Case law

A comprehensive library of universal credit-related case law from the Upper Tribunal and the higher courts, with links through to the full judgment and to the rightsnet summary.

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Neutral citation Jurisdiction Case name Date Reference Summary Number Year

[2022] UKUT 242 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

AM v SSWP (UC)

1 September, 2022

UA-2022-000041-USTA

​Panel of three judges holds that universal credit claimants have the right to seek backdating of their claim after the decision to award benefit has been made

2022

242

[2019] UKUT 219 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

SB v SSWP

11 July, 2019

CUC/2714/2018

Where a person has become involuntarily unemployed after less than a year, self-employed status can be retained

2019

219

[2020] EWHC 998 (Admin)

High Court

Fratila & Anor, R (on the application of) v SSWP & Anor

27 April, 2020

High Court rules that precluding pre-settled status from conferring a right to reside is not unlawful discrimination

2020

998

[2021] C- 709 (20)

CJEU

Department for Communities in Northern Ireland

15 July, 2021

CJEU rules that, while legislation excluding EU citizens with pre-settled status from universal credit is not contrary to EU law, competent authority must check that refusal of assistance does not infringe individual’s right to human dignity

2021

709

[2021] UKUT 132 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

KS v SSWP

3 June, 2021

CUC/1386/2020

Tribunal erred in failing to ensure it had before it an accurate list of work-related activities that were available for the claimant to undertake / training of universal credit staff on providing lists to tribunals not completed until July 2020

2021

132

[2021] UKSC 26

Supreme Court

SC, CB and 8 children, R. (on the application of) v SSWP & Ors

9 July, 2021

Supreme Court unanimously rules that two-child limit is not incompatible with rights under Articles 8, 12 or 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights

2021

26

[2020] NIQB 53

High Court

Lorraine Cox, Re Application for Judicial Review

7 July, 2020

High Court holds that special rules for terminal illness, in case where claimant cannot demonstrate their death can be reasonably expected within six months, are ‘discriminatory’ and ‘manifestly without reasonable foundation’

2020

53

[2021] NICA 46

Court of Appeal

The Department for Communities and The Department for Work and Pensions v Lorraine Cox

3 August, 2021

Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland overturns High Court judgment that differential treatment of claimants under terminal illness provisions is unlawful

2021

46

[2021] UKSC 53

Supreme Court

Fratila and another (AP) (Respondents) v SSWP (Appellant)

1 December, 2021

Supreme Court unanimously allows DWP’s appeal against Court of Appeal ruling that government acted unlawfully in barring EU citizens from relying on pre-settled status to access universal credit

2021

53

[2022] EWHC 123 (Admin)

High Court

R (on the application of) TP and AR (TP and AR No.3)

21 January, 2022

High Court rules that failure to compensate claimants who migrated to universal credit for loss of enhanced disability premium and child tax credit disabled child element is unlawful

2022

123

[2022] EWHC 167 (Admin)

High Court

Kays, R (On the Application Of) v SSWP

28 January, 2022

High Court dismisses judicial review challenge to universal credit disabled student rules

2022

167

[2021] EWCA Civ 1482

Court of Appeal

Salvato, R (On the Application Of) v SSWP

13 October, 2021

Court of Appeal holds that ‘Proof of Payment Rule’ requiring universal credit claimants to pay for childcare upfront is not unlawful

2021

1482

[2022] UKUT 189 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

R (Bui) v SSWP; R (Onakoya) v SSWP

18 July, 2022

UA-2021-000580-JR & UA 2022-000464-JR

DWP entitled to withhold payment of universal credit until a national insurance number has been allocated

2022

189

[2022] NICom 9

NI Commissioners

RP v Department for Communities

11 May, 2022

C1/22-23(UC)

Northern Ireland Social Security Commissioner rules that the DWP did not have jurisdiction to make decision on claim for universal credit made by a claimant who lived in Northern Ireland

2022

9

[2022] UKUT 117 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

JW v SSWP (UC)

20 April, 2022

UA-2021-001444-ULCW

An old style ESA claimant who claimed universal credit six months after ESA ended was entitled to receive LCWRA element immediately on account of previous determination of LCWRA and national insurance credits entitlement

2022

117

[2021] EWCA Civ 970

Court of Appeal

Moore & Anor v SSWP

23 June, 2021

Court of Appeal refuses permission to appeal against High Court decision that treatment of maternity allowance as unearned income for the purposes of universal credit is not unlawful

