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Welfare rights

30 June, 2021

Northern Ireland Communities Minister announces plan to extend terminal illness provision in social security benefits

Minister tells Assembly that she will introduce legislation to extend six months within current definition of terminal illness to twelve months

29 June, 2021

Government confirms that more than 300,000 universal credit claims where the LHA does not cover the rent are subject to a deduction for a payment advance

With affected claims accounting for 6 per cent of households on universal credit in February 2021, Work and Pensions Minister says that claimants can apply for a DHP if they need additional support to meet housing costs

28 June, 2021

‘Past presence test’ for Scottish Adult Disability Payment to be reduced to 26 out of 52 weeks

Responding to recent consultation on its new Disability Assistance, Scottish Government adds that decision-making will be improved due to changes being made to the assessment process

25 June, 2021

DWP Minister confirms that EU citizens who miss deadline for applications to EU Settlement Scheme ‘will not see their payments stop automatically’ from 1 July 2021

However, Minister also cautions that anyone who hasn't applied to the scheme by 30 June 2021 needs to do so quickly 'to ensure that benefit payments don't stop'

25 June, 2021

Social Fund annual report for 2019/2020 shows that recoveries of discretionary social fund payments continued to exceed loan payments by more than £80 million

DWP also confirms that expenditure on budgeting loans fell by £66 million compared to the previous year

25 June, 2021

Revision of ‘working age’ Council Tax Reduction Scheme in Scotland from April 2022

New statutory instrument

24 June, 2021

CJEU Advocate General says that systematic refusal of social assistance to EU nationals granted right of residence without resource conditions constitutes indirect discrimination

Opinion on case referred by Northern Ireland Appeal Tribunal follows December 2020 Court of Appeal ruling that government acted unlawfully in barring EU citizens from relying on ‘pre-settled status’ to access universal credit

24 June, 2021

Latest child poverty progress report is a ‘stark and urgent reminder’ that far more investment is needed if Scotland is to meet its targets, warns CPAG

Charity says immediate priority is for Scottish child payment to be doubled to £20 per week in first year of current Parliament

24 June, 2021

Investigation into role of evidence in the PIP assessment system in Northern Ireland finds ‘systemic maladministration’

Public Services Ombudsman says issues found do not point to ‘one off’ mistakes but show need for 'fundamental review of how further evidence is obtained, applied, and communicated'

23 June, 2021

Treasury Minister confirms that government is committed to including universal credit advances within Breathing Space scheme ‘as soon as possible’

However, Minister adds that this will need to happen at 'a later date' to ensure that necessary IT changes do not compromise the safe delivery of universal credit

23 June, 2021

Delay to rollout of devolved benefits in Scotland until 2025 is ‘highly regrettable’, say MPs

In addition, Scottish Affairs Committee finds that it is 'incredibly complex' to unpick what claimants can access under each of the Scottish and UK social security systems and says communications and take-up must be improved

23 June, 2021

Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament

Bill makes provision to increase amount carers receive in period from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 by £231.40

22 June, 2021

More than 200,000 households had their benefit capped as at February 2021

New DWP statistics also show that, of these, more than one in five were newly capped in the last quarter

22 June, 2021

DWP is working with PIP assessment providers to deliver audio recording service for face-to-face assessments ‘as soon as practically possible’

Minister for Disabled People adds that, until then, claimants may record the assessment using their own equipment but are limited to using CD or audio cassette only

22 June, 2021 Open access

Work and Pensions Secretary announces extension of Covid Local Support Grant to 30 September 2021

Written statement to parliament also confirms that local authorities in England will receive additional funding of £160 million

22 June, 2021 Open access

Number of council tax reduction recipients in Scotland peaked at more than half a million in early months of Covid-19 outbreak

Largest increase occurred in April and May 2020 as economic effects of the pandemic began to bite

21 June, 2021 Open access

Majority of self-isolation grant applications in England are still being turned down despite recently increased funding

TUC warns that reopening of workplaces along with new Covid variants could once again expose the failings of the self-isolation support scheme and ‘measly’ sick pay

21 June, 2021

DWP confirms it has started to reintroduce claimant commitments for ESA claimants

Claimants of new-style ESA have been required to accept a commitment since 26 April 2021, and conditionality will be gradually reintroduced for all other ESA claimants from 28 June 2021

18 June, 2021

DWP advises that new exemptions from LHA shared accommodation rate for victims of domestic violence and modern slavery will take time to implement

Minister highlights that more significant legislative changes and IT upgrades will be needed than was the case before expanded care leaver and homeless hostel exemptions were introduced