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30 September, 2020 Open access

Chancellor urged to make £20 uplift to universal credit and working tax credit permanent and extend increase to legacy benefits

Open letter from JRF and more than 50 charities and faith groups calls on government to 'keep doing the right thing, keep families afloat and keep the lifeline'

29 September, 2020 Open access

Reform of support for mortgage interest loan scheme should include abolition of waiting period and an initial three-month grant, says Centre for Policy Studies

New report from centre-right thinktank says that more generous scheme would not only protect low-income homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, but would also be highly cost-effective

29 September, 2020

Work and Pensions Secretary accepts recommendation to create a single new digital function within the DWP

Change will see the closure of Arm’s-Length Body that was created following the 2015 Spending Review to achieve a 34 per cent reduction in real terms spending on technology

29 September, 2020

Northern Ireland Assembly agrees to extend provisions of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill to Northern Ireland

Legislative Consent Motion passed following warning from Communities Minister that, if it failed to pass, power to amend EU social security co-ordination provisions could be lost

29 September, 2020

‘Flawed design choices’ in universal credit are depriving people of essential social security support

Human-centred approach to benefits automation is needed to ensure the system helps the people who need it most, says Human Rights Watch

29 September, 2020

Single parents with pre-school aged children are being ‘shoe-horned’ into job-seeking regime that does not reflect their needs

New Gingerbread report calls for all single parents with young children to be given clear information about potential easements and flexibilities before agreeing to claimant commitment

28 September, 2020 Open access

Local authorities in England to have discretion to award self-isolation payments to those who do not receive qualifying benefits

Department of Health and Social Care also advises that it is engaging with devolved administrations to explore opportunities for a UK-wide scheme

28 September, 2020

Liberal Democrat Party votes to campaign for a universal basic income for all long-term UK residents

Conference motion says wide-scale social costs imposed by the coronavirus pandemic have made a greater scale of universal social support ‘clearly necessary’

28 September, 2020 Open access

Proving eligibility for ESA if claiming due to coronavirus

Updated DWP guidance confirms the evidence required for those who are self-isolating and those who are shielding

25 September, 2020

DWP confirms that universal credit claimants who need help with upfront childcare costs in order to start work should be directed to Flexible Support Fund

Childcare costs 'should not be a barrier to getting into work', says Work and Pensions Minister as new guidance is issued to jobcentre work coaches

25 September, 2020

DWP confirms it is testing use of video for appointments with universal credit work coaches

Minister tells parliament that tests will inform any future evaluation of using video as part of Department’s operating model

24 September, 2020

Commencement of Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 powers to make regulations relating to disability assistance and short-term assistance

New statutory instrument

24 September, 2020 Open access

Amendments to provisions allowing employers to apply to HMRC for refund of SSP where employee’s incapacity related to coronavirus

New statutory instrument

24 September, 2020

Bill to give Work and Pensions Secretary the power to uprate pension age benefits in 2020/2021, despite there being no growth in earnings, receives first reading

New provisions will allow the government to meet its manifesto commitment to retain the ‘triple lock'

24 September, 2020

Most women in Northern Ireland are not aware of the Universal Credit Contingency Fund, new research finds

New report by consortium of women’s groups calls for the Fund to be better advertised and to be used to offer automatic grants to new claimants to mitigate impact of five-week wait

23 September, 2020 Open access

Welsh Government announces it will provide £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people on low incomes who are required to self-isolate

First Minister also confirms to Senedd that the law will be changed to prevent employers from making it difficult for employees to self-isolate

21 September, 2020

DWP makes determination that fixes day for conversion of transitional severe disability premium payments in universal credit to transitional elements

Determination, which follows a written ministerial statement announcing the change last week, sets conversion day as 8 October 2020, or later in cases where the amount of transitional payment is determined after that date

21 September, 2020

DWP says that discretionary housing payments remain appropriate means for providing support where there is an under-occupancy decision because of a sanctuary room

However, new guidance confirms government is exploring next steps after European Court ruled that bedroom tax unlawfully discriminates against those in sanctuary scheme homes

21 September, 2020 Open access

Government announces £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people claiming qualifying benefits or working tax credit who are required to self-isolate

Available from 28 September 2020, the new payment will be administered by local authorities and limited to people in England who are unable to work from home during isolation