Welfare rights news

15 December, 2016

Scottish Government to provide £47 million to fully mitigate the bedroom tax

Draft budget for 2017/2018 also confirms that funding for the Scottish Welfare Fund will be sustained

14 December, 2016

Public Accounts Committee takes evidence from DWP about sanctions regime

Questioning focuses on DWP’s failure to gather evidence about effects of sanctions on claimants

14 December, 2016

Fifth of individuals who made a claim for JSA in the six years to December 2015 received a sanction

However, new DWP statistics also show that the likelihood of being sanctioned in any given month does not substantially change as total time on JSA increases

14 December, 2016

48 per cent of DLA claims reassessed for PIP have resulted in a reduction or disallowance of benefit

New DWP statistics also show that 22 per cent of mandatory reconsiderations of reassessed DLA decisions led to a change in award

14 December, 2016

41 per cent of people claiming universal credit are in employment

New DWP statistics also show that more than 37,000 claimants were subject to in-work conditionality in November 2016

14 December, 2016

Parliament gives approval for breach of welfare cap in 2019/2020 and 2020/2021

MPs agree that breach of the spending limit due to higher than forecast inflation and spend on disability benefits is justified and that no further debate is required

13 December, 2016

Council tax arrears up by 13 per cent since local council tax support schemes introduced in 2013

However, new report from NPI also shows that local authorities who retained former council tax benefit scheme have seen a decrease in uncollected tax

12 December, 2016

Local housing allowance rates to be increased by 3 per cent in areas subject to high rent increases

New statutory instrument

12 December, 2016

Contributory benefits and the payment and collection of Class 2 contributions in Northern Ireland

New statutory rule

9 December, 2016

Government accepts IIAC recommendation to extend terms for Prescribed Disease B6

Regulations to implement changes are expected to be brought into force in Spring 2017

9 December, 2016

DWP publishes evaluation of the Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools programme

Report concludes that schools found support offered by Jobcentre staff added value to their careers curriculum and filled gaps in current provision

9 December, 2016

Government responds to SSAC concerns about removing universal credit housing costs from 18-21 year olds

Welfare Reform Minister agrees to conduct further pre-regulatory consultation with health experts on issues affecting 18-21 year olds

8 December, 2016

Number of ESA claimants placed in support group on initial assessment continues to fall

New DWP statistics advise that this could partly be due to updated guidance on the application of risk introduced in January 2016

8 December, 2016

60 per cent of social security appeals overturned in favour of the claimant in quarter to September 2016

New Ministry of Justice statistics report that this represents a five percent increase on the same quarter the previous year

8 December, 2016

Benefits worth £3.3 billion overpaid in 2015/2016 with net loss of £2.2 billion after offsetting £1 billion recovered

However, new DWP statistics also show highest recorded level of underpayments totalling £1.7 billion

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