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Welfare rights news

8 February, 2019

Introduction of a universal credit earnings threshold for entitlement to free school meals in Wales

New regulations also provide for transitional protection from the changes

8 February, 2019

Miscellaneous amendments to Scotland’s council tax reduction scheme from April 2019

New statutory instrument

7 February, 2019

Ministry of Justice publishes strategy to 'help people resolve legal problems at the earliest opportunity'

New Action Plan published alongside government's review of changes to legal aid made under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

7 February, 2019

More than 200,000 households have been subject to the benefit cap since its introduction in April 2013

New DWP statistics also show that 62,000 households were capped as at November 2018

7 February, 2019

DWP commences work to develop digital service for requesting medical information from the NHS

Data sharing project forms part of wider digital service development for administering health related benefits

7 February, 2019

Continuous online appeal resolution to be tested in social security and child support tribunals

Government response to PAC report on transforming courts and tribunals also confirms that online social security appeal function will be rolled out to all benefits over the next 18 months

7 February, 2019

European Scrutiny Committee questions effect of removing ‘equal treatment’ principle in draft ‘no deal’ social security regulations

Committee requests information from the Minister 'as soon as possible' and draws the regulations to the attention of the Work and Pensions Committee

6 February, 2019

Scottish Social Security Committee calls for ‘fundamental urgent changes’ to universal credit

Report on in-work poverty in Scotland includes recommendations to lift the benefit freeze, reinstate previous work allowance rates and remove tax credit support from universal credit altogether

6 February, 2019

National Fraud Initiative 2018/2019 matches being delivered to local authorities and the DWP from 31 January 2019

DWP bulletin to local authority staff highlights new system of risk scoring for individual claimants to assist in prioritising reviews

6 February, 2019

Changes to universal credit have 'made a dent in the problem rather than fixed it', says Citizens Advice

New report calls for 'significant reform' in light of evidence that one in two claimants falling into arrears with housing costs as they wait for first payment

5 February, 2019

DWP makes determination that 'relevant threshold' for purposes of calculating surplus earnings under universal credit will stay at £2,500 until 31 March 2020

Determination, which follows announcement in Budget 2018, made under the Universal Credit (Surpluses and Self-employed Losses) (Digital Service) Amendment Regulations 2015

5 February, 2019

DWP sets out improvements to new style ESA claims process

New edition of Touchbase also confirms information advisers should have before contacting a universal credit claimant's case manager

5 February, 2019

Scotland’s Social Security Committee launches inquiry into impact of social security on rented housing

Inquiry launched to address concern that 'a system which should support people to be able to rent an affordable home is failing too many'

4 February, 2019

Government agrees deal to protect social security rights of UK and Irish citizens living and working in each other's state

Agreement ensures that rights associated with the Common Travel Area will continue after the UK leaves the EU

1 February, 2019

Abolition of child tax credit and working tax credit from 1 February 2019

New statutory instruments commence provisions to abolish tax credits and introduce savings in prescribed cases

1 February, 2019

Department for Communities proposing use of 'off benefit' methods to recover social fund overpayments from people in receipt of disability benefits only

Equality screening process says this will align recovery methods in Northern Ireland with those employed by the DWP

1 February, 2019

DWP says that neither tenants or landlords lose out in 53-week rent payment years under universal credit

Written answer to parliament in response to concerns that tenants will only receive 52 weeks of housing costs in a 53-week rent year

31 January, 2019

Lords Scrutiny Committee questions to what extent data from universal credit managed migration pilot will indicate DWP's capacity for migration on a large scale

Committee also raises 'significant concern' as to whether claimants will have sufficient money to cover bills that arise during changeover period

31 January, 2019

DWP is using 'front line intelligence' to help improve its service to the public, says Permanent Secretary

In addition, Department is developing a 'Stakeholder Strategy' expected to be in place by April 2019