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22 November, 2017

Universal credit waiting days to be abolished from February 2018

However, the government's Autumn 2017 Budget also confirms that completion of universal credit roll-out will be delayed to December 2018

17 November, 2017

Government publishes written statement on the interaction of the two child limit policy and Northern Ireland criminal law

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State states 'no officials of either the UK Government or the Northern Ireland Civil Service will question a claimant about an incident'

17 November, 2017

Commons agrees backbench motion to cut initial waiting time for universal credit to a month

Speaking for the motion, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams says universal credit’s ‘long hello’ is believed to be a primary driver of debt and arrears

17 November, 2017

EHRC warns of a 'bleak future' as it finds poorest are hit hardest by cuts to social security, tax and public spending reforms

New report also highlights that some groups - including black households and those with a disability - are affected more than others

17 November, 2017

Minister for Children and Families launches consultation on eligibility for free school meals under universal credit

Government proposes eligibility under a net earned income threshold of £7,400 per annum

16 November, 2017

Health and Work Conversation 'techniques' to be used to support universal credit claimants from late Autumn 2017

Written answer in Parliament confirms this will happen in mandatory interview prior to the work capability assessment

16 November, 2017

Further roll-out of universal credit in Northern Ireland

New statutory rule provides for introduction of benefit in specified postcode areas from 15 November 2017 and 13 December 2017

16 November, 2017

Work and Pensions Committee launches inquiry into employment support for carers

Select Committee seeks views on the adequacy of DWP support for carers and whether a 'cultural shift' is needed in attitudes towards carers in employment

15 November, 2017

Percentage of universal credit claimants sanctioned in the live service has doubled over last quarter

New DWP statistics also show that 71 per cent of sanction decisions were due to failure to attend a work-focused interview

15 November, 2017

Approximately two thirds of universal credit claimants have been on the benefit for more than six months

New DWP statistics also show that more than one in ten are in the 'in work with conditionality' regime

14 November, 2017

Work and Pensions Committee highlights flaws in universal credit which penalise the self-employed

Problems are further evidence of a welfare reform not geared to the realities of modern work, says Committee chair

13 November, 2017

Definition of ‘safely’ and effective dates for determining increased PIP entitlement

New DWP guidance issued further to recent three-judge panel Upper Tribunal decision in 'RJ'

13 November, 2017

Majority of claimants on Scotland’s ‘Experience Panels’ rate experience of current benefits system as poor or very poor

New research also finds that 71 per cent of panel members listed 'advice and support' as a priority for Scotland’s new social security system

09 November, 2017

SSAC calls for DWP to test a broader, more innovative set of work coach practices for its universal credit in-work progression trials

New Committee report also recommends that delays and complexity of system need fixing to avoid hindering claimants from getting more or better paid work

09 November, 2017

Work and Pensions Committee 'alarmed' at limited publication, or even collection, of data relating to universal credit

'Unless the Department is testing, it cannot hope to learn', says Chair of Committee

09 November, 2017

Motion to pass the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill approved by the Scottish Parliament

MSPs unanimously vote for the motion by 115 votes

09 November, 2017

Sarah Newton appointed as Minister of State at the DWP

Appointment follows promotion of previous Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Penny Mordaunt

08 November, 2017

Roll-out of universal credit in Northern Ireland

Department for Communities publishes postcodes where new benefit will be introduced in November and December 2017

08 November, 2017

Benefit cuts will leave low-income households more exposed to the next recession, says Institute for Fiscal Studies

Poorest 30 per cent of working-age households could see their after-tax incomes fall by an average of 59p for every £1 fall in pre-tax earnings

08 November, 2017

20 per cent of tax credits caseload is affected by fraud and error, says HMRC Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary

Jon Thompson also tells Select Committee that a dedicated team is in place to manage the process of moving claimants and their debts from tax credits to universal credit

