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24 February, 2017

Scottish Social Security Committee writes to Work and Pensions Secretary concerning problems with universal credit roll-out

Committee warns that if fundamental, systemic issues are not addressed, then universal credit is not a workable system

24 February, 2017

Scottish Social Security Committee launches call for evidence on Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill

Evidence will help to inform the Committee's views on the general principles of the Bill

23 February, 2017

Government announces amendments to PIP regulations to ‘restore the original aim of the benefit’

However, Minister confirms that, due to urgency of amendments, they have not been referred to SSAC

23 February, 2017

SSAC report and government response on regulations linking universal credit benefit cap earnings exception to the National Living Wage

Government rejects recommendation to protect apprentices on the National Minimum Wage from the new earnings exception limit from April 2017

23 February, 2017

Scottish Social Security Bill will be based on ‘fairness, dignity and respect’

However, Minister highlights that UK Government has not confirmed that additional income paid by Scottish Government will not be offset by reductions in UK benefit system

22 February, 2017

Work and Pensions Committee launches inquiry into the benefit cap and how it affects British households

Government needs to be challenged to put much more resources in helping families whose benefits are going to be cut, says Chair

22 February, 2017

Work and Pensions Committee relaunches inquiry into universal credit

Adverse impact on claimants, local authorities, landlords and charities has left the Committee 'compelled to investigate yet again', says Chair

22 February, 2017

Bill to restrict call charges for contacting DWP and other government departments introduced to House of Commons

Private Member's Bill expected to receive second reading on 24 March 2017

21 February, 2017

Government to introduce ‘service user panels’ to get feedback on PIP and ESA

Minister says panels will create 'real-time feedback' from across the whole country

21 February, 2017

MPs raise concerns about 'unexplained variations' in the use of benefit sanctions across jobcentres and providers

New report from the Public Accounts Committee calls for government to issue warnings rather than sanctions for first offences

21 February, 2017

Latest dates for making an effective claim for council tax benefit

[2017] UKUT 41 (AAC)

20 February, 2017

SSAC responds to consultation on work, health and disability

Government should adopt a range of ‘test and learn approaches’ when designing services to help disabled people into work

17 February, 2017

Families with three or more children will not be able to make a new claim for universal credit from 6 April 2017

DWP issues reminder to local authority housing benefit staff

16 February, 2017

New role of Director General of Universal Credit Operations created

Post is taken up by Susan Park who will be accountable for operation of universal credit across jobcentres and service centres

16 February, 2017

Bereavement support payment and reciprocal agreements

New statutory instrument

15 February, 2017

15 per cent of social housing tenants who claim housing benefit are subject to the bedroom tax

New DWP statistics show average weekly reduction in housing benefit is £15.22

15 February, 2017

Frozen benefit rates have contributed towards more people living below the Minimum Income Standard

New report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds that 30 per cent of people now live on inadequate incomes

15 February, 2017

More than two million adverse JSA sanction decisions have been made since new sanction regime started in October 2012

New DWP statistics also show that more than 8 per cent are high level sanctions

15 February, 2017

Number of universal credit claimants hits 450,000

New DWP statistics also show that, of these, 39 per cent are in employment

13 February, 2017

HMRC publishes annual tax credits report for 2015/2016

Report includes data on numbers of awards, enquiries, penalties, prosecutions and convictions

13 February, 2017

Reciprocal agreements and bereavement support payment

New regulations issued in Northern Ireland

10 February, 2017

SSAC writes to Employment Minister concerning exceptions to the two child limit in universal credit and child tax credit

Committee raises a number of issues, whilst recognising that the government 'faces a number of complex challenges in ensuring that the proposals are delivered in an effective, fair and safe way'

10 February, 2017

Scottish Government publishes Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill

Bill establishes a framework by which the Scottish Government can be 'held to account', says Equalities Secretary

09 February, 2017

Government to 'engage with an external data provider' to identify benefit claimants with undeclared partners

