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Welfare rights

6 April, 2021 Open access

PCS expresses ‘serious concern’ at DWP’s decision to increase face-to-face activity in jobcentres from 12 April 2021

However, Union advises that it has received assurances from Department that work coaches will remain 'empowered' to decide the most appropriate channel to communicate with their claimants

6 April, 2021 Open access

Almost £25 million included in Northern Ireland Executive’s 2021/2022 Budget to support ‘Benefit Delivery Response’ to Covid-19

Minister confirms that funding for scheme, which will provide financial assistance to vulnerable individuals, is on top of more than £40 million to continue welfare mitigations

1 April, 2021

DWP to introduce new Train and Progress initiative which will allow universal credit claimants to take part in up to 12 weeks full-time training

Department advises that option will be available to those in the intensive work search group

30 March, 2021 Open access

Total number of households subject to the benefit cap has more than doubled during Covid-19 outbreak

New DWP statistics show that 180,000 households were capped as at November 2020 compared to 89,000 prior to the pandemic taking hold in March 2020

30 March, 2021

Scottish Campaign for Rights to Social Security publishes manifesto for next Scottish Parliament

Holyrood Manifesto 2021 sets out five key principles needed to achieve social security system that 'prevents poverty, treats people with dignity and respect and supports everyone to flourish'

29 March, 2021 Open access

DWP confirms timetable for resumption of face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits

In addition, DWP issues new guidance for claimants and assessment providers covering measures such as social distancing requirements, sanitisation, PPE and face coverings

29 March, 2021

Radical rethink of Scottish social security policy needed to ‘heal the wounds’ of Covid-19 without further widening inequalities

Proposing a minimum income guarantee that could be realised by 2030, IPPR Scotland sets out first steps the Scottish Government could take towards achieving a new welfare state 'built on the bedrock' of shared financial security

29 March, 2021

Social security information-sharing powers in Scotland relating to GPs, local authorities and accredited disability vehicle schemes

New statutory instrument

29 March, 2021

Benefit uprating 2021/2022 in Northern Ireland

New statutory rules

26 March, 2021

DWP identifies 1,400 self-employed women who submitted a new maternity allowance claim between 2015 and 2017 who may have been underpaid in error

Administrative exercise underway to contact those affected following a 'misunderstanding' about new qualifying rules that came into effect following the introduction of Self-Assessment tax returns in April 2015

26 March, 2021

DWP makes determination that ‘relevant threshold’ for purposes of calculating surplus earnings under universal credit will stay at £2,500 until 31 March 2022

Determination is made by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions under the Universal Credit (Surpluses and Self-employed Losses) (Digital Service) Amendment Regulations 2015

26 March, 2021 Open access

Work and Pensions Committee seeks information about DWP’s plans for coronavirus-related measures that are due to expire in May 2021

Letter to Work and Pensions Secretary also asks for update on plans for universal credit managed migration in light of Harrogate pilot being paused until April 2022

26 March, 2021

Government announces that Quarry House in Leeds is to have a ministerial presence as part of plan to establish second DWP headqurters

Plan forms part of government's 'levelling up' agenda and will 'give us direct entry into the Northern Powerhouse’

26 March, 2021

Child disability payment eligibility criteria and claims and payment rules

New statutory instrument issued in Scotland

26 March, 2021

NHF highlights DWP work to simplify the universal credit verification process for April 2021 rent changes

Critical that tenants are supported in understanding the importance of telling the DWP about any change in rent, says membership body for housing associations in England

26 March, 2021

IIAC decides not to recommend prescription of cancer in firefighters for industrial injuries disablement benefit purposes

Council finds that there is no consistent evidence of more than doubled risk of cancer, apart from mesothelioma which is already covered by scheme

26 March, 2021

Scottish Government publishes discussion paper on the future development of Scottish Carer’s Assistance

Paper sets out three aims for the new benefit include maximising take-up, supporting carers to take up roles outside of caring, and recognising that carers have different needs

25 March, 2021 Open access

IIAC decides not to recommend prescription of Covid-19 for occupational exposure ‘at this stage’

However, Council confirms it will recommend prescription if and when there is strong enough evidence that occupational exposures cause disabling disease on ‘balance of probabilities’

25 March, 2021

Government consults on asylum reforms including new ‘temporary protection status’ with no recourse to public funds

New status for those who enter the UK illegally will also not carry an automatic right to settle in the UK, and family reunion rights will be restricted