Case Studies

  • Case Study One: Bella and Employment Support Allowance
  • Case Study Two: Alice and Employment Support Allowance
  • Case Study Three: Elsa and Employment Support Allowance
  • Case Study Four: Pat and Tony and a refusal of Discretionary Housing Payment
  • Case Study Five:  John and making and managing a Universal Credit claim
  • Case Study Six: Florence and Employment Support Allowance Sanctions
  • Case Study Seven: the impact of Universal Credit and mortgage interest on disabled people, women and single parents
  • Case Study Eight: the impact of Universal Credit and work allowances on disabled parents
  • Case Study Nine: the impact of Universal Credit and assessment periods and payments on disabled people and women

These case studies are mostly based on real examples, which we have anonymised to protect confidentiality. They give a snapshot of how equality rights can be used in a practical way to successfully solve a client’s problem. Each case study is based on its own facts. We have edited some of the detail and facts for length and confidentiality. They should not be relied upon as a statement of the law, or of DWP policy. When giving advice, you should advise your client based on their preferred outcome and their own situation.

We have made each of the case studies and example letters available to download.

Download an outline template letter to make a complaint and raise Equality Act issues (Word doc.)

1-6: Using equality rights when giving welfare benefits advice

The first six case studies are examples of everyday welfare benefit issues affecting individual clients. They show how to identify discrimination, how advice on equality rights can help to solve welfare benefit problems, and how to take action.

Case Study One: Bella and Employment Support Allowance.  Client did not attend Work Capability Assessment and is asking for another appointment. This example includes correspondence with DWP Complaints Resolution Team

  • Discrimination because of something arising in consequence of disability (section 15 Equality Act 2010)
  • A failure to make reasonable adjustments (section 20 Equality Act 2010)
  • Breach of public sector equality duty (section 149 Equality Act 2010).

Case  Study Two: Alice and Employment Support Allowance.  Client did not attend Work Capability Assessment and is asking for a scrutiny decision. This example includes correspondence with DWP Complaints Resolution Team.

  • Discrimination because of something arising in consequence of disability (section 15 Equality Act 2010)
  • Failure to make a reasonable adjustment (section 20 Equality Act 2010).

Case Study Three: Elsa and Employment Support Allowance.  A request for home-based work capability assessment. This example includes correspondence with the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments.

  •  A failure to make reasonable adjustments (section 20 Equality Act 2010).

Case Study Four: Pat and Tony and a refusal of Discretionary Housing Payment, after taking Personal Independence Payment into account.

  • Breach of public sector equality duty (section 149 Equality Act 2010).

Case Study Five: John and Making and managing a Universal Credit claim.  Understanding the Claimant Commitment.

  • A failure to make reasonable adjustments (section 20 Equality Act 2010)
  • Breach of public sector equality duty (section 149 Equality Act 2010).

Case Study Six: Florence and Employment Support Allowance sanctions. Client is sanctioned for failure to take part in work related activity.

  • A failure to make reasonable adjustments (section 20 Equality Act 2010)
  • Discrimination because of something arising in consequence of a disability in breach of Section 15 / Section 29.

7-9: Equality policy issues in welfare benefits

These three case studies are short discussions of equality issues in welfare benefits that can affect individual clients. They also show how wider equality social policy issues can be identified in welfare benefits work.

Case Study Seven: Universal Credit and support for mortgage interest.

  • Disproportionate impact on disabled people, women and single parents.

Case Study Eight: Universal Credit and work allowances.

  • Disproportionate impact on disabled parents.

Case Study Nine: Universal Credit assessment periods and payments.

  • Disproportionate impact on disabled people and women.