Welfare rights news

27 March, 2015

DWP confirms that JSA conditionality can be modified for claimants with health conditions who have been found fit for work

New edition of Touchbase also highlights three new pilots involving support for ESA claimants

27 March, 2015

All income-based jobseeker's allowance claimants to be required to complete an 'annual verification' check

New edition of Touchbase confirms that benefit will be suspended if the letter is not returned

27 March, 2015

DWP to introduce a clearance time target for mandatory reconsideration for all benefits

Lord Freud tells House of Lords that target will be introduced first for ESA from April 2016

27 March, 2015

New protocols developed for awarding discretionary housing payments in Wales

Rules, which work alongside DWP guidance, aim to prioritise people who are doing all they can to help themselves

27 March, 2015

Welsh government sets out its revised Child Poverty Strategy for Wales

Report reaffirms Welsh government's ambition to ensure no child is living in poverty by 2020

27 March, 2015

Convention on Social Security between the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of Chile

New regulations issued in Northern Ireland

26 March, 2015

Paul Gray reappointed as chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee

Mr Gray will continue to bring a wealth of skills and experience to the Committee, says Work and Pensions Minister

26 March, 2015

Government plans to save £2.6bn a year with new fraud, error and debt measures

Measures include increased use of data sharing and increased ability to recover overpayments and fines

26 March, 2015

Sharp rise in number of people in poverty in the private rented sector in Scotland over last ten years

New report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation also finds that approximately twice as many working age adults under 30 are in poverty as compared to pensioners

26 March, 2015

Curtailing statutory maternity pay in Northern Ireland

New statutory rule

25 March, 2015

Labour announces five point plan to reduce food bank dependency

Measures set out by Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary include abolition of bedroom tax, reduction in benefit payment delays and reforms to sanctions regime

25 March, 2015

Conservatives plan to extend language requirement for jobseekers to incapacity benefits and housing benefit

Home Office source tells Telegraph that, if elected, Party intends to put 'rocket boosters' on current sanctions regime for those who refuse to learn English

25 March, 2015

Texts reminding ESA claimants to attend medical assessment to be introduced later this year

Minister for Disabled People confirms national roll-out following trial in autumn 2014

25 March, 2015

Number of cases managed by Child Maintenance Service continues to increase, says DWP

New statistics show increase of 18 per cent between November 2014 and February 2015

25 March, 2015

DWP awarded just over £4m in short term benefit advances between April 2014 and February 2015

Employment Minister also confirms that Department intends to publish figures on number of hardship applications and awards in May 2015

24 March, 2015

Work and Pensions Committee calls for full independent review of benefit sanctions regime

Further investigation needed in light of concerns including approach of individual jobcentres and whether targets for sanctions exist, say MPs

24 March, 2015

Government’s statutory duty to eliminate child poverty by 2020 should be treated as a human rights issue

In a new report, the Joint Committee on Human Rights also expresses its disappointment that, during the current period of austerity, disadvantaged children have suffered disproportionately

24 March, 2015

DWP publishes triennial review of Social Security Advisory Committee

Review concludes that Committee is in unique position to provide advice on proposed regulations due to its specialist knowledge of welfare matters and that it should continue in current form

24 March, 2015

Failure to implement welfare reform in Northern Ireland during 2015/2016 will lead to deduction of £114m from Block Grant

In written answer to parliament, Baroness Randerson warns that without changes to welfare system it will be difficult for Northern Ireland Executive to deliver balanced budget