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17 December, 2020 Open access

Work and Pensions Secretary confirms there are no plans to extend benefit cap grace period in universal credit

While feasibility of extension has been considered, Secretary of State says resources will remain focused on Department’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, and that getting claimants back to work remains her ‘primary concern’

16 December, 2020 Open access

‘Significant increase’ in the number of calls to DWP Debt Management in November 2020 led to more than 50,000 calls per day being blocked

DWP Minister also confirms that, even where callers were able to get through, more than one in five went unanswered

16 December, 2020

Providing Court of Appeal and equivalent courts across UK with power to depart from retained EU case law after Brexit

New statutory instrument

16 December, 2020 Open access

Decade of austerity and increasing impoverishment of many households prior to COVID-19 pandemic is affecting impacts of containment measures, says Institute of Health Equity

New Marmot Review urges government to 'build back fairer' and scrap the benefit cap and two-child policy, taper benefits to avoid cliff edges and end the five-week wait for universal credit

16 December, 2020 Open access

Government urged to introduce four-point plan to tackle single parent poverty after coronavirus and retain £20 uplift to universal credit

Learning and Work Institute and Gingerbread call for measures to address 'devastating impact' of pandemic on single parent families

15 December, 2020 Open access

‘Perfect storm’ has made the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic particularly acute for BAME people, say MPs

Women and Equalities Committee report highlights particular concerns around universal credit claims processes and impact of no recourse to public funds policy

15 December, 2020

Exceptions to the two-child policy are ‘considered and compassionate’, government tells Work and Pensions Committee

Rejecting Committee's recommendation to reverse policy, government adds that claimants can have as many children as they choose 'in the knowledge of the support available'

15 December, 2020

Whether separate claims and separate decisions are required before every prescribed disease claimed under industrial injuries benefit system can be considered

CI/1000/2019, CI/1001/2019 and CI/1002/2019
[2020] UKUT 297 (AAC)

15 December, 2020 Open access

Regulations introduced to freeze local housing allowance rates in 2021/2022

New statutory instrument amends Rent Officer Orders to maintain LHA rates at the levels set for 2020/2021

15 December, 2020 Open access

All Party Parliamentary Group launches call for evidence on the impact on poverty of ending the £20 ‘uplift’ in universal credit and tax credits

Cross-party MPs also seek evidence on the effect of not applying increase to legacy benefits, particularly for disabled people and carers

15 December, 2020

Number of PIP mandatory reconsiderations has only returned to half that recorded for the same period last year

However, new DWP statistics also show that new claims and claimant-initiated changes of circumstances have both increased by more than 10 per cent compared to October 2019

14 December, 2020

Entitlement to SDP transitional protection for claimants migrating to universal credit from 27 January 2021

Senior Responsible Officer for Universal Credit confirms that, following removal of SDP gateway, claimants who received the premium in their legacy benefit award will automatically be considered for a transitional payment

14 December, 2020 Open access

Living standards of low-income families continue to deteriorate as a result of COVID-19

New survey carried out by CPAG and the Church of England finds that increased reliance on social security system has pushed families to breaking point

14 December, 2020 Open access

Ethnic minority groups need more comprehensive access to state benefits to help mitigate housing pressures and the impact they have on COVID-19 transmission

Recommendations of group advising SAGE on ethnicity and COVID-19 include ending the benefit cap, bedroom tax and no recourse to public funds restrictions

14 December, 2020 Open access

Work coaches raise concerns about reduction of appointment times following the reintroduction of conditionality

Update on PCS union's negotiations with the DWP reports members’ particular concerns about Work Search Reviews, which are now limited to only 10 minutes

14 December, 2020 Open access

Miscellaneous amendments to tax credit legislation in consequence of changes introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

New statutory instrument includes provisions relating to easement of working hours rules and the disregarding of certain coronavirus-related payments in the calculation of tax credits

11 December, 2020 Open access

Independent Food Aid Network reports a more than 60 per cent increase in the number of emergency food parcels distributed by independent food banks

Calling for significant changes, Network says current social security system 'creates rather than prevents poverty'

11 December, 2020 Open access

EHRC finds ‘sustained or severe regression’ in protection of people’s standard of living linked to UK Government’s failure to effectively meet international human rights standards

Updated assessment of UK and Welsh Governments' human rights records also links increased poverty and inequality to UK-wide social security changes

11 December, 2020

Government confirms that almost 6,000 cases of universal credit identity theft have been referred to DWP’s Stolen Identity Team since June 2020

Department continues to take fraud seriously and will continue to employ the full range of penalties at its disposal, Minister says