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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

30 October

Ministers ‘considering’ cutting the work-related activity component of ESA to just 50p

Internal documents seen by the BBC also reveal that extra staff have been hired to help reduce a backlog of more than 600,000 cases

30 October, 2014

29 October

Supreme Court rules that Haringey’s consultation on council tax reduction scheme was unlawful

However, court also decides that it would not be proportionate to require local authority to hold a fresh consultation

29 October, 2014

Maximus to take over Atos contract for delivering work capability assessments

BBC reports that US firm has been awarded contract estimated to be worth £500m over three and a half years

29 October, 2014

High Court decision on challenge to bedroom tax for parents with shared care of children

New DWP guidance following last week's judgment

29 October, 2014

Changes to notification period for statutory paternity pay

New statutory instrument aligns notification provisions with those for statutory paternity leave

29 October, 2014

Shared parental pay for employees who are adopting from overseas.

New statutory instrument

29 October, 2014

Statutory adoption pay, statutory paternity pay or shared parental pay for those who have baby with help of surrogate

New statutory instrument provides for benefit to be paid to 'parental order parents'

29 October, 2014

28 October

National Audit Office publishes summary of the DWP’s performance in 2013/2014

Overview focuses in particular on where NAO believes the Department's performance could be improved

28 October, 2014

27 October

DWP publishes research into ‘ideal customer journey’ for new state pension

Findings of new report intended to provide starting point for DWP teams responsible for designing process

27 October, 2014

DWP consults on closing partially and fully compliant Child Support Agency cases simultaneously

Changes to Ending Liability scheme to allow 'on system' cases to be closed at the same time as those administered clerically

27 October, 2014

24 October

Jobseeking process to be made paperless as part of jobcentre ‘digital revolution’

Installation of 'high-tech equipment' at more than 700 sites expected to save millions of pounds a year, says DWP

24 October, 2014

Government announces intention to temporarily suspend work-related requirements for claimants of universal credit with a child in distress

However, SSAC raises concern that draft regulations are too prescriptive and could create a two-tier approach

24 October, 2014

Increase in number of waiting days for JSA and ESA from three to seven

New DWP guidance

24 October, 2014

Designation of employment officers for community work placements and the Work Programme

New DWP guidance

24 October, 2014

23 October

Local authorities detected benefit fraud amounting to £129m in 2013/2014

New Audit Commission report also shows that benefit fraud accounted for 69 per cent of total value of fraud detected

23 October, 2014

22 October

Length of time before repeat WCA should be applied following successful appeal by claimant

New DWP guidance based on recommendations in Dr Litchfield's year 4 review

22 October, 2014

Universal credit is a 'transformational reform, being safely delivered', according to Iain Duncan Smith

New report projects that 0.5 million people will be on universal credit by May 2016 but gives no final date for full roll out

22 October, 2014

High Court dismisses challenge to bedroom tax for parents with shared care of children

In new judgment, Court holds that, even if reduction in housing benefit meant that claimants had to move to smaller accommodation where children could no longer live with them, that would not, in itself, be a breach of right to family life

22 October, 2014

Changes to weather stations and postcode districts for social fund cold weather payments purposes

New DWP guidance

22 October, 2014

21 October

More than 100,000 households receive assistance from Scottish Welfare Fund

New statistics also show that £300,000 more awarded in crisis grants for food in period from April to June 2014 than in same quarter last year

21 October, 2014

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