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9 January, 2020

Ombudsman warns that claimants are facing real prospect of becoming homeless as a result of councils’ poor housing benefit practices

New report highlights problems with identifying and processing appeals, failures to process new evidence and improper recovery action while appeals are outstanding

9 January, 2020

Move to universal credit has adverse impact on support through council tax reduction, particularly for those that are employed or self-employed

Interim report commissioned by the Welsh Government analyses possible adjustments to the council tax reduction scheme that could restore parity

9 January, 2020

Citizens Advice Scotland calls for a ‘fundamental overhaul’ of universal credit

Significant change is needed to the way the benefit is designed and delivered, says charity

9 January, 2020

Food bank use in Scotland increased by more than 20 per cent in last 18 months, Scottish food aid charity finds

New research finds that food banks gave out more than 600,000 food parcels in the 18 months to September 2019, 120,000 more than in the previous reporting period

9 January, 2020

Amendments to the prescribed requirements for council tax reduction schemes and the default scheme in Wales

New statutory instrument

8 January, 2020

House of Commons votes against establishing a statutory right to appeal EU settlement scheme decisions

MPs also vote down proposed new clause of Withdrawal Agreement Bill that would have allowed all EU citizens resident before exit day to have a right of permanent residence in the UK

8 January, 2020

Pension Schemes Bill receives first reading in House of Lords

Bill provides for state pension information to be included in new pensions dashboards

8 January, 2020

Revaluation of ‘protected payments’ for those reaching state pension age on or after 7 April 2020

New statutory instruments

7 January, 2020

Only 11 out of 90 LHA rates in Scotland are set at a level allowing families to rent a home in 30th percentile of rental market

Scottish Government report on housing and social security also finds that rent arrears on council properties have increased 14 per cent over the last year

7 January, 2020

Failure by Haringey council to correctly calculate housing benefit led to a family with a disabled child becoming homeless

Ombudsman's investigation also finds council at fault for failing to use mandatory 'underlying entitlement' rule to work out overpayments and not referring case to appeal tribunal

7 January, 2020

Shortfall between rents and LHA rates equates to almost all of a small family’s food costs in some areas

Crisis calls on government to increase investment in housing benefit as a quick and effective way to reduce pressures of covering rent shortfalls and to prevent homelessness

7 January, 2020

Northern Ireland Department for Communities confirms that contracts for Post Office Card Account and HMG Payment Exception Service will not be renewed

Payment services for claimants without mainstream bank account to be replaced by 'voucher' service

23 December, 2019

IIAC issues a ‘clarification’ to help to reduce the number of claims for industrial injuries benefit from workers who have the less disabling features of Dupuytren’s contracture

Council says it hopes that change will 'provide clarity for claimants to manage their expectations better'

23 December, 2019

Amendment of benefit regulations as a consequence of new marriage and civil partnership legislation in Northern Ireland

New statutory instrument

20 December, 2019

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill provides Ministers with power to regulate for circumstances in which courts and tribunals can depart from existing EU caselaw

New provisions amend European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to extend powers currently limited to Supreme Court and Scotland’s High Court of Justiciary

20 December, 2019

Northern Ireland Department for Communities forecasts that more than 40,000 claimants will be affected by cessation of welfare reform mitigation measures in 2020/2021

New figures also show that more than three quarters of those affected currently receive mitigation for bedroom tax

19 December, 2019

Government announces plan to introduce a minimum award length for personal independence payment

Prime Minister outlines proposal as part of government's plan to publish a National Strategy for Disabled People

19 December, 2019

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill announced in today’s Queen’s Speech

Bill includes provision to enable changes to current rules on access to benefits and social security coordination for EU nationals

19 December, 2019

HMCTS announces introduction of a ‘Manage Your Appeal’ online service

New service will enable appellants to track where they are within the appeal process and take steps which would normally be dealt with through postal correspondence