2021

970

[2020] EWHC 2827 ((Admin))

High Court

Moore & Anor, R (On the Application Of)  v SSWP

26 October, 2020

High Court rules that treatment of maternity allowance as unearned income for the purposes of universal credit is not unlawful

2020

2827

[2022] NIQB 29

High Court

RK, Re Application for Judicial Review

25 April, 2022

High Court of Northern Ireland rules that treatment of maternity allowance as unearned income for the purposes of universal credit is not unlawful

2022

29

[2022] UKUT 77 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

FN v SSWP (UC)

10 March, 2022

UA-2021-001182-UC

Guidance to representatives, tribunals and the DWP on the approach to obtaining information from an abusive partner to support a claim from the person fleeing abuse when a non-molestation injunction is in place - information needed in connection with a right to reside issue

2022

77

[2022] UKUT 56 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

FO v SSWP

25 February, 2022

CUC/1792/2020

Evidence needed to decide whether a person has failed to accept a claimant commitment

2022

56

[2022] UKUT 73 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

BK v SSWP

8 March, 2022

UA-2020-000306-USTA

Whether the definition of ‘full-time course of education’ refers to actual number of hours of study rather than classification by the particular educational institution

2022

73

[2022] UKUT 65 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

LR v SSWP (UC)

16 February, 2022

CUC/1019/2020

Tribunal was correct to decide that an Irish widow’s pension should be counted as the claimant’s unearned income to be deducted from any calculation of universal credit.

2022

65

[2021] NICom 59

NI Commissioners

RMcE v Department for Communities (UC)

8 December, 2021

C3/21-22(UC)

Northern Ireland Social Security Commissioner rules that a tribunal was correct to treat pay in lieu of notice as employed earnings for universal credit purposes rather than as a termination of employment payment that could be excluded from the calculation of earnings

2021

59

[2021] EWCA Civ 1454

Court of Appeal

Pantellerisco & Ors v SSWP

8 October, 2021

Court of Appeal rules that universal credit benefit cap earnings assessment is not irrational and unlawful in the case of a four-weekly paid claimant.

2021

1454

[2021] UKUT 121 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

LG v SSWP (UC)

29 April, 2021

CSUC/280/2020

Tribunal correct to take two lots of four-weekly paid wages into account in one universal credit assessment period / Johnson and Pantellerisco did not apply

2021

121

[2021] UKUT 46 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

NM v SSWP (UC)

22 February, 2021

CUC/761/2019

Consideration of the treatment of late paid earnings when real time information relating to them is reported on time / the return of a deposit paid by employee on their uniform is not classed as earnings.

2021

46

[2021] EWHC 102 (Admin)

High Court

Salvato, R (On the Application Of) v SSWP

22 January, 2021

-

High Court rules that requirement for universal credit claimants to pay childcare costs upfront before receiving childcare costs element is unlawful

2021

102

[2021] UKUT 47 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

ET v SSWP (UC)

26 February, 2021

CUC/747/2020 | Reported as [2021] AACR 6

Consideration of ‘substantial risk’ arising from claimant being found fit for work includes travel to and from jobcentre and job interviews, as well as to and from work

2021

47

[2021] EWHC 608 (Admin)

High Court

Blundell & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v SSWP

17 March, 2021

-

​High Court rules that DWP’s universal credit deductions policy’s use of a rigid formula in respect of court fines rather than the exercise of discretion as the legislation requires is unlawful.

2021

608

[2020] UKUT 307 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

KG v SSWP

6 November, 2020

CUC/563/2020

Sanction decision overturned on account of ambiguity in the notification of the requirement to take part in a telephone interview and the claimant having good reason for failure to attend.

2020

307

[2020] EWCA Civ 1741

Court of Appeal

Fratila v SSWP

18 December, 2020

Court of Appeal rules that government acted unlawfully in barring EU citizens from relying on ‘pre-settled status’ to access universal credit

2020

1741

[2020] UKUT 309 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

CP v SSWP

10 November, 2020

CUC/148/2020

Consideration of what amounts to ‘late notification of expiry of entitlement’ for universal credit backdating purposes, where claimant advised he could no longer claim housing benefit after moving to new local authority area

2020

309

[2020] UKUT 247 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

EAM v SSWP

7 August, 2020

CUC/1773/2018

Capital from a former home can be disregarded if it is ‘more probable than not’ that it will be used for a new home

2020

247

[2020] EWHC 2482 (Admin)

High Court

Caine, R (On the Application Of) v DWP

23 September, 2020

-

High Court rules that the formulae for converting weekly rents to a monthly value for the purposes of calculating entitlement are neither irrational nor unlawful.

