Welfare rights news

19 October, 2017

Commons votes to approve Opposition motion calling for pause of universal credit full service rolll-out

Shadow Secretary of State Debbie Abrahams says government must act on clear will of Parliament

19 October, 2017

Individual alerts service to replace Bulk Data Matching of RTI income details for local authorities

HMRC payment data will be used to trigger alerts as and when claimant’s earnings and pensions information changes during the life of a housing benefit claim

18 October, 2017

Work and Pensions Secretary announces that DWP customer phone lines are to become freephone numbers

Mr Gauke responds to 'recent attention and concern' that charges can place a burden on claimants

18 October, 2017

DWP has ‘no idea’ about operation of universal credit, says Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee

Frank Field responds to letter from Secretary of State ahead of Committee evidence session

18 October, 2017

Disregard of payments for care and support in Wales in the calculation of social security benefits

New housing benefit guidance

18 October, 2017

Disregard of payments from the new Infected Blood Schemes and Thalidomide Trust in the calculation of universal credit

DWP issues new housing benefit guidance

18 October, 2017

Number of people on universal credit reaches 610,000

New DWP statistics show that this represents a 4 per cent increase on the previous month's claimant count

17 October, 2017

Government rejects call to consult on effects of Jobcentre Plus closures on the whole network

Response to Scottish Affairs Committee report also defends the government’s decision not to share details of jobcentre closure proposals with the Scottish Government prior to publication

17 October, 2017

Four in ten interviews with a work coach last less than ten minutes

Responses to written questions also show that ratio of claimants to work coaches is 140 to 1

17 October, 2017

Disregard of rent reductions under tenant incentive schemes and kinship care payments for the purposes of social security benefits

New statutory instrument

16 October, 2017

DWP fails to respond to information requests ahead of Committee hearing and Commons debate on universal credit

Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field says whether it is down to deliberate concealment or incompetence, either way it is not good enough

16 October, 2017

Work and Pensions Committee questions whether Secretary of State's announcement on advance payments was 'restatement of existing policy'

Letter to David Gauke highlights that current guidance already allowed same day payment of an advance

16 October, 2017

Government agrees to assess feasibility of issuing warnings rather than sanctions for first offences

Response to Public Accounts Committee report also agrees to monitor variations, and assess reasons for differences, in the use of sanctions across jobcentres

16 October, 2017

Retention of entitlement to ESA and universal credit by young claimants whilst undertaking training schemes and traineeships

New statutory instrument

16 October, 2017

HMRC confident that tax credit payments have been reinstated in all cases where entitlement has been confirmed following Concentrix contract

Response to Public Account Committee report also confirms that no private sector provider will be used for tax credit compliance work in future

13 October, 2017

Around 1.9 million privately renting households are entitled to less housing benefit as a result of reforms introduced since 2011

New report from the IFS concludes current approach to housing benefit leaves it 'vulnerable to becoming increasingly irrelevant with respect to its purpose'

11 October, 2017

DWP announces planned retirement of Permanent Secretary Sir Robert Devereux

Government says that the appointment of a successor will be announced in due course

11 October, 2017

Disregard of payments from the new Infected Blood Schemes and Thalidomide Trust in the calculation of universal credit

New DWP guidance

11 October, 2017

Benefits conditionality regime disproportionately affects vulnerable single parents, says One Parent Families Scotland

New report finds that sanctions, and the fear of being sanctioned, are leading to worsening mental health of parents, with knock-on negative impacts on children