Universal Credit, State Pension Credit and the Social Fund is Volume II of the newly-restructured series Social Security Legislation 2021/22. The companion volumes are Hooker, Mesher, Mitchell, Ward and Wikeley, Volume I: Non-Means Tested Benefits; Rowland and Ward, Volume III: Administration, Adjudication and the European Dimension; Wikeley, Mitchell, Hooker and Rowland, Volume IV: HMRC—administered Social Security Benefits and Scotland; and Mesher, Poynter and Wikeley, Volume V: Income Support and the Legacy Benefits.
Universal credit has now become the default means-tested working-age benefit for new claims in the social security system. The position has been reached where, for virtually all practical purposes, it is impossible to make a new claim for any of the so-called “legacy” working-age means-tested benefits replaced by universal credit. There was a vast increase in the number of such claims at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, such that there are now more than six million people on universal credit. Although the pilot of the process of transfer of existing recipients of legacy benefits to universal credit at the behest of the Department (so-called “managed migration”) was postponed in 2020, the process is set to be started some time in late 2021 and to be completed by the end of 2024.
For all those reasons it is now right for universal credit to take the central place in the volume of this series dealing with means-tested benefits. This volume covers not only universal credit, but also state pension credit as the means-tested benefit available to those over pension age and social fund provisions for maternity and funeral expenses and for cold weather payments, plus associated rules on persons subject to immigration control.
As with all the volumes in the series, Volume II provides the relevant legislative text, clearly showing the form and date of amendments, up to date to April 12, 2021, with detailed explanatory commentary, including reference to all relevant decisions of the courts, the Upper Tribunal and the former Social Security Commissioners. The authoritative and comprehensive analysis of many important topics and decisions has been expanded in this edition.
Apart from routine amendments and new decisions, issues covered include:
- The effect of the new reg.61 of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 (earned income and relation of various pay intervals to assessment periods).
- The continuing operation of temporary coronavirus provisions and the effect of receipt of coronavirus-related payments.
- Mention of recent decisions, such as R. (on the application of SC, CB and 8 children) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKSC 26 on the two-child limit and the ruling of the CJEU in CG v Department for Communities (C-709/20) on EU citizens with pre-settled status.
The editorial team has brought together its academic and practical expertise and knowledge of social security law to produce a guide that will be essential for tribunal judges, members and staff, barristers, solicitors, welfare rights advisers and students.
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