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21 January, 2020

Changes to universal credit have had more of an eye on operational simplicity, or altering human behaviour, than on supporting families in need

Resolution Foundation finds that impact of universal credit is felt differently across the UK with areas with a high proportion of out-of-work, single parent and disabled families faring worse

21 January, 2020

Petition presented to government requesting that bonus payments made to employees should be treated as capital rather than salary for the purposes of universal credit

Current rules mean that much of the bonus may be 'clawed back' through reduced benefit, says MP for Glasgow East

20 January, 2020

DWP confirms that Targeted Affordability Funding will not continue in 2020/2021

Minister says the 3 per cent LHA funding uplift in high rent increase areas during the benefit freeze period is no longer required

20 January, 2020

DWP issues guidance on the introduction of civil partnerships for opposite sex couples from December 2019

Decision makers instructed to take all references to civil partners or civil partnerships in DWP guidance to include opposite sex couples

20 January, 2020

Complaints about the DWP to the Independent Case Examiner are taking on average more than 18 months to resolve

Minister confirms that average time from receipt to start of investigation is more than 13 months, while it takes another five to six months on average to complete an investigation

17 January, 2020

Almost three in four children with a lone parent are below the Minimum Income Standard

New report from Joseph Rowntree Foundation also shows that growing proportion of households below Standard are in full employment

17 January, 2020

DWP to introduce permanent review of housing benefit cases where reported self-employed earnings have not changed over period of 12 months

Permanent review follows 2018/2019 project which led to annual saving of £63 million

16 January, 2020

DWP has identified 5,000 cases where claimants were underpaid ESA but died before arrears were paid

New DWP statistics also confirm that all 600,000 cases needing to be checked for underpayments have started the reassessment journey and 97 per cent have completed it

16 January, 2020

Families to be invited to apply for Scottish Child Payment in advance of its introduction to ‘help manage demand’

However, all awards will run from a single eligibility date

16 January, 2020

Increase in local housing allowance rates in Northern Ireland

New statutory rule provides for LHA rates to be increased by 1.7 per cent in line with CPI inflation

15 January, 2020

Peers call for removal from EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill of powers for Ministers to regulate for circumstances in which courts and tribunals can depart from existing EU caselaw

Allowing lower courts to reinterpret EU case law 'risks causing significant legal uncertainty', says House of Lords Constitution Committee

15 January, 2020

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issues guidance on pension age council tax reduction scheme amendments

New Council Tax Information Letter clarifies that changes made by new regulations are intended to bring schemes into line with the housing benefit regime

14 January, 2020

Westminster Government’s welfare reforms need to be reversed, says new Northern Ireland Communities Minister

Minister also confirms that her Department is 'working at a pace' to ensure that welfare mitigations are extended from 31 March 2020

14 January, 2020

Increase in local housing allowance rates when calculating housing benefit and universal credit in 2020/2021

New legislation provides for LHA rates to be increased by 1.7 per cent in line with CPI inflation

13 January, 2020

Government announces £3 million funding for jobcentres to increase support for homeless people

DWP Minister says jobcentre staff will join outreach teams on the streets and visit charity-run day centres, providing support to rough sleepers with benefit claims and finding work

13 January, 2020

LHA rates to be increased in line with the CPI with effect from April 2020

Ending the benefit freeze will ensure the government is 'continuing to support the most vulnerable in society', says Minister

13 January, 2020

Uprating of council tax reduction schemes for pensioners in England

New statutory instrument

10 January, 2020

DWP issues guidance on effect of RR v SSWP Supreme Court judgment on stayed ‘lookalike’ housing benefit appeal cases

Urgent Bulletin advises housing benefit staff to award arrears payable when appeals have been decided, without offsetting any DHP award that covers the same period

10 January, 2020

Draft deal to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland includes extension of existing welfare mitigation measures beyond March 2020

Immediate priorities for incoming Executive also include development of anti-poverty strategy and establishment of child funeral fund