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07 December, 2016

More than half of people in poverty in the UK live in working households

Joseph Rowntree Foundation calls on government to reduce poverty by reversing cuts to the work allowance in universal credit and ending the freeze on working-age benefits

07 December, 2016

Valuing of interest in property where joint owner is unwilling to sell

[2016] UKUT 464 (AAC)

06 December, 2016

Communities Minister announces plans for roll out of universal credit in Northern Ireland

Roll out will commence in September 2017 and is expected to be completed by September 2018

05 December, 2016

Independent review rejects proposal to link benefit entitlement for claimants with addictions to accepting treatment

Dame Carol Black instead recommends improving Jobcentre health information, co-location of health and employment support workers and investment in specialist employment support services

05 December, 2016

Government publishes response to consultation on reforming national insurance contributions for the self-employed

Response confirms that Class 2 contributions will be abolished and replaced by zero-rated Class 4 contributions

02 December, 2016

Tribunal ‘Registrar’ role created to carry out all decisions that a judge may make except ‘substantive final decisions’

New tribunal practice statement sets out functions to be delegated to legally qualified staff appointed under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007

02 December, 2016

Concentrix contract has been a ‘complete failure’, say MPs

Public Accounts Committee finds there was an unacceptable breakdown in service which needs meaningful action to prevent repeated failures

01 December, 2016

DWP Minister Lord Freud announces retirement from ministerial role

Government says that the appointment of a successor DWP Minister in the House of Lords will be announced in due course

01 December, 2016

'Cut first, think later' attitude of Concentrix plunged claimants into 'humiliating hardship and debt', say MPs

Work and Pensions Select Committee finds that HMRC was not only complicit in process but put pressure on Concentrix to subject more claimants to it

01 December, 2016

Government considering plans to allow PIP claimants to keep Motability vehicles until appeal outcomes are known

Minister for Disabled People also announces plans to extend access to Motability to claimants not in receipt of enhanced rate mobility component

01 December, 2016

Work and Pensions Committee launches inquiry into self-employment and the ‘gig economy’

Review will, in part, assess the effectiveness of universal credit and jobcentres to deliver support to self-employed claimants

30 November, 2016

DWP is not doing enough to find out how sanctions affect benefit claimants, says National Audit Office

New report also finds that sanctions are applied inconsistently and are linked as much to management priorities and local staff discretion as claimants’ behaviour

30 November, 2016

Government will ‘aim’ to protect existing ESA claimants who try out work and return to ESA

Minister for Disabled People says draft regulations relating to the change to the work-related activity component will be brought forward 'in due course'

29 November, 2016

Local authorities in Scotland awarded more than 86,000 DHPs between April and September 2016

New statistics from the Scottish Government also show that the average award was £512, typically to cover shortfalls in housing costs

29 November, 2016

Whether sums of money lent for a specific purpose count as capital

[2016] UKUT 469 (AAC)

28 November, 2016

Benefit uprating 2017/2018

New rates now available

25 November, 2016

Bach Commission asks whether ‘polluter pays’ principles could improve DWP decision making and 'raise money for legal services'

Report into 'crisis in the justice system' suggests that Department should face levy if too many claimants succeed in challenging decisions on their benefit entitlement

25 November, 2016

Minister for Communities sets out planned duration of welfare reform mitigation measures in Northern Ireland

Responding to written question in the Assembly, Paul Givan also confirms that further measures will be introduced in early 2017

24 November, 2016

Chair of Standards Committee in Northern Ireland welcomes 'very creditable set of results' for decision making accuracy in the Social Security Agency

Decision makers exceeded accuracy benchmarks set for five of six benefits between January 2015 and December 2015

24 November, 2016

First contract under newly devolved employment support powers to be awarded by the Scottish Government

Initial one-year contract will come into effect from April 2017 ahead of the full Scottish programme of employment support starting in April 2018

23 November, 2016

Universal credit taper to be cut from 65 per cent to 63 per cent

Delivering his 2016 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor says the change will 'increase the incentive to work and encourage progression in work'

