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Welfare rights news

22 May, 2019

Government pursuing agenda to ‘reduce benefits by every means available’, says UN Special Rapporteur

Final report on visit to UK highlights 'harsher penalties, depersonalisation, stigmatisation, and virtually eliminating the option of using the legal system to vindicate rights'

22 May, 2019

Scottish Social Security Committee calls for urgent review of DWP policy on date of claim for claimants using Citizens Advice 'Help to Claim' service

Letter to Work and Pensions Secretary also asks if DWP has assessed impact of the loss of a protected date of claim

22 May, 2019

Level of Scottish Government funding to tackle poverty and inequality 'does not meet the scale of the challenge'

Poverty and Inequality Commission warns that 'considerable investment' will be needed to meet statutory targets on reducing child poverty

21 May, 2019

Greater London Authority and London Councils should lead effort to improve local social security provision across London

Collecting data centrally would enable lessons to be learnt and the case for change to be made clearer

21 May, 2019

More than 250,000 universal credit claimants have a deduction for tax credit debt

Minister also confirms that 83,000 have a deduction for rent arrears and 34,000 have a deduction for council tax arrears

21 May, 2019

Indefinite disregard of Windrush Compensation Scheme payments in the calculation of housing benefit

New DWP guidance also explains process for checking compensation claims for loss of housing benefit entitlement

20 May, 2019

DWP's desire for team loyalty and team spirit should not stop it 'listening to the reality out there', outgoing head of the NAO tells MPs

In final reflections, Amyas Morse also encourages the Work and Pensions Committee to continue pushing the DWP for a more receptive attitude to challenges or criticism

20 May, 2019

UK government failing to meet its duty under international human rights law to ensure right to adequate food

Human Rights Watch identifies the benefit cap, two-child policy and benefit freeze as having a particularly detrimental impact

20 May, 2019

NAO Comptroller and Auditor General recommends greater use of 'write-offs' to deal with smaller carer’s allowance overpayments

DWP Permanent Secretary agrees with general idea and confirms that £65 ‘small overpayment limit’ for writing off recoverable overpayments will be reviewed

20 May, 2019

Exceptions to mixed-age couple policy for claimants unable to claim universal credit

New DWP guidance issued to local authority housing benefit departments

17 May, 2019

MPs question Work and Pensions Secretary about proposed universal credit PR campaign

Letter from the Work and Pensions Committee follows publication of leaked memo that says campaign is part of a 'confident, front-footed strategy to tackle misconceptions and improve the reputation of universal credit'

17 May, 2019

DWP announces plans to develop new method of measuring poverty

Experimental statistics will be published in the second half of 2020 and will be in addition to Households Below Average Income annual National Statistics

17 May, 2019

DWP says there is 'little reliable data' to indicate a direct causative link between universal credit and 'survival sex'

Responding to Select Committee's inquiry, Department says it would welcome the opportunity to look into individual cases

17 May, 2019

Less than one in ten young people are in work or training after completing Youth Obligation

New research from Centrepoint also finds that the sanction rate is higher for programme participants than young claimants not required to participate

16 May, 2019

DWP deducting 10 per cent from total universal credit payments made, up from 7 per cent the previous year

Written answer advises increase may be due to higher caseload and increased awareness of advances

16 May, 2019

DWP to pilot Video Relay Service for universal credit claimants who use British Sign Language

Service will be tested by June 2019 in one area before evaluation and decision on wider rollout

16 May, 2019

DWP has completed reassessment process in almost half of 600,000 cases to be checked for ESA underpayment

May 2019 update also confirms that, of those who have completed process, 86,000 have received arrears with average value of £5,000

16 May, 2019

PIP reviews following Upper Tribunal decisions relating to Mobility Activity 1 completed in Northern Ireland

Department for Communities confirms that around £1.9 million has been paid to 600 claimants