07 November, 2017

Full Business Case for universal credit delayed due to actual volumes on the benefit 'diverging significantly from forecast volumes'

DWP Director General letter to Public Accounts Committee also highlights that feedback from stakeholders is encouraged to 'help develop and enhance the system'

07 November, 2017

Government rejects call to abolish seven waiting days at start of universal credit claims

Response to Lords Committee on Financial Exclusion report also dismisses recommendations to introduce flexible payments and direct payment of housing costs to tenants

07 November, 2017

Foodbank referrals increase by 30 per cent in full service universal credit areas

New report from the Trussell Trust also shows that 43 per cent of all referrals are caused by benefit payment issues

06 November, 2017

Lone parents will be £2,380 a year worse off due to cuts in universal credit compared to what it first promised, says CPAG

New research, carried out with the Institute for Public Policy Research, highlights that cuts will lead to a million more children in poverty

03 November, 2017

Changes to the Funeral Expenses Payments Scheme to be introduced from next year

Changes include increasing the time limit to claim, and disregarding contributions from charities, friends and relatives

02 November, 2017

Approximately 400,000 more children will be in poverty as a result of benefit changes by 2021/2022

New report from the IFS also highlights that the 'two child limit' will contribute to regional variations of the impact

02 November, 2017

DWP updates PIP assessment guide to reflect case law relating to ability to carry out an activity safely

New guidance confirms that the DWP will be trawling existing cases to identify claimants who may be entitled to increased benefit

02 November, 2017

One in five DLA claimants refused PIP after reassessment by Independent Assessment Services

Written answer from Minister for Disabled People confirms that more than 125,000 claimants have been disallowed up to 31 July 2017

02 November, 2017

Evidence is mounting that universal credit is not working for single parents, says Gingerbread

New report finds that single parents of three and four year old children are being put in an 'impossible bind' by universal credit work conditionality

02 November, 2017

Government announces launch of first Courts & Tribunals Service Centres

New centres in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent part of £1 billion reform programme to digitise the justice system

02 November, 2017

Majority of households stop being subject to the benefit cap for reasons other than working

New DWP statistics show that 41 per cent of benefit cap ’off-flow’ is due to an open working tax credit claim, while 59 per cent is for non work related reasons

01 November, 2017

DWP announces providers for the Work and Health Programme

October edition of Touchbase highlights that London and Greater Manchester are selecting own providers under devolution deals

01 November, 2017

More than two thirds of households subject to the bedroom tax in Great Britain include a disabled family member

DWP figures also show that 9 per cent of all social housing tenants have had bedroom tax deductions

31 October, 2017

Government publishes new proposals for funding supported housing from April 2020

Having abandoned a 'one size fits all' approach, government proposes three separate funding groups

31 October, 2017

58 per cent of those moving onto universal credit from employment were paid fortnightly or weekly in previous job

Resolution Foundation calls for seven waiting days to be scrapped as the first step in reducing the six week wait for benefit

31 October, 2017

14 per cent of Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grant applications are due to delayed benefit payments

New statistics from the Scottish Government also show that crisis grant applications are up 11 per cent compared to the same time last year

30 October, 2017

LITRG calls for universal credit system for the self-employed to be improved

New report highlights that without change there is a real possibility that people will be discouraged from starting self-employment and existing claimants will be forced to give up work

30 October, 2017

30,000 disabled people in Scotland expected to lose benefit once PIP roll-out completes, says Scottish Government

New report also estimates that up to 10,000 ESA claimants per year are set to lose the work-related activity component

27 October, 2017

New evidence before the Work and Pensions Committee shows that many advance payments of universal credit are being recovered too quickly

Chair of the Committee says evidence is 'most damning' he has ever read on DWP maladministration

26 October, 2017

HMCTS provides update on plans for online social security appeal hearings

Reforms will allow for much faster decision-making in a system where delays can bring real hardship, says Chief Executive of HM Courts and Tribunals Service

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