Universal Credit is Volume V of the series Social Security Legislation. This sixth edition of the work is unique in collecting together the up-to-date legislation on universal credit and presenting it alongside authoritative and detailed legal analysis of its content.
The introduction of universal credit is the biggest change to the social security system since the abolition of supplementary benefit and its replacement with income support thirty years ago. Universal credit is intended to simplify the social security system and to ensure that claimants will always be better off in work. In the medium to long term, the Government intends to abolish a raft of six existing “legacy” benefits and tax credits: income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit and working tax credit and replace them all with universal credit. In the short term, however, universal credit has been introduced on a phased basis, so the old and new systems are co-existing side by side. During this transitional period, universal credit is not a replacement benefit but an additional benefit. Universal credit was finally “rolled-out” to (nearly all) new claimants on December 12, 2018. Many existing claimants of legacy benefits have been transferred across to universal credit by “natural migration” (e.g. following a change in circumstances), while the pilot for “managed migration”, to be initiated by the Department, has been postponed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Volume V is divided into six Parts. Part I provides a clear and comprehensive narrative overview and analysis of the scope and structure of universal credit. Part II comprises the relevant primary legislation, principally provisions in the Welfare Reform Act 2012, but also including sections from the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and the Social Security Act 1998. Part III for the most part consists of the main regulations, the Universal Credit Regulations 2013. Part IV contains the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014 as well as relevant Commencement Orders, along with phasing provisions. Part V includes regulations governing both claims and payments and also decisions and appeals as they relate to universal credit. Part VI includes the key statutory provisions from immigration law which bear on universal credit entitlement (e.g. as regards the right to reside). The text includes both the key statutory material and detailed commentary.
The companion volumes to Universal Credit are: Hooker, Mesher, Mitchell, Poynter, Ward and Wikeley, Volume I: Non Means Tested Benefits and Employment and Support Allowance, Mesher, Poynter and Wikeley, Volume II: Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, State Pension Credit and the Social Fund, Rowland and Ward, Volume III: Administration, Adjudication and the European Dimension and Wikeley, Mitchell and Hooker, Volume IV: Tax Credits and HMRC-Administered Social Security Benefits. The future structure of the Social Security Legislation series is being kept under continual review and will be adjusted as the Government’s welfare reform programme develops.
There is analysis of the legislative amendments made from March 2020 onwards in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. All important developments in universal credit from 2020 are covered including:
- The decisions of the Court of Appeal in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Johnson and others and the High Court in R (Pantellerisco) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on assessment periods and the attribution of earned income
- The application of the right to reside test to EU nationals with settled and pre-settled status and the decision of the High Court in R (Fratila and Tanase) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
- The impact of the Brexit “implementation period”
- Conditionality requirements and the reduction in the maximum sanction period
The editorial team has brought its academic and practical expertise and knowledge of social security law to produce a guide that will be essential reading for tribunal judges, members and staff, barristers, solicitors, welfare rights advisors and students.