2020

2482

[2020] UKUT 239 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

W v HMRC

23 July, 2020

CTC/1221/2019.

Whether a single tax credits claimant could avoid prohibition on claiming tax credits in a universal credit full-service area by relying on previous year’s joint award.

2020

239

[2020] UKUT 215 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

MD v SSWP

6 July, 2020

CUC/2777/2019

ESA case law relating to requirement for DWP to provide tribunals with evidence of work-related activity available in area where claimant lives applies equally to universal credit

2020

215

[2020] EWHC 1944 (Admin)

High Court

Pantellerisco & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v SSWP

20 July, 2020

High Court rules that the assessment of earnings under universal credit benefit cap rules is irrational and unlawful because it subjected a working mother to the cap solely because she was paid on a four-weekly basis rather than calendar monthly.

2020

1944

[2020] EWCA Civ 778

Court of Appeal

SSWP v Johnson & Ors

22 June, 2020

Court of Appeal rules that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions acted irrationally and unlawfully by failing to adapt earned income assessment rules to account for their impact on certain monthly paid claimants.

2020

778

[2020] UKUT 109 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

PP v SSWP

6 April, 2020

CUC/1389/2019 | Reported as [2020] AACR 25

Appeal rights where a universal credit claim has been ‘closed’ for non-attendance at a jobcentre interview / whether appealable decision is subject to requirement for mandatory reconsideration

2020

109

[2020] EWCA Civ 618

Court of Appeal

TD & Ors, R (on the application of) v SSWP

12 May, 2020

Court of Appeal rules that failure to provide transitional protection for claimants who transferred to universal credit following incorrect legacy benefit decision was unlawful

2020

618

[2020] UKUT 108 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

GDC v SSWP

26 March, 2020

CUC/968/2019 | Reported as [2020] AACR 24

Whether universal credit date of claim can be fixed at point when claimant starts or saves progress entering online claim information rather than when completed claim is submitted

2020

108

[2020] UKUT 48 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

SSWP v AJ

13 February, 2020

CUC/1617/2019

Whether income support including a disability premium is ‘paid on grounds of incapacity for work or disability’ / whether income support is extinguished or suspended where claimant is imprisoned

2020

48

[2020] UKUT 18 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

KD v SSWP

14 January, 2020

CUC/2641/2018

Whether decision to apply minimum income floor was appealable / application of minimum income floor to seasonal worker

2020

18

[2020] UKSC 2

Supreme Court

Northern Ireland Devolution Issues. A Reference by the Attorney General (Northern Ireland)

5 February, 2020

Supreme Court dismisses Northern Ireland Attorney General’s attempt to challenge the process used to roll-out universal credit in Northern Ireland, holding that process used did not raise a ‘devolution issue’

2020

2

[2020] EWCA Civ 37

Court of Appeal

AR & SXC, R (on the application of) v SSWP

29 January, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds High Court judgments that failure to protect income of severely disabled claimants migrating to universal credit is unlawful

2020

37

[2019] UKUT 408 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

KB v SSWP

19 December, 2019

CUC/2274/2018

Claimant’s view that it would be pointless to apply for a vacancy does not amount to a good reason for failing to apply for a vacancy as directed by the Secretary of State.

2019

408

[2017] UKUT 130 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

SSWP v AC

22 March, 2017

CUC/2924/2016

Analysis of proportionality is not relevant to refusal of right to reside for Greek claimant in the UK for 30 years.

2017

130

[2019] UKUT 184 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

MW v SSWP

6 June, 2019

CSUC/55/2019

Basic condition of being in Great Britain can be met with a right to reside that falls outside situations in regulation 9(4) of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013.

2019

184

[2019] UKUT 192 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

ODS v SSWP

14 June, 2019

CUC/734/2018

Effect of CJEU judgment in Lounes - dependent EEA family members of dual nationals can derive right to reside where dual national exercised Treaty rights prior to acquiring citizenship of host state.

2019

192

[2018] EWHC 864 (Admin)

High Court

SC & Ors v SSWP & Ors

20 April, 2018

High Court rules that the two child limit is compatible with the ECHR, but allows claim in relation to the lawfulness of the kinship care exception.

