Welfare rights news

29 January, 2015

Removing funding for local welfare assistance would be ‘an expensive mistake’ warns LGA

New analysis shows that local welfare schemes have helped support 94,000 people at direct risk of becoming or remaining homeless per year

29 January, 2015

Changes to calculation of earnings for housing benefit purposes in Northern Ireland

New statutory rule

29 January, 2015

Government has made substantial cuts to benefits but greatest changes to system yet to come, says Institute for Fiscal Studies

New briefing highlights that implementation of universal credit will fall largely to next government and the government after that

29 January, 2015

Signing on weekly, as opposed to fortnightly, leads to JSA claimants spending 2.6 fewer days on benefit

DWP publishes evaluation of its jobseeker's allowance 'signing on' trials

29 January, 2015

DWP publishes post-legislative scrutiny of the Pensions Act 2007

Findings include that the percentage of women receiving the full basic state pension increased from around 40 per cent in 2009/2010 to around 80 per cent in 2013/2014

29 January, 2015

Plans to increase maximum administrative penalty for benefit fraud from £2,000 to £5,000

Changes to be debated in parliament today

28 January, 2015

DWP consults on notifying budgeting loan decisions by telephone

New 'streamlined' system designed to reduce application process by up to 10 days

28 January, 2015

Council tax reduction schemes in Wales from April 2015

New statutory instrument amends prescribed requirements and default scheme regulations

28 January, 2015

DWP launches two year trial of Personalisation Pathfinders

New edition of Stakeholder Bulletin sets out details of scheme to provide additional support to ESA and JSA claimants with a disability or health condition

28 January, 2015

Average clearance time between referral of new PIP claim to assessment provider and return to DWP has fallen from peak of 30 weeks to 14 weeks

New DWP statistics also show that 98,000 new claims outstanding with assessment provider and just over 12,000 awaiting decision from DWP

28 January, 2015

Citizens Advice calls on policy makers to consider varying benefit rates around the country

New report on 'responsive welfare' also suggests devolution of budgets for other benefits to local authorities, better use of digital technology and restoring flexibility and initiative at the front line

27 January, 2015

Reduction of benefit cap to £23,000 will be first act of new Conservative government, says David Cameron

Prime Minister also confirms that, if elected in May, his party will cut housing benefit for unemployed 18 to 21 year olds

27 January, 2015

DWP confirms details of further roll out of personal independence payment

Benefit to be extended to existing DLA claimants in 18 additional areas from February 2015

27 January, 2015

Further changes to universal credit ‘gateway conditions’

New DWP guidance on further roll-out to claimants with responsibility for children, claims from people with credit union accounts and the uprating of earnings limits

27 January, 2015

Further testing of the universal credit ‘Digital Service’ in parts of Sutton

New DWP guidance

27 January, 2015

Latest forecast is still that there will be 0.1m universal credit cases by May 2015, says Minister for Disabled People

Written answer to parliament on whether forecast made in October 2014 remains accurate

27 January, 2015

Number of households applying to Scottish Welfare Fund has risen by a third in last year

New statistics also show that one in twenty Scottish households has been helped by Fund in its first eighteen months of operation

27 January, 2015

DWP publishes information on performance of Carer’s Allowance Unit for 2013/2014

New transparency data shows that Unit achieved 99.9 per cent payments accuracy

27 January, 2015

DWP publishes penalties policy for social security fraud and error

New document sets out action Department will take when it suspects fraud and penalties it will impose when overpayment occurs due to claimant error