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11 June, 2021 Open access

Work and Pensions Committee urges DWP to consider lifting the 365-day limit on new-style ESA entitlement when a work capability assessment is still pending

Letter to DWP on disability employment issues also requests details of what steps are being taken to ensure PIP claims are not stopped pending reviews, now that pandemic-related extensions have stopped

11 June, 2021

Savings delivered by universal credit are now estimated to be higher than the cost of delivering the benefit, says DWP

However, Work and Pensions Minister cautions that savings are likely to reduce as costs return to 'business as usual levels' following the Covid surge

11 June, 2021

Government’s decision to pay lower rate of universal credit standard allowance to young single parents can only be seen as a ‘Young Parent Penalty’

Letter to Work and Pensions Secretary from civil society organisations and MPs highlights that single parent families headed by an under 25-year-old have up to 20 per cent less to live on under universal credit compared to the legacy benefit system

10 June, 2021

Social Security tribunal appeal receipts in three months to March 2021 down by more than a third compared to same period last year

Fall in universal credit and PIP appeal receipts were main drivers of overall reduction, according to new MoJ statistics

10 June, 2021

Outcomes of ESA initial and repeat assessments show steady increase in numbers assigned to work-related activity group

DWP suggests this could be due to operational changes to allow WRAG decisions for telephone assessments from September 2020

10 June, 2021

Commencement of provisions that make miscellaneous amendments relating to the administration of the Scottish social security system

New statutory instrument commences provisions in the Social Security Administration and Tribunal Membership (Scotland) Act 2020

9 June, 2021

Minister confirms that more than £3 billion in tax credit debt associated with universal credit claimants has been transferred from HMRC to the DWP

Written answer in parliament also confirms forecast that further tax credit debt due to migrate to the DWP will bring total to £5.4 billion

9 June, 2021 Open access

NAO examines impact of Covid-19 on the labour market, and the DWP’s employment support response

New briefing includes review of ongoing challenges faced by Department following recruitment of 13,500 additional work coaches

9 June, 2021

Scottish Parliament votes in favour of motion agreeing that tackling child poverty and building a fairer, more equal country ‘should be a national mission’

Measures within motion include calls for permanent doubling of Scottish Child Payment, and for UK and Scottish Governments to bring forward pilots of universal basic income

8 June, 2021

Minister outlines process for universal credit claimants to be able to ‘undergo a biographical test’ where they are unable to provide documentary evidence to verify their identity

Responding to written question in Parliament, Will Quince also advises that Flexible Support Fund can be used to support the claimant to obtain new ID such as a duplicate driving licence or birth certificate

8 June, 2021 Open access

Minister confirms that DWP has resumed face-to-face work capability assessments

However, written answer in parliament also confirms that face-to-face appointments are initially limited to those who cannot be assessed by other channels

7 June, 2021

Northern Ireland Communities Minister announces review of Discretionary Support scheme

Minister appoints independent review panel, that includes academics and advice organisations, tasked with assessing all aspects of the current programme and making recommendations to improve it

4 June, 2021

DWP confirms that HS2 noise insulation grants can be disregarded for housing benefit purposes

However, new guidance to local authority decision makers says that 'Prolonged Disruption Compensation' will be considered in the assessment of capital

3 June, 2021

DWP accepts it has discretion to waive recoverable hardship payment debts after conceding judicial review

Concession made following case brought by vulnerable care leaver forced to claim reduced rates of recoverable universal credit until she successfully appealed six sanction decisions

3 June, 2021

Department of Health and Social Care concedes legal action challenging lawfulness of Healthy Start scheme rules that exclude disadvantaged migrant children

Settlement prior to judicial review hearing includes agreement to consult on broadening scheme and to award ex gratia payments in the meantime

2 June, 2021

Tribunals must recognise, and now certainly know, that much of their work is best conducted face-to-face, says Senior President of Tribunals

Introducing report on difficulties faced by judges using remote hearings during the Covid outbreak, Senior President emphasises 'eagerness to move back to in-person hearings as soon as we can' in more appropriate cases

2 June, 2021 Open access

More than 6 million awards made under Covid Winter Grant Scheme in period up to 16 April 2021

New DWP statistics also show that total amount spent was more than £225 million across England as a whole, with 92 per cent of expenditure going to families with children

28 May, 2021

Government’s delayed response to Work and Pensions Committee report is symptomatic of its ‘dismissive attitude’ to concerns about flaws in universal credit system

Committee Chair criticises 'wholly unconstructive' response to 2019 report on universal credit and natural migration

28 May, 2021

Growing inequality in household incomes after taxes and benefits largely due to ‘diminishing effectiveness’ of cash benefits to redistribute income from richest to poorest

Office for National Statistics analysis of figures showing that income inequality has increased by average of 0.2 per cent per year over last 10 years