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Each year we publish more than 1,500 news updates to rightsnet, bringing you details of the latest legislative developments, new government guidance, consultation and policy documents and more … all brought together and summarised within 24 hours of their issue.

Welfare rights news

21 November

580,000 claimants still awaiting work capability assessments

Minister for Disabled People also says repeat assessments will resume when Maximus 'have the capacity to do so'

21 November, 2014

IIAC decides against recommending that ocular melanoma is added to the list of prescribed diseases

Council finds that there is insufficient link between risk and exposure for any occupation

21 November, 2014

74 per cent of local authorites have less than 10 EEA jobseekers restricted from claiming housing benefit

However, new DWP research shows that more than half the local authorities had affected EEA jobseekers who were families with children

21 November, 2014

Labour government would have 'no targets for sanctions', say Shadow Secretary of State and Employment Minister

Jobcentre staff will be 'focused on helping people into work, not simply finding reasons to kick them off benefits'

21 November, 2014

20 November

SSAC publishes report on regulations removing entitlement to housing benefit for EEA jobseeker's allowance claimants

Report includes government response to Committee's recommendations which focus on homelessness, monitoring and evaluation and the broader government strategy for migrants

20 November, 2014

Almost a third of post delivered to HMRC is not cleared within 15 working days

New performance report highlights problem due to the diversion of staff to the tax credits helpline

20 November, 2014

Curtailing maternity allowance, statutory maternity pay or statutory adoption pay

New statutory instruments provide for benefit that has not be taken to be paid to another person as shared parental pay and/or shared parental leave

20 November, 2014

Number of Mandatory Work Activity starts for year up to August 2014 down by more than 20 per cent on previous year

However, new DWP statistics also show Skills Conditionality training starts up by almost 40 per cent in same period

20 November, 2014

19 November

More than half of visits to food banks due to problems with benefits or tax credits

New research from CPAG, Oxfam, Church of England and Trussell Trust also shows that people only turn to food banks when all other coping strategies have failed

19 November, 2014

DWP to publish first statistics on PIP clearance times and waiting times in March 2015

In update to statistics release strategy, Department also advises that future releases may include information on volumes and outcomes of mandatory reconsiderations

19 November, 2014

Government launches review of Social Security Advisory Committee

Review to look at Committee’s functions and whether it needs to continue to exist

19 November, 2014

Bill providing for research into extending eligibility for tax credits and child benefit to apprentices introduced to House of Commons

Private Member's Bill expected to receive second reading on 9 January 2015

19 November, 2014

18 November

Labour would introduce two year residence requirement for EU jobseekers wishing to claim out-of-work benefits

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary also says that Labour would look at changes to in-work benefits and work to 'end the absurdity' of child benefit and tax credits being paid for children living in other countries

18 November, 2014

Roll-out of universal credit to claimants with responsibility for children

New statutory instrument sets out postcodes where claims will be accepted and limitations including that children must not be certified as severely sight impaired or blind or be entitled to a disability benefit

18 November, 2014

Social Security Advisory Committee launches consultation on localisation and social security

Views sought on issues including the impact localisation has had on benefits and services and whether there are particular groups whose circumstances place them at risk

18 November, 2014

Amendments to legislation relating to same sex marriages and civil partnerships

New statutory instrument

18 November, 2014

17 November

Government will have introduced cuts to working-age benefits of around £20bn per year by the end of this parliament, says IFS

However, new briefing also highlights that social security bill as percentage of overall spending has been rising over time, with more than half of current expenditure going to pensioners

17 November, 2014

Changes to benefits and taxes since May 2010 have led to cuts in income for poorer half of population and gains for wealthier half

New London School of Economics and University of Essex study finds that lone parent families, large families and children are amongst those whose income has decreased the most

17 November, 2014

DWP consults on introduction of mandatory reconsideration in relation to 'accidental errors' in child maintenance decisions

New procedure would allow Secretary of State to correct error without having to revise decision

17 November, 2014

English language requirement for jobseekers to be extended to Scotland and Wales from 27 November 2014

New edition of Touchbase also advises that requirement will be applied to universal credit claimants who are subject to intensive work search requirements from spring 2015

17 November, 2014

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