Welfare rights news

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

7 February, 2017

DWP and HMRC respond to Public Accounts Committee reports on universal credit and fraud and error

Government accepts all of the Committee's recommendations and puts in place a series of target implementation dates

6 February, 2017

Government responds to Work and Pensions Select Committee report on Concentrix

Response includes commitment for HMRC to review all cases where Concentrix cut or stopped tax credit awards including those where no mandatory reconsideration has been requested

6 February, 2017

Holyrood and Westminster Committees to work together on social security devolution

First meeting will take place on 13 March 2017 and will take views from third sector organisations

3 February, 2017

Government must have a clear plan for how it will financially support disabled people before cuts to ESA are implemented in April, say MPs

New report from the Work and Pensions Committee asks government to respond to its report before the cuts are introduced

3 February, 2017

No further jobcentre office closures will be subject to consultation, according to Minister for Employment

Damian Hinds says the DWP has committed to consult only on closure of jobcentres over three miles and 20 minutes away by public transport from alternative offices

2 February, 2017

Claimant commitments must be tailored to the individual and reflect their health needs, says Director General of Universal Credit

Neil Couling sets out the 'learning journey' that work coaches go through, and the process for ensuring a consistent and quality service

2 February, 2017

Variation in the LHA cap across the country means funding for supported and sheltered housing will have significant regional differences

National Housing Federation suggests that setting a higher cap would reduce the numbers affected and allow resources to be concentrated more effectively

2 February, 2017

Assessing whether an EEA national is a ‘qualified person’

New Home Office guidance

2 February, 2017

2,300 households were newly subject to the benefit cap in November 2016

New DWP statistics

2 February, 2017

Scottish Government to tender contracts worth £96 million for employment support services

Employability Minister confirms that services will be delivered over nine contract areas to take into account local needs

1 February, 2017

DHPs can be paid to a claimant in receipt of universal credit even where housing costs are paid via a managed payment to landlord

However, Minister for Work and Pensions confirms that managed payment can be removed if local authority require it in order to grant a DHP

1 February, 2017

Inequality increasing as benefit cuts drive down income, says Resolution Foundation

However, new report concludes that policy choices are not intractable and that 'government can choose to pursue a different path'