Welfare rights news

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

9 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

9 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'

9 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

8 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

8 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

8 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

7 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

7 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