Supreme Court leapfrog certificate granted by High Court in discrimination challenge to benefit cap


Two single mothers and their children were yesterday granted a “leapfrog certificate” under s 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1969 in their challenge to the Revised Benefit Cap. Their claim (DS & others v SSWP) is that the cap, which imposes a limit on the amount of welfare benefits a household can receive if they are not working regardless of family size or housing costs, unlawfully discriminates against the children of lone parents and women generally under Article 14 of the ECHR read with Articles 8 and A1P1. The leapfrog certificate means they can now go to directly to the Supreme Court to ask for permission to appeal without a full hearing in either the Administrative Court or the Court of Appeal.

The Claimants in DS & others are seeking to join up with another related claim, R (DA & Ors) v SSWP [2018] EWCA Civ 504, which concerns lone parents with children under two. In DS, the challenge is to the cap as it affects lone parents generally. These cases follow on from SG & Ors v SSWP [2015] UKSC 16 in which the original benefit cap was considered by the Supreme Court.

Zoe Leventhal is involved in this case, acting for the claimants, instructed by the Child Poverty Action Group.