December 2015 – Benefit Cap Challenge
The High Court held that the failure to exempt full-time unpaid carers in receipt of carers allowance from the benefit cap constitutes unlawful discrimination in breach of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Department of Works & Pensions is now required to look again at the indirect impact on those disabled people whose carer is subject to the cap on household benefit payments.
In the meantime the benefit cap will continue to be applied as it is currently. Carers continue to be subject to the cap and local authorities are required to consider a discretionary housing payment authorities to help households adjust to the benefit cap and other welfare reforms.
Meanwhile data just released by the DWP shows that 23,400 households had their housing benefit capped in August 2015, an increase of 4 per cent since May 2015.
Since the introduction of the cap in April 2013, 66,900 households have had their housing benefit capped. Of these, 45 per cent live in London and, of the top 20 local authorities with the highest number of households affected by the benefit cap, only two - Birmingham and Edinburgh - are outside London.
Of those households capped in August
60 per cent had between one and four children and 34 per cent had five or more children
64 per cent constituted a single parent with child dependants and
83 per cent were capped by £100 or less per week
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