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Welfare benefits cases

The old category structure used on this page is comprehensive as it contains every relevant case. The new database structure was introduced in 2019. It is more potentially useful than the old categorisation system: it includes all cases since January 2017, but only a minority of older cases: see Special:Drilldown/Cases. The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.

Case and summary Date added Categories
* DLA in hospital MOC v SSWP [2022] EWCA Civ 1The rule providing that payment of Disability Living Allowance to an adult is suspended after 28 days in an NHS hospital (the aim being to prevent duplication of public funding to meet the same purpose) did not breach the patient's rights under Article 14 read with A1P1 ECHR. 2022‑04‑13 07:11:57

* Welfare benefits and transferred prisoners SS v UK 40356/10 [2011] ECHR 107Questions to the parties: "Insofar as their complaints concern the provisions of the Social Security (Persons Serving a Sentence of Imprisonment Detained in Hospital) Regulations 2010, have the fourth and fifth applicants exhausted domestic remedies? Have the applicants suffered discrimination in the enjoyment of their Convention rights on the ground of their prisoner status and/or their disabilities contrary to Article 14 of the Convention read in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No 1?" 2021‑03‑11 00:25:40

* Welfare benefits and transferred prisoners SS v UK 40356/10 54466/10 [2015] ECHR 520Patients subject to s47/49 and s45A argued that denying them the social security benefits that are paid to other detained patients was contrary to Article 14, taken with Article 1 of Protocol No 1. The ECtHR rejected the applications as being manifestly unfounded. 2021‑03‑10 23:46:03

* Social security appointeeship DB (as executor of the estate of OE) v SSWP [2018] UKUT 46 (AAC)"The main grievance of Mr B, who brings this appeal in his capacity as executor of his late Aunt Miss E’s estate, is the Secretary of State’s decision to make Birmingham City Council Miss E’s social security appointee. When the council were made Miss E’s appointee, Mr B held an enduring power of attorney authorising him to deal with her financial affairs. Appointment decisions do not attract a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. Neither that tribunal, nor the Upper Tribunal, has jurisdiction to entertain an ‘appeal’ against an appointment decision. However, I do have some concerns about the way in which the council’s appointment application was handled. I decide to express some views on that subject. My purpose in simply to provide some assistance to the DWP and local authorities in their efforts to operate the appointee system effectively and properly." 2018‑02‑26 22:50:22 2018 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Other capacity cases, Welfare benefits cases

* Hospital pocket money R (Mitocariu) v Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust [2018] EWHC 126 (Admin)Two hospital order patients contended that if for any reason they were not in receipt of benefits then the trust should provide regular payments to ensure their dignity was maintained whilst in care. (1) The trust did have a power, arising from s43 NHS Act 2006 (which identified the functions of foundation trusts), and either s46 or s47 (which provided sufficiently general powers), to make payments to patients. Any contract with NHS England purporting to restrict the statutory power would be ultra vires. Similarly, any payment outside the s43 purposes (namely, the provision of services to individuals for or in connection with the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of illness and the promotion and protection of public health) would be ultra vires. (2) The amount, timing and frequency of payments was a matter for the discretion of the Defendant, taking into account all relevant factors, including the specific therapeutic requirements of the patient. (3) A standardised approach of making regular payments irrespective of and unrelated to the therapeutic needs of the patient, as sought by the Claimants, would be outside the powers granted to a foundation trust. (4) On the facts, the Defendant had lawfully exercised its power: the financial circumstances of the patients were regularly considered and addressed appropriately (e.g. paying for a winter coat and travel costs). (5) The absence of a policy did not mean that the Defendant had acted unlawfully. 2018‑02‑02 00:33:06

R (MM) v SSWP [2013] EWCA Civ 1565, [2013] MHLO 132(1) The Court of Appeal upheld the Upper Tribunal's decision that the process for assessing eligibility for Employment Support Allowance (involving the claimant completing a questionnaire and attending a face to face interview) placed mental health patients at a 'substantial disadvantage' (under the Equality Act 2010) when compared with other claimants. (2) In relation to the proposal that obtaining further medical evidence in such cases would be a 'reasonable adjustment', the UT had adjourned for further evidence, directing the SSWP to investigate its reasonableness: the adjournment was lawful but the directions were quashed. 2013‑12‑30 15:15:33 2013 cases, Brief summary, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript, Welfare benefits cases

