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Welfare rights

28 July, 2020

Restriction of Child Winter Heating Assistance eligibility to children on DLA high rate care should be reconsidered, Scottish Commission on Social Security says

Scrutiny report on draft regulations, that will bring in the new payment this winter, also seeks a widening of other qualification conditions

27 July, 2020 Open access

Scottish Government updates guidance for people who are currently shielding to confirm they will not be eligible for SSP on that basis from 1 August 2020

Deputy First Minister says that government expects employers 'to fully support' those who are returning to work as a result of the pause in shielding

27 July, 2020

Department for Work and Pensions appoints new Lead Non-Executive Director

Secretary of State appoints Nick Markham to lead the DWP's non-executives and provide independent advice, support and scrutiny on the department's work

27 July, 2020

Access to income-related benefits for family members of people of Northern Ireland

New regulations issued in Northern Ireland

24 July, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that requirement to provide medical evidence has been reintroduced for ESA claims received from 10 July 2020

New edition of the Department's 'Touchbase Coronavirus Special' also advises that requirement is being introduced gradually for claims in existence prior to 10 July 2020

24 July, 2020 Open access

COVID-19 benefit policy may soon shift from cushioning income shocks to causing them, says Resolution Foundation

New report highlights that benefit support is due to be dramatically cut back in April 2021, at a time when the OBR projects the unemployment rate to still be in double-digits

24 July, 2020

Work and Pensions Committee publishes the terms of reference and minutes of meetings from the DWP’s Serious Case Panel

The Department is making steps in the right direction, but it still has a long way to go to prove that it has learned lessons from its past failures, says Committee chair

23 July, 2020

DWP issues guidance on two-week run-ons of legacy benefits, and changes to the minimum income floor start-up period and the SDP gateway

New DWP guidance covers changes made under the Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019

23 July, 2020 Open access

Temporary COVID-19-related increase in universal credit disproportionately benefits those who are less likely to claim disability benefits and younger people

New House of Commons Library briefing says that it would cost £1.38 billion to fund increases of £20 a week this year for all ESA, JSA and income support claimants

23 July, 2020

Welfare (Terminal Illness) Bill receives first reading in the Commons

Bill designed to address the need for urgent reform of the 'special rules' that are a 'source of distress and difficulty' for people living with terminal illness

23 July, 2020

Miscellaneous amendments to social security claims and payments provisions in Northern Ireland

New statutory rule

23 July, 2020

Introduction of electronic claims process for maternity allowance, Sure Start maternity grants and funeral expenses payments in Northern Ireland

New statutory rule

22 July, 2020

Council tenants build up an average of £240 rent arrears in first weeks of new universal credit claims

New research into rent payment behaviours of more than 10 per cent of England’s council tenants also highlights that availability of universal credit advances seems not to prevent ‘significant and lasting’ new arrears from occurring

22 July, 2020

Permanent Secretary assures MPs that, under DWP’s new safeguarding policy, a case conference will be held before a decision is made to stop a claimant’s benefit

Also giving evidence to Select Committee, Secretary of State says she is 'committing' to put minutes of the Serious Case Panel on

22 July, 2020

DWP Minister confirms Department has no plans to extend the legacy benefit run-ons introduced today to tax credit claimants moving to universal credit

Minister also advises Work and Pensions Committee that increasing the generosity and scope of run-ons further is not an ‘appropriate’ step at the moment

22 July, 2020 Open access

Secretary of State confirms that DWP is not actively seeking to apply sanctions during coronavirus outbreak

Giving evidence to Select Committee, Dr Coffey says that if there are any sanctions applied at all, they will be very rare

22 July, 2020

Evidence looks ‘pretty clear’ that five week wait for universal credit has become a negative ‘life event’ that can cause rent arrears, Select Committee says

Warning comes after DWP advises Select Committee that arrears occur because of 'life events', like unemployment, and are then cleared over time rather than exacerbated by universal credit system

21 July, 2020

Government rejects SSAC’s recommendation for policy changes in housing support to enable non-resident parents to have their children stay overnight

Housing benefit is intended to meet housing costs of claimant and their household, and 'visiting children are not included', says Minister

21 July, 2020

National Fraud Initiative identifies £35 million of potential housing benefit overpayments in England

Biennial Cabinet Office report on data matching activities also shows a more than 40 per cent increase in identified housing benefit errors compared to previous two-year period