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Welfare rights

18 November, 2021

Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill receives Royal Assent

New Act makes provision for the earnings element of the triple lock to be suspended for the financial year 2022/2023

18 November, 2021

Universal credit sanction rate shows ‘sharp rise’ since face-to-face conditionality interventions resumed from April 2021

New DWP statistics highlight that the number of monthly sanction decisions rose from just over 1,000 to almost 16,000 in the four months to July 2021

18 November, 2021

Communities Minister welcomes Northern Ireland Executive agreement to introduce legislation extending terminal illness provision in social security benefits

Minister confirms that draft Bill extending six months within current definition of terminal illness to twelve months will be introduced to Northern Ireland Assembly

17 November, 2021

DWP has lost its grip on universal credit overpayments, say MPs

Public Accounts Committee report finds that amount of taxpayers’ money lost as a result of relaxed controls during pandemic is 'simply unacceptable'

17 November, 2021

Justice Committee says it is disappointed that the government’s response to its report on the future of legal aid ‘contains so little substance’

Despite call for urgent reform, government says that it is continuing to consider the 'optimum model for the delivery of civil legal aid' and that evidence gathered from pilot initiatives 'will form part of our wider consideration'

16 November, 2021

DWP confirms that Post Office card account holders who do not update their payment method are being migrated to Payment Exception Service ‘on a month by month basis’

Minister also confirms that number of claimants with Post Office card account has fallen from more than 2 million to less than 300,000

16 November, 2021

House of Commons overturns Lords amendment to Uprating Bill that would preserve triple-lock protection for the state pension

DWP Minister says it would be reckless to set a precedent for uprating benefits or pensions using a methodology that is not robust and for which there is no consensus

16 November, 2021

Almost 5 million households were on universal credit in August 2021, of which 4.2 million received a payment

New DWP statistics also highlight that more than 40,000 claims were made each week over the 5 weeks to mid-October

16 November, 2021

To achieve an ‘optimal’ 80 per cent of calls answered on ESA helpline, DWP’s ‘accepted average speed of answer’ is just under 19 minutes

Minister adds that active management of the 'percentage of calls answered' helps the Department to balance its resources to meet the needs of its customers

16 November, 2021

Welsh Government makes £51 million available to develop its own ‘bespoke’ Household Support Fund

Minister confirms that first phase will cover heating and eating including a £100 winter fuel support payment for households in receipt of working age means-tested benefits

16 November, 2021

Communities Minister announces appointment of Independent Advisory Panel to review welfare mitigation measures in Northern Ireland

Panel to consider the effectiveness of the existing mitigation schemes, if there is a continuing need for those schemes and identify the need for a future mitigation package

15 November, 2021

Welfare protection payments in Northern Ireland extended for a further three years

Communities Minister also announces that 'loophole' that prevented more than 600 families receiving payments has been closed

12 November, 2021

DWP provides update on integration of PIP assessments and work capability assessments into new Health Assessment Service

Minister confirms that invitation to tender for delivery of integrated service for period 2023-2028 will be issued later this month

12 November, 2021

Claimants without a status under the European Union Settlement Scheme at end of application grace period on 30 June 2021

New DWP guidance

12 November, 2021

Joint Committee on Human Rights calls on the government to amend bereavement benefits Remedial Order to ensure pregnant cohabiting partners are treated the same as pregnant spouses and civil partners

Report to Parliament on draft Order also recommends that the retrospective effect of the proposed legislative changes should be extended to benefit more victims of discrimination

12 November, 2021

DWP confirms introduction of sanctions process to enable sanctions for new style JSA and ESA claims

Department advises that change is happening now to coincide with the lifting of Covid restrictions, furlough ending, and 'an expected large uptick in numbers on these benefits’

12 November, 2021

Amendments to Scottish child disability payment eligibility criteria and claims and payment rules

New statutory instrument

12 November, 2021

Extension of eligibility criteria for Scottish child winter heating assistance to include young people entitled to the enhanced rate of the daily living component of PIP

New statutory instrument

11 November, 2021 Open access

Government publishes ‘final guidance’ on the Household Support Fund for councils in England

Guidance directed at County Councils and Unitary Authorities in relation to the £421 million being made available to 'support those most in need this winter during the final stages of economic recovery'