Universal Credit ‘earned income’ rules in the Court of Appeal

Universal Credit ‘earned income’ rules in the Court of Appeal

CategoryNews Author Jenni Richards QC, Steve Broach Date

On 19 and 20 May 2020, the Court of Appeal (sitting remotely) will hear the Secretary of State’s appeal against the decision by the Divisional Court that he had misinterpreted the regulations governing ‘earned income’ for the purposes of calculating entitlement to Universal Credit. In the Divisional Court, the judicial review claim brought by four women who receive Universal Credit but who have received fluctuating payments and loss of an important premium based on the date they claimed the benefit succeeded in front of Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Lewis. The Divisional Court held that on the correct construction of the legislation and in the factual circumstances of these claims, the claimant’s earned income in respect of each monthly assessment period is, in accordance with common sense, the income they earn for a month. On the appeal the Secretary of State is arguing that the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 compel people in the claimant’s position to be treated as having nil ‘earned income’ in some monthly assessment periods, and double their normal ‘earned income’ in others.

Jenni Richards QC and Steve Broach represent three of the respondents (the claimants in the Divisional Court), instructed by the Child Poverty Action Group, Jenni Richards QC also represents a further respondent, leading Tom Royston of Garden Court North and instructed by Leigh Day.

Further information about the case is available on the Child Poverty Action Group website

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