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Welfare rights

17 August, 2021

DWP issues new guidance in response to Parliamentary Ombudsman’s finding that it failed to properly communicate negative impacts of the new state pension on some claimants

New guidance highlights that new state pension rules do not provide for paying living costs increases on Guaranteed Minimum Pensions, leaving some claimants worse off than under the old state pension scheme

16 August, 2021

DWP reiterates that it is not investigating complaints about 1950s women and changes to state pension age

Department highlights that the Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal against the Delve judgment, and that the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is investigating the issue

16 August, 2021

Remaining Post Office card account users to be moved to Payment Exception Service from end of August 2021

DWP also advises that claimants will be able to redeeem vouchers issued under the Exception Service via the Post Office network in addition to the PayPoint network

13 August, 2021 Open access

Claimants now being notified via their online accounts of the date of the last payment of their universal credit ‘uplift’

Journal notification also signposts people for help with debt and managing their money

13 August, 2021 Open access

DWP confirms that self-employed universal credit claimants will begin to be impacted by reintroduction of the minimum income floor from mid-September 2021

Update to Social Security Advisory Committee advises that claimants who had already exhausted their 12-month start-up period prior to start of Covid-19 outbreak will be contacted and assessed from beginning of August and will face reductions from their next assessment period

12 August, 2021

Social Security Scotland to roll out face-to-face service for claimants applying for Scottish benefits from November 2021

Design of new service 'demonstrates how the Scottish Government is committed to delivering social security differently from the UK Government', says Minister

11 August, 2021

One in five discretionary support decisions in Northern Ireland were changed or returned by Inspectors at second review stage during 2020/2021

However, report by the Discretionary Support Commissioner highlights that only 42 independent reviews were requested during the year

10 August, 2021

DWP updates ‘Lapsing Appeals’ best practice memorandum after conceding judicial review challenge

Amended guidance to caseworkers stresses importance of explaining appeal rights to claimants who are 'offered' awards while waiting for their benefit appeal to be heard

10 August, 2021

Government says that it recognises ‘legitimate concerns’ about the impact of artificially inflated earnings on the state pension triple lock

However, Chancellor advises Treasury Committee that trajectory of earnings still remains uncertain and a final decision on uprating will be guided by the principle that ‘decisions on pensions must be fair to both pensioners and taxpayer’

10 August, 2021

Disabled people’s organisations call on government to extend consultation period for Health and Disability Green Paper

Letter to Minister highlights that 12 week time frame to respond does not make the reasonable adjustments disabled people need to respond fully, and fuels concerns that government will not listen to feedback

9 August, 2021

DWP confirms it is working to increase the range of universal credit data it shares with local authorities to help them identify vulnerable families

Sharing of data on claims subject to the bedroom tax, local housing allowance, or benefit cap reductions is expected to go live in late 2021 or early 2022

6 August, 2021

Government announces that those who apply late to the EU Settlement Scheme will have their rights protected

Granting temporary protection to late applicants and their family members 'demonstrates our continued support to ensure everybody eligible is granted the status they deserve', says Home Office Minister

6 August, 2021

Number of households in absolute poverty in Northern Ireland was at a record low in 2019/2020

New statistics also show that average household income before housing costs increased by 4 per cent on the previous year

5 August, 2021 Open access

Expiry of coronavirus-related social security provisions in Scotland from 30 September 2021

Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act 2021 receives Royal Assent

5 August, 2021 Open access

Welsh Government to increase self-isolation support payment to £750 from 7 August 2021

Increase will provide further reassurance to those who have been told to isolate by NHS Wales test and trace service, says Minister

4 August, 2021

Ministry of Justice launches consultation on dispute resolution in England and Wales

Call for evidence seeks views on making the justice system 'better able to resolve disputes in smarter ways'

4 August, 2021 Open access

Work being carried out by around 1,400 DWP staff to identify fraud and error in universal claims made during the pandemic is being undertaken with the ‘utmost care and diligence’

Work and Pensions Minister adds that the Department is taking a 'sensitive and proportionate' approach, but that in cases resulting in overpayments 'we take the appropriate steps to recover'

4 August, 2021

Net savings from the introduction of universal credit might not be as big as a result of Covid-19, but it is ‘clearly more cost-effective than the system it replaces’

Work and Pensions Minister also says that while the one-off costs of managed migration are yet to be fully determined, they are not relevant to a comparison between the administrative costs of universal credit and legacy benefits

3 August, 2021 Open access

Government outlines how it intends to advise universal credit claimants about the end of the £20 uplift

Work and Pensions Minister says that communications will be issued 'over the Summer' making it clear that the uplift will no longer be included in the claimant's standard allowance from the Autumn