Welfare rights news

30 March, 2015

Leaked DWP documents reveal proposals to help cut £12bn from welfare budget by 2017/2018

However, Work and Pensions Secretary tells BBC that 'no decisions have been made' on plans that include limiting child benefit, taxing disability benefits and abolishing contributory JSA and ESA

30 March, 2015

DWP publishes revised guidance on audio recording of face-to-face work capability assessments

New guidance, for assessments carried out by Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, emphasises that there is no legal right to recording and introduces consent form

30 March, 2015

DWP publishes guide to how occupational pension flexibilities could affect entitlement to benefits

New factsheet confirms that notional income will be applied for those over pension credit age who do not buy annuity and that DWP will consider deprivation where money spent or given away

30 March, 2015

Treasury appoints James Bowler as Director General, Tax and Welfare

New director to ensure 'stable and sustainable tax receipts and effective control and value for money in public spending'

30 March, 2015

Local authorities allocated £14.2m additional funding to support cost of implementing welfare reform

New housing benefit guidance

30 March, 2015

DWP continues to collect evidence of which welfare reforms are affecting successful DHP claimants

New housing benefit guidance

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