Secretary of State says that 18 month contract will be used to decide whether data matching of this kind provides useful indicators for use in the universal credit system

09 February, 2017

Government announces new initiative to use DWP powers to employ a 'wider range of methods' to recover tax credits debt

Secretary of State says that work will form an important part of creating a welfare system which is 'fair to those who use it, and fair to the taxpayers who fund it'

09 February, 2017

Motion calling for halt to jobcentre closures in Scotland approved in the Scottish Parliament

Rationale for decisions taken by the UK Government needs to be better explained, examined and justified, says Minister for Employability and Training

08 February, 2017

Government announces that it will not introduce single member panels as the default for unified tribunals

Ministry of Justice responds to ‘Transforming Our Justice System’ consultation

08 February, 2017

Administrative problems and design issues are causing universal credit claimants to run up rent arrears, former DWP Minister admits

In evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Lord Freud also says that it will take decades to 'optimise' universal credit

08 February, 2017

Miscellaneous amendments to ESA, universal credit, loans for mortgage interest and bereavement support payment

New regulations issued that commence provisions of the Pensions Act 2014 and Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016

07 February, 2017

Tax credits helpline starts using voice identification for claimants to confirm identity

HMRC says the new measure will speed up the security steps claimants need to go through when calling

07 February, 2017

More than half of people surveyed in Northern Ireland either unaware of imminent welfare reforms or do not know any details

Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey also finds that only 12 per cent of respondents feel the current system is working and gives enough financial support to the right people

07 February, 2017

DWP and HMRC respond to Public Accounts Committee reports on universal credit and fraud and error

Government accepts all of the Committee's recommendations and puts in place a series of target implementation dates

06 February, 2017

Government responds to Work and Pensions Select Committee report on Concentrix

Response includes commitment for HMRC to review all cases where Concentrix cut or stopped tax credit awards including those where no mandatory reconsideration has been requested

06 February, 2017

Holyrood and Westminster Committees to work together on social security devolution

First meeting will take place on 13 March 2017 and will take views from third sector organisations

06 February, 2017

Mikki v Duncan

03 February, 2017

Government must have a clear plan for how it will financially support disabled people before cuts to ESA are implemented in April, say MPs

New report from the Work and Pensions Committee asks government to respond to its report before the cuts are introduced

03 February, 2017

Benefits A to Z


03 February, 2017

No further jobcentre office closures will be subject to consultation, according to Minister for Employment

Damian Hinds says the DWP has committed to consult only on closure of jobcentres over three miles and 20 minutes away by public transport from alternative offices

02 February, 2017

Claimant commitments must be tailored to the individual and reflect their health needs, says Director General of Universal Credit

Neil Couling sets out the 'learning journey' that work coaches go through, and the process for ensuring a consistent and quality service

02 February, 2017

Variation in the LHA cap across the country means funding for supported and sheltered housing will have significant regional differences

National Housing Federation suggests that setting a higher cap would reduce the numbers affected and allow resources to be concentrated more effectively

02 February, 2017

Assessing whether an EEA national is a ‘qualified person’

New Home Office guidance

02 February, 2017

Scottish Government to tender contracts worth £96 million for employment support services

Employability Minister confirms that services will be delivered over nine contract areas to take into account local needs

01 February, 2017

DHPs can be paid to a claimant in receipt of universal credit even where housing costs are paid via a managed payment to landlord

However, Minister for Work and Pensions confirms that managed payment can be removed if local authority require it in order to grant a DHP

01 February, 2017

Inequality increasing as benefit cuts drive down income, says Resolution Foundation

However, new report concludes that policy choices are not intractable and that 'government can choose to pursue a different path'

31 January, 2017

DWP will extend home visiting service to 'all disabled claimants who ask for it', according to Minister for Welfare Delivery

Caroline Nokes also states that DWP will look to reimburse costs where claimants are required to sign on more frequently than fortnightly

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