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Welfare rights

24 September, 2021 Open access

High Court hearing to consider decision not to extend the £20 universal credit uplift to people on legacy benefits has been delayed

Reports of a lack of available judges means that challenge being taken by claimants of employment and support allowance may now not take place until November 2021

24 September, 2021 Open access

Government considering reduction in universal credit taper rate from 63 per cent to 60 per cent

Reports that the DWP is lobbying the Chancellor to fund reduction as partial mitigation for imminent removal of £20 a week universal credit uplift

24 September, 2021

Exemption from requirement to satisfy habitual residence test or past presence test for specified persons who have come to the UK from Afghanistan

New DWP guidance

24 September, 2021

DWP’s findings from its research into disabled people’s experiences of the benefits system appear to have been ‘brushed under the carpet’

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the government is refusing to publish the research because its findings are too embarrassing, says Work and Pensions Committee Chair

24 September, 2021

Enabling the payment of arrears of benefit in instalments rather than as a lump sum where it is considered to be in the claimant’s interest

New regulations issued in Northern Ireland

23 September, 2021

Face-to-face tribunal hearings ‘will never, and should never’ be completely replaced by remote methods, says Senior President of Tribunals

Sir Keith Lindblom also advises that a complete 'digital journey' should be available for all appeal types in the SSCS jurisdiction by December 2021

23 September, 2021

Low income families face losing £31 a week from October 2021 taking into account rising energy costs and inflation alongside the £20 cut to universal credit and working tax credit

New JRF analysis highlights that the same families will also need to find an extra £2.50 a week for the health and social care levy from April 2022

23 September, 2021

DWP’s processes to proactively identify vulnerability before starting recovery of historic tax credit debts are ‘woefully lacking’, says StepChange

Debt charity calls for maximum recovery rate to be reduced to 5 per cent of universal credit standard allowance and for introduction of a minimum token deduction of £1

23 September, 2021

DWP average call waiting times have increased to more than 11 minutes since April 2021

Figures provided by DWP Minister show that average answering times had fallen after increase at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, but have now started to rise again

23 September, 2021

Scottish Government confirms that it has laid legislation extending eligibility for Child Winter Heating Assistance before Scottish Parliament

If passed, legislation will extend eligibility to young people aged 16 to 18 in receipt of the enhanced daily living component of personal independence payment

23 September, 2021 Open access

Payments made under Northern Ireland’s High Street Coronavirus Financial Assistance Scheme to be disregarded for social security purposes

New statutory rule makes provision to award every adult £100 via a pre-paid cash card to spend on the high street this autumn

22 September, 2021 Open access

Government defeats Opposition Day motion calling for it to amend policies that have created an ‘avoidable and unacceptable’ burden on working people

Following the debate, that covered policies including the removal of the £20 universal credit 'uplift' and increased National Insurance contributions to pay for health and social care, the motion was defeated by 300 votes to 222

22 September, 2021

Vital that DWP corrects past underpayments of state pension and implements changes to prevent similar problems in future, says National Audit Office

New report finds that complex rules, outdated IT systems and high level of manual intervention make some level of error in the processing of state pension claims 'almost inevitable'

22 September, 2021

Government must commit to new cross-departmental strategy to tackle child poverty, say MPs

New Work and Pensions Committee report also calls for government to end focus on absolute poverty and instead reaffirm commitment to tracking income-based indicators

21 September, 2021 Open access

Number of benefit capped households at May 2021 remained more than twice the pre-pandemic level

New DWP statistics highlight that 190,000 households were subject to the cap, with 33,000 newly capped in the preceding three months

21 September, 2021

Enabling DWP to pay arrears of benefit in instalments rather than as a lump sum

New statutory instrument allows Department to stagger payments, with consent, where it believes it is necessesary to protect interests of claimant

21 September, 2021

Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill receives second and third reading in House of Commons

Bill replaces state pension triple lock with double lock in 2022/2023 due to 'Covid-related distortion' in earnings

21 September, 2021 Open access

Removal of universal credit ‘uplift’ will leave vulnerable young people at risk of repeat homelessness

Chancellor urged to keep 'lifeline' for younger claimants experiencing homelessness or care who receive less benefit than those aged 25 or over without being able to access help from family of friends

20 September, 2021

Work and Pensions Secretary confirms that administrative exercise has begun to identify claimants affected by Supreme Court’s 2019 judgment relating to PIP Activity 9

Department will contact all claimants who are being reviewed and make backdated payments to those assessed as eligible for more support