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23 May, 2024

Scottish First Minister makes eradicating child poverty his ‘single most important objective’

However, CPAG Scotland says that, while commitment is welcome, it must be backed by concrete policies and investment on a scale well beyond that set out in Mr Swinney's statement

22 May, 2024

Equality and Human Rights Commission launches investigation into Work and Pensions Secretary over concerns about DWP’s treatment of disabled claimants

EHRC says it suspects that successive Secretaries of State may have breached Equality Act duties by failing to make reasonable adjustments for people with learning disabilities or long-term mental health conditions during WCA and PIP assessment process

21 May, 2024

Advice sector raises serious concerns about DWP’s approach to sharing information about calculation of transitional protection under universal credit

Letter to Senior DWP officials highlights impact on claimants and their advisers of Department's failure to provide standardised and detailed information about calculations, alongside guidance that is 'misleading and incomplete'

21 May, 2024

Government responds to call from Select Committee Chairs for written ministerial statement setting out rationale for changing the universal credit migration date for ESA claimants

Highlighting that details of the new date have only been provided by SRO Neil Couling via social media, Committee Chairs point out that the Ministerial Code requires that important policy announcements should be made first in Parliament

21 May, 2024

AI-powered ‘personal assistants’ to be rolled out across jobcentres nationwide

Delivering a speech at Kennington jobcentre, Secretary of State says new AI tool can analyse a claimant’s situation and work out the most powerful next best step for helping them into work

21 May, 2024

DWP issues guidance to local authorities that administer housing benefit on the introduction of carer support payment in Scotland

New adjudication circular sets out key provisions of the new devolved benefit and how these interact with housing benefit

20 May, 2024

Local Citizens Advice offices in NW England partner with the government to trial the use of an AI-powered ‘co-pilot’ in the delivery of advice services

'Caddy' designed to support advisers to find and share information from gov.uk and Adviceguide for the benefit of users of advice services

17 May, 2024

Almost 135,000 people currently have an outstanding carer’s allowance debt, with more than £250 million owed in total

DWP Minister also confirms that women represent 68 per cent of those with an outstanding debt

16 May, 2024

Select Committee calls for government to urgently propose remedy for women affected by DWP state pension age failures

Committee chair highlights lengthy delay and urgency for affected women and calls on government to act on Parliamentary Ombudsman recommendations before summer recess

16 May, 2024

Total value of benefit overpayments in 2023/2024 increased to almost £10 billion, representing 3.7 per cent of benefit expenditure for the year

New DWP figures also show that official error underpayments remained at around £1 billion, and that people could have claimed more than £3 billion more 'if they had provided accurate information about their circumstances'

16 May, 2024

Master of the Rolls acknowledges that civil law disputes are more complicated than could be dealt with by his vision of a ‘single online funnel’ for issues to pass through

Instead, Sir Geoffrey Vos says that the idea should be to make connections between the 'incredibly effective dispute resolution portals that private enterprise can create and has already created'

16 May, 2024

DWP-commissioned research highlights how the carer’s allowance earnings threshold influences decisions about how many hours carers work

Report also makes clear that the Department was made aware three years ago that there was room to improve claimant understanding and possibly reduce mistakes leading to overpayments by improving its communications

15 May, 2024

Employment Minister provides undertaking that AET will not be increased further without a ‘sound evidence base’

However, Minister's evidence to Lords Committee fails to address its dissatisfaction with DWP's explanation for not publishing robust evidence to support previous increases in the threshold

15 May, 2024

DWP confirms that it is developing an ‘enhanced notification strategy’ to alert carer’s allowance claimants to possible overpayments

Notifications designed to encourage claimants to report changes in income and so reduce the risk of being overpaid

15 May, 2024

Number of emergency food parcels distributed across the UK by the Trussell Trust has increased by more than 90 per cent over the past five years

Food charity reports that it distributed more than three million parcels last year, with more than a million of them going to children

14 May, 2024

Less than half of legacy benefit claimants sent a migration notice between July 2022 and March 2024 have made a claim for universal credit

However, new DWP statistics also show that 60 per cent of households that claimed universal credit have been awarded transitional protection

14 May, 2024

57,000 adverse universal credit sanction decisions were made in January 2024

New DWP statistics also highlight that around 95 per cent of decisions are as a result of failure to attend or participate in a mandatory interview

14 May, 2024

‘Move to UC’ rollout in Northern Ireland expands to include those receiving tax credits along with housing benefit

Department for Communities also confirms that claimants in receipt of other legacy benefits will be issued with migration notices 'in the coming months'

13 May, 2024

Work and Pensions Secretary sets out DWP’s plans to scale up its ‘fight against fraudsters’

New measures include using machine learning to detect and prevent fraudulent claims, as well as introducing a new Bill to enable benefit fraud to be treated like tax fraud