23 November, 2016

Scottish Government sets out ‘split competence’ approach to devolved welfare

Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities highlights need for Scottish Parliament to hold legislative competence 'for a while' before taking on responsibility for delivery

23 November, 2016

SSAC decides not to formally refer regulations removing universal credit housing costs from 18-21 year olds

However, Committee raises concerns about DWP's failure to consult with health experts when drawing up exemptions to the policy

22 November, 2016

Damian Green confirms that devolved employment programmes in Scotland will be voluntary

However, Secretary of State questions whether a voluntary system will secure value for money or produce successful outcomes

21 November, 2016

DWP and DCLG launch consultation on new funding model for supported accommodation sector

Government statement confirms it 'values the role' supported housing plays and is 'committed to protecting and boosting' the supply of supported housing

21 November, 2016

LHA cap for general needs social housing tenants deferred until April 2019

Work and Pensions Secretary also announces transitional protection from the cap for tenants moving from housing benefit to universal credit after April 2019

21 November, 2016

90 per cent of mandatory reconsiderations overturned Concentrix decisions in claimant’s favour

New HMRC statistics also reveal that 94 per cent of cases involving 'undisclosed partners' were overturned following mandatory reconsideration

18 November, 2016

Backbench motion to pause planned cuts to ESA passed unanimously in House of Commons

127 MPs vote in favour of motion which calls for delay until 'appropriate alternative measures to progress the commitment to halve the disability employment gap have been considered'

18 November, 2016

Chair of Treasury Committee urges HMRC to undertake 'wide ranging internal review' of Concentrix contract

HMRC will also need to tackle problems of fraud and error ‘in much more sensitive ways than achieved by Concentrix’

17 November, 2016

DWP warns that some claimants may have had the lower benefit cap applied earlier than scheduled in roll-out plans

New guidance advises that those likely to be affected are claimants previously subject to the higher cap but who subsequently ceased to be capped

17 November, 2016

Government responds to SSAC report on telephony problems in HMRC and DWP

Response highlights that whilst DWP policy is to ‘downgrade’ role of telephony in the transition to digital under universal credit, extra assistance will be available for 'those who need it'

16 November, 2016

Government is a ‘necessary, but not sufficient provider of welfare’

Work and Pensions Secretary says that government must not assume that it can provide all the help necessary

16 November, 2016

Hardship payments to be available immediately after a sanction for those who are homeless or have mental health conditions

Work and Pensions Secretary says he does not want sanctions 'to discourage those with mental health problems from engaging fully with the welfare system'

16 November, 2016

DWP announces schedule for roll-out of universal credit full service to the rest of Great Britain

Phases 4 to 6 will take place between April 2017 and September 2018

16 November, 2016

13,000 employment and support allowance claimants received a sanction decision in the year to June 2016

New DWP statistics also reveal that more than half of ESA sanction decisions since December 2012 have been overturned following mandatory reconsideration

16 November, 2016

More than 400,000 people are now claiming universal credit

New DWP statistics highlight that the figures include claimants within the full service for the first time

16 November, 2016

Government Actuary’s Department to look at projected life expectancy to inform state pension age review

Report will assess trends in life expectancy and whether these support a reduction in the proportion of years relative to adult life that claimants can expect to receive state pension

15 November, 2016

Government to respond to last week’s Supreme Court bedroom tax defeats ‘as soon as we practicably can'

However, Work and Pensions Secretary adds that, overall, the bedroom tax policy is working and there are no plans to change it

15 November, 2016

Around 20,000 lone parents with a child under two will be hit by the new lower benefit cap

Work and Pensions Minister confirms figures in response to written question in parliament

15 November, 2016

Failure of HMRC to provide relevant documents to tribunal led to error of law

2016] UKUT 441 (AAC)

14 November, 2016

Frank Field calls on government to aim to process JSA and ESA claims within five days

Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger highlights that delays in processing benefits are a key reason for growing numbers relying on food banks

11 November, 2016

Sanctuary Scheme bedroom tax judgment to be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights

Claimant's solicitors instructed to challenge Supreme Court's failure to require the UK government to formally exempt Scheme users

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