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28 September, 2020

Liberal Democrat Party votes to campaign for a universal basic income for all long-term UK residents

Conference motion says wide-scale social costs imposed by the coronavirus pandemic have made a greater scale of universal social support ‘clearly necessary’

28 September, 2020 Open access

Proving eligibility for ESA if claiming due to coronavirus

Updated DWP guidance confirms the evidence required for those who are self-isolating and those who are shielding

25 September, 2020

DWP confirms that universal credit claimants who need help with upfront childcare costs in order to start work should be directed to Flexible Support Fund

Childcare costs 'should not be a barrier to getting into work', says Work and Pensions Minister as new guidance is issued to jobcentre work coaches

25 September, 2020

DWP confirms it is testing use of video for appointments with universal credit work coaches

Minister tells parliament that tests will inform any future evaluation of using video as part of Department’s operating model

24 September, 2020

Commencement of Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 powers to make regulations relating to disability assistance and short-term assistance

New statutory instrument

24 September, 2020 Open access

Amendments to provisions allowing employers to apply to HMRC for refund of SSP where employee’s incapacity related to coronavirus

New statutory instrument

24 September, 2020

Bill to give Work and Pensions Secretary the power to uprate pension age benefits in 2020/2021, despite there being no growth in earnings, receives first reading

New provisions will allow the government to meet its manifesto commitment to retain the ‘triple lock'

24 September, 2020

Most women in Northern Ireland are not aware of the Universal Credit Contingency Fund, new research finds

New report by consortium of women’s groups calls for the Fund to be better advertised and to be used to offer automatic grants to new claimants to mitigate impact of five-week wait

23 September, 2020 Open access

Welsh Government announces it will provide £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people on low incomes who are required to self-isolate

First Minister also confirms to Senedd that the law will be changed to prevent employers from making it difficult for employees to self-isolate

21 September, 2020

DWP makes determination that fixes day for conversion of transitional severe disability premium payments in universal credit to transitional elements

Determination, which follows a written ministerial statement announcing the change last week, sets conversion day as 8 October 2020, or later in cases where the amount of transitional payment is determined after that date

21 September, 2020

DWP says that discretionary housing payments remain appropriate means for providing support where there is an under-occupancy decision because of a sanctuary room

However, new guidance confirms government is exploring next steps after European Court ruled that bedroom tax unlawfully discriminates against those in sanctuary scheme homes

21 September, 2020 Open access

Government announces £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people claiming qualifying benefits or working tax credit who are required to self-isolate

Available from 28 September 2020, the new payment will be administered by local authorities and limited to people in England who are unable to work from home during isolation

18 September, 2020

Four in ten universal credit awards had a deduction applied in May 2020

New DWP statistics also show that more than 1.6 million claimants were subject to a deduction, at an average rate of £60

18 September, 2020 Open access

Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber confirms that it is still not possible to hold face-to-face hearings in Northern Ireland

Revised guidance from Chamber President advises that hearings will continue to be either held remotely or adjourned until further notice

18 September, 2020

DWP issues guidance on how it will identify PIP claimants affected by the Supreme Court’s judgment in MM

New list of responses to 'frequently asked questions' also includes details of the period over which arrears may be paid and the circumstances where claims will not be reviewed

18 September, 2020 Open access

Government confirms circumstances in which those who have claimed but are not yet in receipt of a qualifying benefit can apply for an NHS Test and Trace self-isolation payment

Written answer in parliament confirms eligibility where claim for qualifying benefit has been approved, and it is no later than two weeks after the person's period of self-isolation period has ended

17 September, 2020

DWP announces that SDP transitional payments in universal credit will convert to transitional elements on 8 October 2020

Minister says the change will be made by way of a Determination, which will be placed in the House of Commons Library

17 September, 2020 Open access

Without more tailored and personalised support for the post-COVID-19 universal credit claimant cohort, the social security system risks exacerbating existing inequalities and creating new ones

New reserach finds that a higher proportion of post-COVID-19 claimants are young, BAME, from a higher 'social grade', without a disability, or owner-occupiers compared to the existing pre-COVID-19 claimant cohort

17 September, 2020

DWP confirms use of ‘additional support’ markers to identify PIP claimants who may not be able to engage effectively with claims process

Updated guidance also sets out examples of health conditions that may mean claimant could struggle with the PIP journey