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23 September, 2019

Experience of universal credit claimants is ‘overwhelmingly bad’, Unite survey finds

Union calls for 'cruel and flawed system' to be scrapped

23 September, 2019

73 per cent success rate in PIP appeals raises serious question about quality of DWP primary decision making

Senior President of Tribunals says first step is more effective use of data to influence decision making practices and reduce harm to vulnerable litigants

20 September, 2019

Labour Party announces plans to fund new network of ‘People’s Law Centres’

Shadow Justice Secretary also sets out commitment to fund the training of 200 new social welfare lawyers

20 September, 2019

Department of Health and Social Care should work with DWP to examine feasibility of indicating whether claimants are entitled to free prescriptions or dental treatment in award letters

New Public Accounts Committee report on penalty charge notices in healthcare highlights difficulty people have in understanding 'unnecessarily convoluted' rules of entitlement

19 September, 2019

DWP can and should do more to fix universal credit design issues to support households cope with financial impacts of moving to new benefit

Policy in Practice recommends replacing advance payments with non-repayable grants, introducing a two week run on of child tax credit, and fortnightly universal credit payments

19 September, 2019

Food bank demand increases by almost 50 per cent in areas universal credit has been rolled out for at least two years

New report from Trussell Trust calls for end to five week wait as evidence shows it leads to acute financial hardship and worsening, longer term financial resilience

19 September, 2019

DWP responds to Work and Pensions Committee’s concerns about amended special rules terminal illness guidance

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work says stakeholders were consulted on final version and Department may monitor impact of new guidance in future

19 September, 2019

Scottish Government sets out eligibility rules for Job Start Payment

New benefit to support young people starting a new job after period of unemployment will be introduced next Spring

18 September, 2019

DWP updates guidance for claimants to confirm need to have their identity checked before claiming universal credit advance

Changes made to combat advances being obtained by fraudsters

18 September, 2019

Universal Credit Sanctions (Zero Hours Contracts) Bill fails to complete passage through Parliament before end of session

Prorogation of Parliament on 9 September 2019 means bill is among those that will make no further progress

18 September, 2019

DWP confirms that claims for universal credit can be made without a national insurance number

New edition of Touchbase advises that, once conditions of entitlement have been established, national insurance number application will be prioritised and advance can be paid

18 September, 2019

DWP sets out improvements to information about appointments for universal credit claimants

New edition of Touchbase says that changes will ensure that reasons for appointment and consequences of failing to attend are clear

17 September, 2019

Liberal Democrat Party agrees £5bn spending pledge to make benefits system ‘work for everyone’

Autumn 2019 Conference passes motion that also includes measures to bring an end to the five week wait for universal credit, benefit sanctions and the two child limit

17 September, 2019

Outsourcing of PIP assessments gives ‘clear example’ of where external service provision has harmed vulnerable people

Institute for Government also reports 'significant' concerns over loss of proper oversight and the ability to ensure an adequate service

17 September, 2019

DWP’s Social Fund funeral payment and Scotland’s funeral support payment from 16 September 2019

New DWP guidance

17 September, 2019

Further revocation and re-enactment of bereavement support payment regulations in Northern Ireland

New statutory rule

16 September, 2019

HMCTS introduces webchat service for social security appeals enquiries

New service is available in relation to appeals submitted either on paper or online

13 September, 2019

HMCTS ‘must maintain a strong grip’ if it is to deliver courts and tribunal reform that works better for everyone, says NAO

New report highlights success in introducing online services but notes that work on social security appeals is behind due to inability to agree terms with DWP

13 September, 2019

Scottish Government estimates that benefit freeze, cuts to universal credit work allowances and two-child limit will reduce welfare spending in Scotland by £500 million per year

However, Annual Report on Welfare Reform also says these post-2015 reforms represent a relatively small proportion of the UK Government's benefit cuts since 2010 which will lead to £3.7 billion cut in spending by 2020/2021