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Welfare rights

4 August, 2020

Correction of defect in regulations providing for two-week run-on of legacy benefits at start of universal credit claim

New regulations ensure that JSA and ESA run-on continues for 14 days, rather than 13 as originally provided

4 August, 2020 Open access

Select Committee repeats call for government to amend SMP earnings rules for pregnant workers wrongly sent home on SSP or unpaid leave during coronavirus crisis

Letter to Business Minister also expresses 'disappointment' that government has failed to respond to Committee’s recommendations before summer recess

4 August, 2020

DWP research finds that extending fit note certification powers to wider range of HCPs ‘is likely to be well received’

Interviews with patients, employers and HCPs highlight benefits including reducing workload pressure on GPs and minimising duplications in effort and resources

3 August, 2020 Open access

Failings of the UK’s social security system have been exposed by the COVID-19 crisis, says TUC

Workers whose incomes have been hit have sought to rely on the safety net, but in many cases have promptly fallen through its holes

3 August, 2020 Open access

Government confirms continued pause of review exercises being carried out to determine whether PIP claimants should be entitled to more benefit

In support of the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the pause will now last until the end of September 2020, says DWP

31 July, 2020

‘Universal credit is failing millions of people, particularly the most vulnerable’, says House of Lords Select Committee

Peers call for substantial reform of 'rigid and inflexible system' which has led to unprecedented levels of foodbank use and rent arrears

31 July, 2020

New Senior President of Tribunals appointed from 19 September 2020

Sir Keith Lindblom will succeed Sir Ernest Ryder on his retirement after five years in office

31 July, 2020

Government launches independent panel to examine whether judicial review process needs reform

Review will 'ensure this precious check on government power is maintained, while making sure the process is not abused', says Lord Chancellor

31 July, 2020

Move to universal credit leads to higher rent arrears for those already in debt, and lower council tax reduction awards

Welsh Government-commissioned report recommends adjustments to council tax reduction scheme and increased support for claimants with rent arrears

30 July, 2020

Office for Statistics Regulation finds Prime Minister made ‘incorrect’ statements about child poverty on three separate occasions

However, while End Child Poverty Coalition welcomes response to the concerns it has raised, it calls for 'public intervention' from the Regulator to set out clearly how and why the PM’s statements were incorrect

30 July, 2020

Almost 7 per cent of 18 to 21 year olds on Youth Obligation Support Program were sanctioned in January 2020

In a written answer, Minister advises that this compares to just under 5 per cent of other young claimants receiving sanctions

29 July, 2020

Government to issue Remedial Order extending entitlement to widowed parent’s allowance and bereavement support payment to cohabiting couples with children

Written answer from Employment Minister confirms decision to extend eligibility following August 2018 Supreme Court judgment and February 2020 High Court judgment

29 July, 2020 Open access

National Food Strategy urgently recommends that government should extend free school meals to all children whose parent or guardian is in receipt of universal credit

A government that is serious about 'levelling up' must ensure that all children get the nutrition they need, says strategy's independent lead

29 July, 2020 Open access

Public Law Project warns that reducing the time available for claimant commitment interviews could place claimants at greater risk of unfair sanctioning

Letter to Work and Pensions Secretary also makes best practice recommendations, including that work coaches must ensure claimants are made aware they can negotiate the terms of their commitment

29 July, 2020

Public Accounts Committee launches inquiry into DWP accounts for 2019/2020 in light of record levels of fraud and error

Call for evidence ahead of meeting with DWP officials to discuss issues including rise in level of universal credit overpayments to 9.4 per cent

28 July, 2020 Open access

DWP rejects SSAC’s recommendations for improvement of emergency response to COVID-19

Letter from Work and Pensions Secretary also fails to address request for information on redress for people who have lost tax credits by making claim for universal credit

28 July, 2020

Total value of Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grant awards increased by almost a quarter to £12.9 million in 2019/2020

New Scottish Government statistics also show a 27 per cent increase in crisis grant applications due to benefit or other income issues

28 July, 2020 Open access

Scottish Government to write to more than 20,000 families to promote take-up of Best Start Foods and Best Start Grant

Proactively encouraging individuals to claim their entitlements is 'a duty of government and a social responsibility', says Social Security Secretary