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25 October, 2016

Scottish Welfare Fund gives out £9.2 million in grants in first quarter of 2016/2017

New statistics show that this represents an additional £1.2 million compared to the same period the previous year

25 October, 2016

Recoverability of official error housing benefit overpayment

[2016] UKUT 396 (AAC)

24 October, 2016

Only one in eight disabled people who want to work will have specialist help to do so under new Work and Health Programme

Reduction in funding means 'we are in danger of failing disabled people and their families', says Employment Related Service Association

21 October, 2016

Concentrix work to pass back to HMRC ahead of scheduled expiry of contract in May 2017

Existing Concentrix staff will be moved to HMRC and 'supported through further training'

21 October, 2016

Consultation launched on exceptions to the two-child limit in universal credit and child tax credit

Evidence and views sought to inform the design of the exceptions and their implementation

21 October, 2016

Bill introduced to raise housing standards for tenants in receipt of housing benefit or universal credit

Landlords would be required to ensure accommodation is fit for food preparation and has adequate appliances and equipment for the cooking of food

20 October, 2016

Welfare conditionality leads to poor claimant decision making, often harming long term job outcomes

New report from government-backed policy unit also recommends testing claimants’ goal-setting as an alternative to jobcentre imposed conditionality

20 October, 2016

Tribunals caseworker 'delegation scheme' to continue for a further six month period

Scheme provides for caseworkers to be able to carry out all decisions that a judge may make except ‘substantive final decisions’

19 October, 2016

Low income families predicted to lose £470 per year as a result of freezing working-age benefit rates

New IFS research also finds that setting benefit rates in cash terms rather than relative to prices has led to an ‘arbitrarily determined’ 6 per cent cut in working-age benefits

19 October, 2016

53 per cent of people starting on universal credit during September 2016 were aged 16 to 24

New DWP statistics also show that 338,000 are now claiming the benefit

18 October, 2016

DWP should 'pay close attention to all aspects of every complaint at an early stage' in order to achieve resolution

Annual report from the Independent Case Examiner shows that 72 per cent of investigated complaints about the DWP were upheld or partially upheld in 2015/2016

18 October, 2016

Troubled Families Programme has had ‘no significant or systematic impact’ on outcomes

New government commissioned analysis reveals families were no more likely to have better employment outcomes and no less reliant on out-of-work benefits than those not given special treatment

18 October, 2016

Financial pressures on self-employed ‘set to become more severe’ as universal credit is rolled out

Social Market Foundation estimates 190,000 families with self-employed earners will be worse off under universal credit

17 October, 2016

Government releases first statistics on new Access to Work Digital Service

New figures give information about the number of people who have used the service so far and how long it takes to apply

14 October, 2016

Senior HMRC officials showed 'palpable disregard' for human implications of Concentrix scandal

Chair of Work and Pensions Committee welcomes HMRC's swift action to end the company's tax credit contract, but highlights it 'does not excuse them for ever allowing this to happen'

14 October, 2016

DWP to offer all 'double-capped' claimants a voluntary 40 minute 'intervention' to discuss their options

New DWP guidance also advises that where a housing benefit claimant is placed out of borough the cap applies according to the local authority where the claimant lives

13 October, 2016

Families who adopt a child from local authority care to be exempt from two-child limit for tax credits and universal credit

Minister for Social Security also advises that criteria for exemption of women who have a child as the result of rape will be 'straightforward' and 'not overly intrusive’

13 October, 2016

Consultation launched on the state pension age system of the future

Review will look at alternatives to a universal pension age including delayed retirement for those able to work and early retirement options for carers or people with a disability

12 October, 2016

Universal credit added as a qualifying benefit for Healthy Start Scheme food and vitamins

New statutory instrument also introduces an upper earnings threshold of £408 per universal credit assessment period to limit those eligible for Healthy Start benefits

11 October, 2016

ESA reassessments will only be 'switched off' for those with severe, lifelong conditions with minimally fluctuating care needs

Government also confirms that changes will only apply to claimants who have already been placed in the ESA support group or equivalent universal credit group

11 October, 2016

ESA and PIP reforms have resulted in far smaller savings than originally estimated, says Office for Budget Responsibility

New report also finds that welfare spending is expected to fall by 1.2 per cent of GDP over the next five years

10 October, 2016

Horton v Henry

07 October, 2016

National Audit Office launches investigation into HMRC’s tax credit contract with Concentrix

Review will examine the performance of Concentrix and how HMRC has managed the tax credit error and fraud contract

06 October, 2016

26,000 general needs social tenants to face benefit shortfall when LHA cap is imposed from April 2018

NHF says that majority of those affected will be under 35 who are subject to the Shared Accommodation Rate, whilst average shortfalls will exceed £18 per week

06 October, 2016

Scottish Government presses Westminster to confirm devolved employment programmes will be voluntary

Employability Minister also confirms Scotland will be investing £20 million a year in the programmes over and above the UK Government's settlement until 2021

04 October, 2016

Damian Green sets out vision of a Welfare State 'that’s fit for the world of work in the 21st century'

World looks very different to Beveridge's time, says Work and Pensions Secretary in speech to the Conservative Party Conference

03 October, 2016

Constant focus on targets makes it hard for Jobcentre Plus staff to ‘take risks and try new things’

New research commissioned by the DWP recommends allowing local services to be more innovative and to share their learning

03 October, 2016

Social Security Advisory Committee appoints new member

New appointment has 'strong background in social policy and operational issues’, says chair Paul Gray

01 October, 2016

Government to abolish 'pointless' ESA reassessments for those with lifelong, severe health conditions with no prospect of improvement

'I believe in a welfare state where you have got to be hard-headed, but you shouldn’t be hard-hearted', says Work and Pensions Secretary

30 September, 2016

Typical incomes of low to middle income households who are ‘just managing’ at 13 year low

Resolution Foundation finds that cuts to tax credits, squeeze on wages and rising housing costs have all contributed to the fall in living standards

29 September, 2016

Further roll-out of the universal credit digital service

New statutory instrument provides for the expansion of the service to a further twenty jobcentres between 5 October and 14 December 2016

29 September, 2016

57 per cent of children in workless households in Northern Ireland were living in poverty in 2014/2015

New statistics also show that around half of individuals living in poverty in Northern Ireland are living in households where at least one adult is in work

29 September, 2016

Claimants need low cost and flexible bank accounts to manage transition to universal credit

New research also shows claimants' reluctance for a banking product 'targeted at the poor'

28 September, 2016

Labour Party would scrap 'discredited' work capability assessment, says Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary

Debbie Abrahams says the government’s 'punitive' sanctions system must go too

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