse me an assessment of aptitude for work. We hope other students will benefit from the court decision.”
The Sun wants to make universal credit work
The UNIVERSAL loan replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.
By the time the system is fully open in 2023, nearly 7 million will be in it.
But there are major problems with the boat system – it takes five weeks to get the first payment and this can leave some families with thousands of pounds a year worse.
And while working families can claim up to 85% of their childcare costs, they have to find the money to pay for childcare in advance – we’ve heard of families waiting up to six months for the money.
Parents working across the country told us they were unable to get more hours – or even refused better-paying jobs or more hours because of the amount of benefits they received.
Its time to make Universal Credit work. We want the government to:
- Get paid faster:The government should shorten the time British people wait for their first Universal Loan payments from five to two weeks, helping to stop millions from falling into debt.
- Keep more of what you earn: The work permit should be increased and the taper level should be reduced from 63 to 50 p, helping at least 4 million households.
- Do not be punished for having a family:Parents should receive 85% of the money they can claim for childcare in advance instead of being paid late.
Together, these changes will help make Universal Credit work.
Anyone who found himself in the same position denied the rating before 5 August can now ask the DWP to reconsider his claim.
DWP made changes to the rules from 5 August which means that the decision only applies to claims made before that date.
But Leigh Day believes the change, which still does not allow students with disabilities to receive an aptitude assessment for work, could also be challenged in court.
DWP was contacted for comment.
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