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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

19 December

65 per cent of discretionary housing payment allocation spent in first half of 2014/2015

New statistics from the DWP show wide variation in expenditure between local authorities

19 December, 2014

Causal link between benefit cap and decisions about moving into work is not demonstrated

Letter from UK Statistics Authority finds that DWP should 'adopt more cautious wording' in its press release

19 December, 2014

Government must do more to support disabled people in work

New report from the Work and Pensions Committee finds Access to Work scheme is helping only a minority of people it could benefit

19 December, 2014

18 December

Ensuring that the assessment of the severity of injuries results in fair awards under the industrial injuries benefit scheme

Industrial Injuries Advisory Council publishes review of international comparator schemes

18 December, 2014

64 per cent of separated parents using the new Child Maintenance Service are making their own financial arrangements

New figures from the DWP also show that the number of cases where the state is involved in collecting and paying out money has fallen to 36 per cent

18 December, 2014

Amendments to the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) England Regulations 2012

New statutory instrument

18 December, 2014

Services provided by the Work Programme are not reaching everyone

Easier-to-serve claimants are given preference whilst harder-to-serve claimants are 'parked'

18 December, 2014

DWP publishes mid-year report to parliament

Department is implementing government’s transformational changes to the welfare state to make it fairer and more affordable, says Permanent Secretary

18 December, 2014

Final evaluation of the ‘Direct Payment Demonstration Projects' finds that tenants paid 5.5 per cent less rent than if housing benefit had been paid to landlord

New DWP commissioned research warns of difficulties this level of arrears could cause to landlords when direct payments scaled up under universal credit

18 December, 2014

DWP confirms details of further roll out of personal independence payment

Benefit to be extended to existing DLA claimants in seven additional areas from January 2015

18 December, 2014

Local councils will continue to be able to offer local welfare assistance from within existing budgets 'if they judge it a priority in their area', says government

Local Government Minister announces provisional local government finance settlement for 2015/2016

18 December, 2014

Government responds to Work Programme: Building Best Practice recommendations

Information about sub contractor performance to be shared and new Customer Service Standards implemented

18 December, 2014

70 per cent of Work Programme participants return to jobcentre plus at the end of their two years on the programme

New DWP statistics also show that 28 per cent of participants had achieved a job outcome during their two years

18 December, 2014

Opposition motion calling for abolition of the bedroom tax defeated in the Commons

However, amendment to motion to effect that abolition would be financially unsustainable passed by 38 votes

18 December, 2014

DWP to be allowed to recover tax credit debt from April 2015

New statutory instrument

18 December, 2014

17 December

DWP publishes first independent review of personal independence payment

Review leader Paul Gray makes recommendations on improving claimant experience, improving collection of further evidence and assuring fairness and consistency of award outcomes

17 December, 2014

Almost 240,000 claims for personal independence payment awaiting decision

New DWP statistics for period up to 31 October 2014 also show that more than 46,000 disability living allowance reassessments still to be cleared

17 December, 2014

National Audit Office qualifies opinion on DWP child maintenance client funds account for 2013/2014 due to level of errors in assessments

Comptroller and Auditor General also gives an adverse opinion on the truth and fairness of the DWP's figure of almost £4bn in outstanding maintenance arrears

17 December, 2014

22,900 people were on the universal credit caseload as at 13 November 2014

New DWP statistics also show that more than 44,000 people had made a claim in the period up to 11 December 2014

17 December, 2014

Average clearing time for ESA mandatory reconsiderations is 13 days, says DWP

However, new statistics also show that 25 per cent of ESA mandatory reconsiderations took more than 30 days to clear

17 December, 2014

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