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Social Security Case Law

Summaries of recent cases on social security law and practice.

Universal credit claimants have the right to seek backdating of a claim after the decision to award benefit has been made.

AM v SSWP (UC) (2022) UKUT 242 (AAC) UA 2022-000041-USTA (update)

Postscript to Autumn Bulletin

This case was discussed in the autumn 2022 bulletin In a subsequent decision WB v SoS for Work and Pensions (UC) 2022 UKUT 332 AAC an UT judge applied the decision in AM hinting that the original online claim contained an implied claim for backdating. In this case, the claimant’s original claim set out that he had been restricted in looking for work due to psychosis, ADHD and anxiety and had been recently admitted to hospital. This information raised the question of disability and entitlement to have the claim backdated a month before the actual claim. The UT judge allowed the appeal and awarded UC for a month earlier than the date of claim.Note

The DWP sought leave to appeal the decision in AM and the request was refused. The DWP is now seeking leave to appeal directly to the Court of Appeal. In the interim, DWP has issued ADM Memo 2/2023 to decision makers advising them to apply the decision in AM notwithstanding the decision to appeal further. As a result, a decision maker is expected to consider requests for backdating UC through revision after the initial decision on entitlement has been made without requiring the request to have been made before then. The guidance also instructs decision makers to consider whether there was either an explicit or implicit claim for backdating following the decision in WB v SSWP (UC) 2022 UKUT 322 (AAC). The Law Centre would be interested in hearing whether a similar approach is being adopted in Northern Ireland.
For a full copy of the judgement, click here.