Two million could soon get £1,500 in backdated benefits if DWP loses High Court fight

MILLIONS of Brits on legacy benefits could get backdated payments if the DWP loses a court case.

Following a hearing last year, a decision is being considered by the high court.

A £20 a week uplift was given out through the pandemic to help millions on Universal Credit.

But nearly two million struggling households still on the legacy benefits system were excluded from this support.

Those claiming benefits such as personal independence payments (PIP) or employment support allowance (ESA) and disabled people are among those left out of pocket.

Two claimants affected have taken their fight to the High Court, arguing that the treatment was unfair and they should get the equivalent cash.

Millions of others in the same situation are awaiting a decision in the case, which was heard over two days in November 2021.

A judgement had been expected within a few weeks. But an update from one of the law firms involved in the case says they are still waiting.

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An update from Doughty Street Chambers said: "It is not unusual that in a case of this type and importance for many hundreds of thousands of people that judgment takes some time."

The court could still come back and decide that there was no unfair treatment.

And even if the court does rule that the treatment was unfair and unlawful, there's no guarantee of a payout.

The DWP would have to make amends, but there are several ways it can do this.

As The Sun previously reported, one option is in the form of a back payment for those affected, worth up to £1,560.

This is equal to the 12-month uplift from March 2020, worth £1,040 a year, plus the £560 paid out through the six-month extension to the end of September.

William Ford, solicitor for the claimants at Osbornes Law, previously said: "Whilst the uplift for those on Universal Credit is very much welcomed, there is no evidence to demonstrate that those in receipt of Universal Credit were more in need of the uplift than those on legacy benefits.

"This two-tiered approach to the UK social security system should end and we would encourage the government to re-think its position."

Disabled welfare claimants have been protected from moving onto Universal Credit since 2019 over fears they will see their welfare payments drop.

But as of January this year, the "gateway" was removed, meaning anyone on the tax credit system will be rolled onto Universal Credit if they have a change in circumstances, such as moving house.

Charities, including Save the Children and The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, have said the uplift for Universal Credit should be extended to legacy benefit claimants.

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A DWP spokesperson previously told The Sun: “It has always been the case that claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for Universal Credit if they believe that they will be better off.

"We do not comment on specific legal matters.”

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