Welfare rights news

23 October, 2018

Cost of medical assessments carried out for DWP by private contractors has quadrupled over the last eight years

Minister for Disabled People confirms that the Department spent around £450 million in 2017/2018

23 October, 2018

National Fraud Initiative in Wales detected £0.64 million in housing benefit fraud and error overpayments between 2016 and 2018

Amount detected down by £0.5 million compared to the period from 2014 to 2015

22 October, 2018

Government needs to ‘urgently rethink’ its policy of single household payments in universal credit

Select Committee recommends making split payments standard for all couples in line with the approach in Scotland

19 October, 2018

Prepopulating universal credit claims with data from legacy benefit awards could recreate problems with transfer from incapacity benefits to ESA

However, Universal Credit Director General also tells Work and Pensions Committee that DWP is exploring use of prepopulation in 'bespoke' areas such as proof of identity and where claimants have a DS1500

19 October, 2018

Work and Pensions Secretary rules out enabling claimants to defer repayment of universal credit advances until the end of their award

Response to Work and Pensions Committee questions on DWP's debt collection practices also says that DWP Debt Management always aim to agree repayment levels that are 'affordable and sustainable'

18 October, 2018

Responsibility for compensating for loss of passported benefits due to ESA underpayments is down to 'Government Department concerned'

Minister says it would be 'impractical' for the DWP to find out whether people accessed particular schemes

18 October, 2018

Citizens Advice Scotland calls for single, non-refundable payment to be made to new universal credit claimants at start of their claim

New report highlights that in last eighteen months CAB clients’ rent arrears issues have predominantly been caused by them moving onto universal credit

18 October, 2018

55 per cent of universal credit claimants are having deductions taken from their award in respect of debts to the DWP

Minister for Employment confirms that Department will consider reducing or suspending recovery of these debts if there is hardship

17 October, 2018

DWP expects to pay £970 million in ESA underpayments to around 180,000 claimants

New ad hoc analysis also estimates that, once claims are corrected, DWP will pay £60 million in higher awards in 2018/2019 and £130 million in 2019/2020

17 October, 2018

Bill proposing to improve cold weather payments to take better account of the location of claimants receives first reading

Secretary of State would be required to investigate alternative methods of calculating cold weather in each postcode district to better reflect variations in topography or weather conditions

17 October, 2018

Update of EU legislation references in social security legislation in advance of the UK’s exit from the European Union

New statutory instruments

16 October, 2018

DWP considering delay to universal credit managed migration

Leaked documents seen by BBC also show proposals to mitigate effects of migration including continuation of legacy benefits for two weeks after claim

16 October, 2018

DWP confirms introduction of Verify Earnings and Pensions service for carer's allowance from September 2018

New system allows benefit awards to be 'updated far more quickly', says Minister for Disabled People

16 October, 2018

1.2 million people on universal credit in September 2018

New DWP statistics also show that 45 per cent of claimants in 'searching for work' conditionality group, down from 55 per cent in September 2017

15 October, 2018

At least 28 local authorities in England have closed their welfare assistance scheme completely

New research estimates that funding has reduced from £172 million in 2013/2014 to just £46.6 million in 2017/2018

12 October, 2018

Work and Pensions Committee to investigate government's approach to the managed migration of legacy benefit claimants to universal credit

First steps of inquiry include inviting Employment Minister Alok Sharma to give oral evidence urgently before draft regulations are laid before Parliament

12 October, 2018

Treatment of benefit arrears and capital disregard rules for universal credit and other income-related benefits

New DWP guidance

12 October, 2018

Independent Case Examiner draws attention to DWP's failure to make promised telephone call backs to claimants

Annual report says that while the issue has not been raised as the main part of any complaint, it is a service matter that DWP could be getting right