Our work with People in 2020

1000
CASES opened
(we also closed 1043 cases)
£ 300000
FINANCIAL BENEFIT TO OUR CLIENTS​
(including future awards)
190
clients supported
in 2020

Social Security Benefits Casework

750
social security benefit
cases supported in 2020
Disability Living Allowance

2%

Emergency

3%

Employment and Support Allowance

13%

Housing Benefits

8%

Personal Independence Payments

39%

Universal Credit

16%

Other: Carer Allowance, Income Support

19%

Housing Casework & Homelessness Prevention

0
people assessed to
be housed in the
private rented sector
250
housing cases
supported in
2020
75
individuals
prevented from
homelessness

"I was street homeless and in a wheelchair"

Tribunal Representation

We continue to provide Londoners with tribunal representation when they are appealing their negative benefit decisions, including disability benefits and Universal Credit. In 2020, we worked with eleven corporate law firms and two Universities to represent hundreds of people who have been denied access to the benefits they are entitled to. 

Please note, the Covid-19 pandemic had an effect on how quickly cases were being listed and this impacted our numbers for 2020, but we are now seeing these cases being listed in 2021 (on average, pre Covid-19, we had 25 hearings a month, and during 2020 this reduced to 9). 

Wrap Around Support

0
workshops delivered (budgeting, income maximisation, digital campaigning etc.)
50
grants accessed for
clients (white goods,
houshold items etc.)
0
forms completed on
behalf of clients with
support from volunteers

Our Impact

As a result of our casework and projects, we continue to achieve positive benefit outcomes for our clients. We find that by achieving this, leading to increased incomes and reduced financial liability, helps them to live securely. In 2020, of closed cases:

803 recorded an improvement in understanding of their benefit rights and entitlements
409 stated they are able to better navigate the benefit system
367 stated they are more able to manage their finances after working with Z2K

Policy and Campaigning Achievements

#IncreaseLegacyBenefits Campaign:
  • Standard Allowance for Universal Credit raised by £20 a week but legacy benefits (Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support) were raised by just £1.35 a week
  • Led opposition in conjunction with the Disability Benefits Consortium (100+ organisations)
  • Campaign secured over 120,000 supporters
  • Topic covered in over 140 titles, including articles in The Guardian, Independence and Mirror, as well as numerous local newspapers
  • Evidence presented to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s inquiry on Department for Work and Pension (DWP)’s response to Covid-19
  • Thousands of people emailing their MP about this injustice
  • Government’s own Social Security Advisory Committee challenged ministers on this issue
  • More recently, Lord Economic Affairs Committee (amongst others) supported our call
  • Now pursuing legal challenge on this issue
Grew Client Engagement:
  • Weekly workshops with a dozen clients to talk about their experiences of Universal Credit, homelessness and living in insecure and poor-quality private rented sector accommodation
  • Clients learnt four storytelling skills for digital campaigning: blogging, vlogging, audio recordings and photography
  • Most described their experiences publicly in audio recordings in a project called #LifeAfterLockdown
  • They shared their views of what they think needs to change in the social security and housing systems to protect people 
  • Our video launching the project had 6.1k views and our tweet received 19.4k impressions
  • Two clients shared their experiences at our Universal Credit report launch event and at an APPG meeting, and one was interviewed by BBC News at 6pm and BBC London
  • The group continue to meet every month and we aim for it to form the basis of a longer-term user reference group

Help us continue this vital work

Give a single gift

A single donation, big or small, can transform someone’s life by helping them access their rights and entitlements when they need it most

Give a regular gift

Your regular monthly gift can help someone to understand and defend their rights and entitlements, at the most difficult time in their life

Volunteer - Pro Bono

Our dedicated volunteer lawyers share their time and expertise on our Tribunal Project, so that individuals can access their benefits they have been wrongly denied