Note: the compatibility of the two child limit was further appealed to the Court of Appeal.

2018

864

[2017] UKUT 131 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

AM v SSWP

23 March, 2017

CUC/2058/2016

Poorly drafted ‘gateway’ questions on the universal credit claim form do not amount to the computer system being ‘inoperative’.

2017

131

[2015] UKUT 696 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

PT v SSWP

21 December, 2015

CUC/2888/2015

Wages received during an assessment period count as income for universal credit even if the job has ended.

2015

696

[2018] UKUT 332 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

LP v SSWP

10 October, 2018

CUC/50/2018 & CUC/51/2018

Cause of universal credit overpayment irrelevant to its recoverability and no right to appeal against decision to recover.

2018

332

[2019] EWCA Civ 615

Court of Appeal

SC & Ors, R (on the application of) v SSWP & Ors

16 April, 2019

Court of Appeal holds that two-child limit is not incompatible with rights under Articles 8, 12 or 14 of European Convention on Human Rights.

2019

615

[2019] EWHC 2356 (Admin)

High Court

Parkin, R (on the application of) v SSWP

19 September, 2019

-

High Court rules that universal credit minimum income floor is not unlawful.

2019

2356

[2017] UKUT 443 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

M v SSWP

1 November, 2017

CUC/2385/2016

Whether a room needs to be able to accommodate a separate bedside table and clothes storage to be classed as a bedroom.

2017

443

[2019] EWHC 2774 (Admin)

High Court

SXC, R (on the application of) v SSWP & Anor

23 October, 2019

-

High Court considers compensation following TP, AR & SXC, R (on the application of) v SSWP ruling that transitional provisions for benefit claimants with an SDP who had transferred to universal credit were unlawful.

2019

2774

[2018] EWHC 1474 (Admin)

High Court

TP & AR, R (on the application of) v SSWP

14 June, 2018

-

Government’s initial failure to protect benefit rates for severely disabled people migrating to universal credit was unlawful.

2018

1474

[2018] UKUT 306 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

HMRC v LH

18 September, 2018

CTC/1276/2018

Withdrawal of universal credit claim did not mean that it retrospectively ceased to exist for purposes of ending tax credit award.

2018

306

[2019] EWHC 1116 (Admin)

High Court

TP, AR & SXC, R (on the application of) v SSWP

3 May, 2019

-

Universal credit migration arrangements as originally drafted for those who received severe disability premium before 16 January 2019 were unlawful.

2019

1116

[2017] UKUT 347 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

SSWP v RW

23 August, 2017

CUC/166/2017

Secretary of State concedes that where an employer fails to notify earnings on time, a universal credit award may be adjusted to make appropriate amendments.

2017

347

[2018] UKUT 44 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

MC v SSWP

8 August, 2018

CUC/533/2017 | Reported as [2018] AACR 21

A child may ‘normally live’ in more than one household for the purposes of universal credit, in which case the ‘main responsibility’ test applies.

2018

44

[2017] UKUT 477 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

S v SSWP

3 December, 2017

CUC/1653/2016

‘Good cause’ case law applies to consideration of ‘good reason’ / ignorance of law is capable of founding ‘good reason’ for failure to carry out work-related requirement.

2017

477

[2018] UKUT 227 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

SP v SSWP

10 July, 2018

CUC/1067/2018

A claimant who fails to attend an interview because they are unaware of a notification letter must have good reason for not attending.

2018

227

[2018] UKUT 360 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

JB v SSWP

8 October, 2018

CSUC/494/2017

Tribunals may need to consider validity of conditionality requirements imposed on claimants when deciding sanction cases.

2018

360

[2017] UKUT 459 (AAC)

Upper Tribunal

RR v SSWP

24 October, 2017

CUC/18081/2017

Consideration must be given as to whether the 35 hour work search requirement should be reduced or lifted.

2017

459

[2019] EWHC 462 (Admin)

High Court

AD (a child, by her litigation friend TD) & PR v SSWP

1 March, 2019

-

Failure to provide transitional protection for claimants who transferred to universal credit following incorrect legacy benefit decision was not unlawful.

2019

462

[2019] EWHC 23 (Admin)

High Court

Johnson & Ors, R (on the application of) v SSWP

11 January, 2019

High Court rules that DWP’s method of assessing earned income under universal credit is unlawful.

2019

23