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Welfare rights news

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16 July

Changes to universal credit gateway conditions

New DWP guidance

16 July, 2014

Universal credit claimants will have to wait at least five weeks for benefit to be paid, says TUC

New report argues that delay in payment will drive claimants into hands of payday loan lenders and increase demand on food banks

16 July, 2014

15 July

59 per cent of tenants affected by bedroom tax fail to make up shortfall in rent

New DWP research on early effects of policy also highlights concern that people with disabilities are failing the DHP means test due to disability benefit income

15 July, 2014

Scottish Welfare Fund makes awards to more than 80,000 households in period from April 2013 to March 2014

New figures show that 53,400 community care grants and 113,000 crisis grants awarded with total value of £29m

15 July, 2014

Complaints to Local Government Ombudsman about benefits and council tax up by 26 per cent on previous year

New figures also show that those complaints had highest uphold rate of 49 per cent

15 July, 2014

Income support and jobseeker’s allowance child premiums to continue beyond 31 December 2014

New statutory instrument extends deadline for abolition of premiums which are being replaced by tax credits

15 July, 2014

14 July

Bringing forward the date from which pensionable age is a person’s 67th birthday

New DWP guidance

14 July, 2014

Council tax arrears rise fastest where support is cut most

Analysis of data collected by the New Policy Institute 'does not bode well' for the future of localised council tax support

14 July, 2014

Atos awarded £10 million a year contract to continue providing IT support for work capability assessments

New contract will run until at least 2016, with allowances for it to be extended until 2020, reports computerworlduk.com

14 July, 2014

Senior Conservative Ministers considering benefit changes to reduce 'huge' numbers who are incapable of work due to mental health problems

Trials, jointly designed by the Department of Health and the DWP, 'to be launched within weeks'

14 July, 2014

11 July

70 per cent of claimants 'more likely to follow the benefit rules because of sanctions' says Esther McVey

However, Minister declines a request to commit to an independent review about the fairness of sanctions

11 July, 2014

10 July

Number of ESA claimants sanctioned more than doubled between July and December 2013

New DWP statistics also highlight that, of those sanctioned, over 60 per cent had mental health problems

10 July, 2014

Lord Freud announces 11 new local support services partnerships to help claimants get ready for universal credit

Successful bidders will prepare claimants 'by offering tailored local support to budget, access housing support and promote digital inclusion'

10 July, 2014

Treasury approval of full universal credit business case expected shortly, says Iain Duncan Smith

In addition, commenting on 'apparent difference' between statements from Employment Minister and head of civil service, Lord Freud says that they are 'both right, because they are answering slightly different questions'

10 July, 2014

9 July

DWP sets out details of transfer of Child Support Agency clients to Child Maintenance Service

New edition of Touchbase also provides information on fees for using the new system

09 July, 2014

8 July

Head of civil service confirms that Treasury has not signed off universal credit business case

However, Employment Minister says that written answer to parliament stating that Treasury has approved universal credit business case to the end of this parliament has been 'verified'

08 July, 2014

Number of benefits and tax credits problems has ‘increased dramatically’, says Citizens Advice Cymru

New report on cumulative impact of welfare reforms highlights increases in people seeking advice on personal independence payment, the bedroom tax and sanctions

08 July, 2014

7 July

UK breaching international law on human rights of disabled people, says Just Fair

New report highlights 'major backward steps', including implementation of sanctions, disability benefit reform and the bedroom tax

07 July, 2014

Deductions from benefits for child support fees

New DWP guidance on changes from 11 August 2014

07 July, 2014

Treating recently homeless jobseekers as available for work if trying to find accommodation

New DWP guidance on changes from 21 July 2014

07 July, 2014

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