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 Disability Rights UK Factsheet

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PostSubject: Disability Rights UK Factsheet   Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:26 am

Disability Rights UK Factsheet


Finding the Law

1. Finding the right act, regulation or case law

Unless you are already familiar with the law, the usual starting point when searching for law references are Disability Rights UK's Disability Rights Handbook or Child Poverty Action Group's Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook. Both of these contain legal references and are published each year.
You can also find out about new legislation or case law in magazine publications such as Child Poverty Action Group’s Welfare Rights Bulletin, Legal Action, published by Legal Action Group or Citizen Advice’s Adviser.

2. Getting hold of acts and regulations

Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO)
This is useful when an act or regulation is new. It is an online resource only available at www.legislation.gov.uk/browse/uk.
The Stationery Office Ltd (TSO)
This is where you can buy a printed version of any item of legislation or any other official publication previously published by HMSO. Legislation made prior to 1987 is not available on the HMSO web site but can be purchased from TSO.
You can contact the Stationary Office online at www.tsoshop.co.uk/ or by telephone (0870 600 5522).
Public Libraries
You may also be able to find earlier law in major public libraries but remember that benefits law often has amendments made to it which could make these versions incorrect.
The Law Relating to Social Security (Blue Volumes)
This has all social security law with amendments incorporated. It is available online at www.dwp.gov.uk.
Law with commentary
The chief source for this is “Social Security Legislation” – Four volumes published by Sweet and Maxwell. They are:
• Volume I – non means tested benefits
• Volume II – income support, jobseeker’s allowance, state pension credit and the social fund
• Volume III – administration, adjudication and the european dimension
• Volume IV – tax credits child trust funds and employer paid social security benefits
These volumes gather together amended and updated acts and regulations on their relevant subject areas. Each also provides useful commentaries, including discussions of relevant and supporting case law. They are updated and published annually.
Child Poverty Action Group also publish Housing benefit and council tax benefit legislation, which prints all the law on these two benefits together with commentary.

3. Where to get hold of case law

Case law means commissioner’s decisions, upper tribunal (administrative appeals chamber) decisions and court decisions.
Many, but not all upper tribunal/commissioner’s decisions are available online. You can access reported upper tribunal/commissioners dating back from 1991 to December 2009 from the Department for Work and Pensions website at www.dwp.gov.uk.
You can also access starred and selected decisions going back to 1990 and reported decisions from January 2010 from the Judiciary of England and Wales website at http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Decisions/decisions.htm
Reports of court decisions are available on the internet, including the Disability Alliance web site. Full copies of court decisions are available through british and irish legal information institute (bailii) at www.bailii.org.
Paper copies of commissioner’s decisions and upper tribunal (administrative appeals chamber) decisions can be ordered from the following:

For English and Welsh unreported decisions:

Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)
5th Floor Rolls Building
7 Rolls Buildings,
Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1NL
Tel: 020 7071 5662
Fax: 08703240028
Typetalk: 18001 020 7071 5662
DX 160042 STRAND 4
adminappeals@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Wales

Civil Justice Centre
2 Park Street
Cardiff CF10 1ET
Tel: (0) 2920 662257

For Scottish unreported decisions

George House
126 George Street
Edinburgh EH2 4HH
Tel: (0) 131 271 4310
Email: ossc@ossc-scotland.org.uk

For Northern Ireland unreported decisions


3rd Floor
Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7FD
Tel: (0) 28 90728731

4 Using the internet

You can download summaries of case law decisions and individual court cases at http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/caselawsummaries.htm Digests of Acts and regulations are available at www.disabilityrightsuk.org/benefitslaw.htm
www.rightsnet.org.uk/ also provides summaries of commissioner's decisions in their briefcase section, though this is a subscription only service. It also has an archive of older commissioner decisions dating back as far as the 1940's, which is available to view and download without subscribing to Rightsnet at www.rightsnet.org.uk/toolkit/
A good starting point when looking for law on the internet is our legal links page at www.disabilityrightsuk.org/links.htm From this link you can access all the online resources mentioned above and much more.
To save time trawling through the various websites you can try searching for commissioner’s decisions and case law using www.google.com
You just need to type in the name of the case or decision you need and it will search most of the sites mentioned above. The only thing you need to bear in mind is that decisions may be written slightly differently on different sites.
For example CDLA/5250/02 may also be written as CDLA 5250 2002 or CDLA/5250/2002. Try all of these combinations. You can also search for all case law summaries on our site.

5. Where can I get more help or information?

This fact sheet is a basic overview of finding benefits related law. You can find out more detailed information about using the law and appealing in our Disability Rights Handbook (now on sale at a reduced rate) available at www.radar-shop.org.uk/
You can get help and information at your local advice centre, such as a Citizens Advice Bureau. You can get more information about where to get personal advice from our Factsheet F15 - Getting advice.
All our publications are available from our shop at www.radar-shop.org.uk/ You can also place an order by contacting Disability Rights UK on 020 7250 3222 (this is not an advice line) or by fax on 020 7247 8765. All our fact sheets are available at www.disabilityrightsuk.org/factsheets.htm

9 August 2012
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