Welfare rights news

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14 October

Iain Duncan Smith confirms national expansion of universal credit in 2015/2016

Roll-out to remaining areas to be for new single claimants previously eligible for jobseeker’s allowance, including those with existing housing benefit and tax credit claims

14 October, 2014

DWP announces tax credit changes for universal credit claimants

New edition of Touchbase also highlights changes to recovery of tax credit overpayments

14 October, 2014

DWP sets out new measures to speed up PIP claims process

New edition of Touchbase says that, under changes, providers have more than doubled number of assessments being returned to DWP and decision makers have also more than doubled their output

14 October, 2014

Time limit for paying Class 3A contributions

New statutory instrument

14 October, 2014

13 October

Income support right to reside following CJEU judgment in Saint Prix

New DWP guidance says that, as a result of judgment, award of up to 26 weeks can be made where EEA national indicates that she intends to return to work within 15 week period after childbirth

13 October, 2014

Government launches consultation on how local welfare provision should be funded in 2015/2016

However, none of options currently under consideration include continuation of additional funding to local authorities beyond March next year

13 October, 2014

Scottish Government estimates that welfare reforms will reduce social security expenditure in Scotland by £6bn in six years to 2015/2016

New report also finds that around 40 per cent of reduction is due to change in how working-age benefits are uprated

13 October, 2014

10 October

No evidence to suggest that sanctions contribute to JSA claimants finding paid employment

Letter from Welfare Reform Committee to Esther McVey also questions whether hardship payments are having any significant effect

10 October, 2014

Policy Exchange raises concerns that any new design of the Work Programme will not be fully integrated with universal credit

New report suggests how the Programme should be improved including how to better assess jobseeker needs

10 October, 2014

'Worrying uncertainty' about the impact that charges for statutory child maintenance service will have, says PAC

Committee report recommends that Department must closely monitor the number of parents that choose family-based arrangements

10 October, 2014

Scottish government’s spending plans include £81 million to mitigate the effects of welfare reform

Draft budget for 2015/2016 specifies that this includes £35 million to support those affected by the bedroom tax

10 October, 2014

9 October

Universal credit roll-out to north west of England will be completed by end of December 2014, says Legal Aid Agency

New guidance also confirms that universal credit is a passporting benefit for legal aid and gives details of local authority areas where it will be introduced by the end of the year

09 October, 2014

8 October

Almost half of working tax credit goes to employees in the high street, hospitality and healthcare

New research by New Policy Institute also finds that 80 per cent goes to workers in private sector and 15 per cent to those in local government or working for Health Authority or NHS Trust

08 October, 2014

Tenants struggle to budget when they claim universal credit, with some turning to pay day lenders to get by

Survey from First Choice Homes Oldham finds that tenants have suffered multiple frustrations and complications with the system

08 October, 2014

Help with NHS costs for universal credit claimants

New statutory instrument.

08 October, 2014

Weather stations and postcode districts for social fund cold weather payments purposes

New statutory instrument

08 October, 2014

7 October

Liberal Democrats pledge to raise carer’s allowance earnings threshold to £150 a week

Care Minister also confirms that Liberal Democrats would introduce a carer's bonus and proposes 'carer's passport' to help identify carers and get them extra support

07 October, 2014

6 October

Pilot scheme for full-time mandatory attendance of selected claimants at jobcentres

New DWP guidance on scheme which begins today, including notification requirements, sanctions and contracting out of functions including requiring claimants to apply for jobs

06 October, 2014

Three quarters of local authorities would either scale back or cease local welfare provision if government funding ends in April 2015

Finding of new survey as Local Government Association calls on government to use consultation on decision to cut funding as opportunity to overturn that decision

06 October, 2014

DWP launches state pension statement service

New service to provide people with estimate of what they can expect to receive under single-tier state pension system from April 2016

06 October, 2014

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