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Blog
Samantha Evans

The London Legal Walk – a week on

The team at Z2K, as well as hundreds of law firms, chambers, and other supporters of access to justice took part in the 10k #LegalWalk on Monday 18th October. Our team consisted of staff and trustees, who took to the streets of London to raise vital funds for access to justice charities, including Z2K.

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Blog
Becca Stacey

The stigma surrounding Social Security, and how we can challenge it

Our clients face a diversity of challenges when engaging with the social security system, but one issue that almost all have experienced, is that of stigma. In this blog, a number of our clients share the conversations that we’ve been having about stigma in our client workshops – in particular, what forms stigma can take and why it must be challenged.

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Blog
Andy McCarthy

UC overpayments – Disincentivising fair decision-making

In the wake of the pandemic, more money than ever is being overpaid under the Universal Credit (UC) system. Blunt rule changes to the recoverability of overpayments mean that people are being saddled with debt as a result of structural deficiencies and delays in the decision-making process. As Z2K’s casework highlights, this leaves people in vulnerable circumstances in an impossible situation.

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Blog
Natasha Cross

Error 404: Digital Access not Found

Being of a younger generation and with English as my first language, I am aware of my privilege in being able to navigate a life dictated and shaped by the internet, and computer literacy. Since Covid-19, the necessity to be digitally adept has only increased. However, without the adequate education and provision of resources to ensure digital access for everyone, the benefits system and local authority services remain unfit for purpose.

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Blog
Kayla Trigiani

A Hidden Army of Women: Fibromyalgia & Living with Chronic Pain

When applying for Social Security benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), people with fibromyalgia and chronic pain join the “hidden army” of those whose health conditions are consistently misunderstood and easily overlooked by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and its private health-care assessors.

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Blog
Rose Bernstein

Renters need change now

Housing law allows landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason – meaning people like Okwuchi often face prejudice or are punished for asking for repairs. It’s this insecurity faced by tenants that the Government promised to address with a new Renters Reform Bill, and we’ve joined the Renters Reform Coalition to hold them to that.

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Blog
Lucy Isaac

Retrospective on Remote Social Security Hearings

Prior to the national lockdown, Z2K’s Tribunal representation project largely revolved around client contact. From our initial meeting with clients at outreach sessions and appointments at our offices to scan their paperwork, to clients meeting their representative and ultimately attending the Tribunal with them on the day of their hearing.

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Latest News
Marc Francis

Legacy Benefits – a year of denial

A year ago, I was one of millions watching the Chancellor’s press conference outlining an emergency package for businesses and individuals affected by the lockdown. When he announced that the Standard Allowance for Universal Credit (UC) would go up by £20 a week, I remember being shocked.

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Blog
Anna Ellis

“I have given you an explanation on your Universal Credit payment, unfortunately it is not for me to comment or discuss your question on how you are to survive”

This was the response my client Sarah* received when she asked her Universal Credit case manager how she, her partner and 2 children were supposed to live on £73 for the entire month. Sarah had been hit by the benefit cap, a policy which has been in place since April 2013 and according to Child Poverty Action Group is now having a devastating impact on up to 250 000 households.

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Latest News
Z2K

Z2K’s response to the Budget

This budget fails to provide people on Social Security benefits and tenants in privately-rented accommodation with the stability and support they so desperately need right now.

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Blog
Anne Killeen

Homeless families deserve better than council gatekeeping

I’ve been working in the advice sector from the days of the House of Lords case of Street v Mountford – too many years, some may say! And I thought I knew most of the tricks London Boroughs use to deny homeless people their legal rights. But its only when I came to Z2K and started dealing with Westminster City Council’s Housing Options Service on a regular basis that I realised I didn’t know the half of it.

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Blog
Becca Stacey

Ignore and refute: Government’s response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s Universal Credit report

At the beginning of the year, the Government responded to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s report ‘Universal Credit: The wait for a first payment.’ This report contained extensive evidence from a range of stakeholders on the hardship Universal Credit’s (UC) design flaws, including the minimum five week wait for a first payment, is causing – as well as considered recommendations put forward by the Committee that could help alleviate these. The Government’s response was pitiful – it ignored and refuted the evidence, instead outlining how it will continue to push forward with policies that have very little regard for the people who depend on them for support.

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