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GB tribunal says past presence test for DLA discriminates against refugees

The Upper Tribunal (UT) in GB has found that the “past presence test” for Disability Living Allowance unlawfully discriminates against refugees and their families. The test requires a claimant to have been resident in GB for 104 weeks in the 156 week period before the claim is made. The UT disapplied it and found that the claimants in that case satisfied the presence and residence requirements.

This residence requirement also applies to Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Carer’s Allowance.

The same test applies for DLA in NI but the required period of residence is shorter (26 weeks in the last 52 as compared to the GB requirement of 104 weeks in the last 156) but this will change once PIP is introduced on 20 June.

It is not yet known whether the Secretary of State will appeal this decision. However, if the decision stands then it should apply equally to refugees in Northern Ireland.

Any refugees or their family members who are refused DLA due to the residence requirements should contact the Law Centre immediately for advice.

www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC/2016/149.html

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