Welfare rights news

7 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

6 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

5 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

5 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

2 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

2 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

1 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

1 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

1 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

1 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

28 November, 2016

DWP highlights problem with the ‘Payment Deduction Project’ interface

New housing benefit guidance

28 November, 2016

Benefit uprating 2017/2018

New rates now available

28 November, 2016

Contributory benefits and the payment and collection of Class 2 contributions

New statutory instrument

28 November, 2016

Revaluation of ‘protected payments’ in new state pension awards

New statutory instrument

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