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Welfare rights news

24 June, 2019

First Minister called upon to speed up introduction of the income supplement to tackle child poverty in Scotland

More than 70 poverty campaigners and organisations write to ask that legislation be passed in current parliamentary session

21 June, 2019

Real terms funding cut and variable council practices are limiting access to Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grants

Scottish food aid project also finds that many councils are failing to follow statutory guidance on operating the Fund

21 June, 2019

Discretionary Support scheme's single income threshold is 'at best unfair and at worst discriminatory', says Commissioner

Scheme nevertheless continues to make a 'vital contribution' in support of the most vulnerable and those most in need in Northen Ireland

20 June, 2019

Public Accounts Committee asks DWP to outline the 'step change' it has made in its attitude to listening to feedback from stakeholders

Letter to Permanent Secretary also asks how Department is addressing specific challenges met by people with different needs

20 June, 2019

Tax credits fraud and error overpayments rose to 5.7 per cent of spending in 2017/2018

HMRC says increase is largely as a result of a fall in the level of tax credits compliance activity

20 June, 2019

More than 50,000 people are currently having a carer’s allowance overpayment recovered from them

New statistics also show that the DWP is taking more than 50 days on average to process changes of circumstances and that there are almost 90,000 cases outstanding

19 June, 2019

Less than one in ten universal credit claimants with a benefit overpayment have successfully applied to have the recovery rate reduced

Minister for Employment says 'appropriate safeguards' are in place and any adjustment is based on claimant's individual circumstances

19 June, 2019

Universal Credit Sanctions (Zero Hours Contracts) Bill receives first reading in the Commons

Private Member's Bill seeks to provide that universal credit claimants cannot be sanctioned for refusing work on a zero hours contract

19 June, 2019

Disability Benefits Consortium makes formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about DWP's universal credit PR campaign

Adverts are at best 'accidentally misleading' and at worst 'knowingly dangerous', says Consortium

19 June, 2019

Work and Pensions Committee welcomes Motability Operations’ commitment to release £370m reserves to support its customers

However, Committee Chair says Motability still has a way to go to establish it is making best use of its 'vast funds and privileged position'

19 June, 2019

Reductions in benefit entitlements since 2010/2011 have increased in-work poverty, says IFS

New report considers reasons for 40 per cent rise in in-work poverty since 1994

19 June, 2019

DWP confirms data sharing agreement with Department for Education in relation to eligibility for free school meals

Data sharing enables schools and local authorities to 'quickly verify eligibility', including where parents are in receipt of universal credit, says Employment Minister

18 June, 2019

DWP confirms it will not take first date of contact with Citizens Advice 'Help to Claim' service as date of claim for universal credit

Letter to NAWRA says Citizens Advice are not 'providing services to the Secretary of State'

18 June, 2019

Benefit sanctions should not be applied to veterans with mental and physical health impairments

New research also highlights concerns that work capability assessments fail to take into account specific needs arising from service in Armed Forces

17 June, 2019

UN poverty and human rights report was ‘factually correct’, says DWP

Policy Director says Special Rapporteur 'made a lot of good points that we should take on board'

17 June, 2019

DWP Minister accepts link between survival sex and universal credit is 'clearly an issue we need to take very seriously'

However, Work and Pensions Committee suggests it would have been prudent for DWP to engage with stakeholders at time concerns were first raised in October 2018

17 June, 2019

DWP announces policy change to allow SMI loan balances to be transferred to a new home

New rules will also apply to those who previously received support but who are no longer claiming benefits

17 June, 2019

Number of households receiving council tax reduction in Scotland has fallen by almost 14 per cent since start of scheme

New statistics for 2018/2019 provide data on recipients by age, household structure, income sources and employment status

14 June, 2019

Less than 60 per cent of universal credit claimants with childcare element paid on time and in full in first assessment period

DWP figures for February 2019 also show that 73 per cent of those with LCWRA element and 81 per cent of those with disabled child element paid in time and in full