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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

18 September, 2020

Four in ten universal credit awards had a deduction applied in May 2020

New DWP statistics also show that more than 1.6 million claimants were subject to a deduction, at an average rate of £60

18 September, 2020 Open access

Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber confirms that it is still not possible to hold face-to-face hearings in Northern Ireland

Revised guidance from Chamber President advises that hearings will continue to be either held remotely or adjourned until further notice

18 September, 2020

DWP issues guidance on how it will identify PIP claimants affected by the Supreme Court’s judgment in MM

New list of responses to 'frequently asked questions' also includes details of the period over which arrears may be paid and the circumstances where claims will not be reviewed

18 September, 2020 Open access

Government confirms circumstances in which those who have claimed but are not yet in receipt of a qualifying benefit can apply for an NHS Test and Trace self-isolation payment

Written answer in parliament confirms eligibility where claim for qualifying benefit has been approved, and it is no later than two weeks after the person's period of self-isolation period has ended

17 September, 2020

DWP announces that SDP transitional payments in universal credit will convert to transitional elements on 8 October 2020

Minister says the change will be made by way of a Determination, which will be placed in the House of Commons Library

17 September, 2020 Open access

Without more tailored and personalised support for the post-COVID-19 universal credit claimant cohort, the social security system risks exacerbating existing inequalities and creating new ones

New reserach finds that a higher proportion of post-COVID-19 claimants are young, BAME, from a higher 'social grade', without a disability, or owner-occupiers compared to the existing pre-COVID-19 claimant cohort

17 September, 2020

DWP confirms use of ‘additional support’ markers to identify PIP claimants who may not be able to engage effectively with claims process

Updated guidance also sets out examples of health conditions that may mean claimant could struggle with the PIP journey

17 September, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that it is working on a digital method of examining ID documents for National Insurance number applications

Employment Minister says this should enable allocation process to restart incrementally from the end of September 2020

16 September, 2020

DWP confirms new administrative exercise will be launched to identify PIP claimants affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling on PIP activity 9 and social support in SSWP v MM

New ADM Memo also says that only administrative exercise decision-makers will be able to arrange full arrears payments beyond any normal effective date of decision under review

16 September, 2020

Guidance on safeguarding claimants with appointees under the Scottish social security system to be placed on statutory footing

Social Security Cabinet Secretary also confirms to MSPs that claimants will have a right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal if dissatisfied with ministerial reviews of appointment decisions

16 September, 2020

Consequential amendments to social security legislation to provide for treatment of certain benefits introduced under Social Security Scotland Act 2018

New statutory instrument

16 September, 2020 Open access

Contingency arrangements in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic extended to March 2021

Acting Senior President of Tribunals reissues Pilot Practice Directions that include new guidance on ‘hybrid' hearings and the use of former salaried judges

15 September, 2020

DWP provides update on what it is doing to reimburse up to 130,000 married women who may have lost out on state pension entitlement as a result of its falure to apply an automatic uplift

Responding to oral questions in the Commons yesterday, Pensions Minister advises that the Department continues to check and remedy further cases that are identified

15 September, 2020 Open access

PIP new claims and change of circumstances requests show gradual recovery to near-normal levels in quarter ending July 2020

However, new DWP statistics also show that mandatory reconsiderations are at their lowest level since September 2015