Obrey v SSWP [2013] EWCA Civ 1584, [2013] MHLO 129(1) The Upper Tribunal had not erred in law in finding that the cessation of Housing Benefit after 52 weeks as a hospital patient (which indirectly discriminated against the mentally ill) was justified . (2) The Court of Appeal discussed the limitations on appeals against the specialist Upper Tribunal. 2013‑12‑30 14:27:45 2013 cases, Brief summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript, Welfare benefits cases

SSWP v Slavin [2011] EWCA Civ 1515 — 'The respondent is resident in a specialist care home for people with autistic spectrum disorders and similar conditions. The cost of his accommodation is paid for by the National Health Service. The home is registered as a care home, not a nursing home. Its staff are trained to meet the needs of residents but do not have any medical or nursing qualifications. The specific issue in the appeal is whether the respondent is "maintained free of charge while undergoing medical or other treatment as an in-patient … in a hospital or similar institution under [the National Health Service Act 2006]", within the meaning of reg. 12A of the Social Security (Disability Living Allowance) Regulations 1991, so as to be disentitled to receipt of the mobility component of disability living allowance for which he was a claimant.' 2011‑12‑10 13:16:33 2011 cases, Judgment available on Bailii, No summary, Transcript, Welfare benefits cases

R (RJM) v SSWP [2007] EWCA Civ 614 — "For the reasons I have given I would hold that the right to IS is a possession within A1P1 but that RJM's appeal must be dismissed because a person without accommodation does not have an "other status" within the meaning of Article 14 of the Convention. If, contrary to that view, RJM does have such a status, the refusal to pay DP to those who do not have accommodation is not unlawful under the Convention because the Secretary of State has justified their differential treatment. I would therefore dismiss the appeal." 2010‑08‑07 15:03:45 2007 cases, Judgment available on Bailii, No summary, Transcript, Welfare benefits cases

* Welfare benefits and transferred prisoners R (D and M) v SSWP [2010] EWCA Civ 18(1) That prisoners detained under s47, s47/49 or s45A, in contrast with civil patients or hospital order patients, receive no welfare benefits until their release date is not unlawful discrimination under Article 14 taken with A1P1. (2) On a proper construction of the statutory language, lifers detained under the MHA are entitled to Income Support or State Pension Credit when they reach their tariff expiry date. 2010‑01‑27 19:00:36

* Welfare benefits and transferred prisoners R (EM) v SSWP [2009] EWHC 454 (Admin)The Regulations which deprive of welfare benefits transferred prisoners (s47/49 and s45A patients until they would be entitled to release if in prison) are lawful; this is because there is enough of a relevant difference between them and civil/s37 patients to justify different treatment (i.e. they have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment to which they remain subject); in general, this applies all determinate and indeterminate sentence prisoners, including post-tariff lifers, technical lifers being the only exception because they had not been considered when the Regulations were drawn up and there is not enough of a relevant difference present. 2009‑03‑13 12:23:39

R (RD) v SSWP [2008] EWHC 2635 (Admin)Post-tariff lifers who have been transferred to hospital are not entitled to receive Income Support. 2008‑11‑24 00:57:02 2008 cases, Brief summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript, Welfare benefits cases

Stec v UK 65731/01 [2006] ECHR 393 — Judgment of Grand Chamber. State benefits, Article 1 of Protocol No 1 & Article 14. 2008‑11‑24 00:16:10 2006 cases, ECHR, Judgment available on Bailii, No summary, Transcript, Welfare benefits cases

Stec v UK 65731/01 [2005] ECHR 924 — Admissibility decision. State benefits, Article 1 of Protocol No 1 & Article 14. 2008‑11‑24 00:16:09 2005 cases, ECHR, Judgment available on Bailii, No summary, Transcript, Welfare benefits cases

R (RJM) v SSWP [2008] UKHL 63Social welfare payments come within the scope of Article 1 Protocol 1; homelessness is an "other status" under Article 14; depriving the homeless of disability premiums was justified; the Court of Appeal is free (but not obliged) to follow an ECtHR decision rather than a previous inconsistent CA decision, but (absent wholly exceptional circumstances) must follow any previous House of Lords decision. 2008‑11‑23 22:48:09 2008 cases, Brief summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript, Welfare benefits cases