In the news
Secretary of State rejects calls to extend UC uplift
The Work and Pensions Secretary, Dr Thérèse Coffey, has rejected calls to extend the £20 a week Universal Credit 'uplift', which she claims was only ever meant to be in place during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite more joint letters, including one from the social security ministers (or equivalent) for each of the devolved governments, another open letter from 100 national organisations working directly with benefits claimants, plus new analysis from the Joseph Rowntreee Foundation showing that the removal of the uplift will affect one in three families in over 400 constituencies, Dr Coffey has continued to insist that the 'temporary' uplift, which in any case has not compensated for the ongoing effects of the austerity-driven benefits 'freeze' of 2015, must end.
In addition, a coalition of housing and debt advice organisations has warned of the increased risk of poverty, debt and homelessness that will follow both a frozen Local Housing Allowance and the imminent removal of the UC uplift. This will come in addition to a planned National Insurance 'social care tax' increase for the 39% of UC claimants who also work. Prepare yourselves!
Quick links to other benefits-related news
The Public Law project has published the DWP's process for claimants to request the non-recovery of hardship payments.
'Long Covid' is to be added to list of primary disabilities recorded following a PIP assessment.
The reintroduction of the Minimum Income Floor will impact some self employed UC claimants from mid September 2021.
Claimants notified about end of uplift
UC claimants have been notified in their online journal of the date of their final uplift payment.
RECENT CASE LAW
Quick links to selected recent benefits-related case law
Tribunal erred in law in not considering medical evidence supplied after appeal
Tribunals should postpone co-habiting partner bereavement support appeals until law is amended
Adequate explanation given for lower PIP rate after transfer from DLA
Use of pen and paper in the absence of speech is within scope of an aid /appliance to verbal communication
DLA to PIP: Tribunal wrong to find claimant had failed to attend medical with no good reason
NI Court of Appeal overturns High Court judgement that differential treatment for claimants with terminal illnesses is unlawful
Original decision:  NIQB 53
Tribunal should not have used JSA regs to decide entitlement to unemployment credits after failure to attend interview
Links to recent government regulations, guidance & bulletins
DWP news including updates to UC monthly payment process; Claim form of Sure Start Maternity Grant; information on new Child Maintenance Group address.
Guidance relating to changes to DLA and PIP made following the introduction of Child Disability Payment in Scotland.
Guidance on treating Scottish Child Disability Payment as a qualifying benefit for the purpose of means tested benefits (see also SCOTLAND).
New guidance highlights that new rules do not provide for paying living costs increases on Guaranteed Minimum Pensions.
DWP news on deadline for Health & Disability Green paper consulation; udated guidance on redundancy; and moving final PO card account users to the Payment Exception Service.
DWP amends best practice memo on Lapsing Appeals after conceding judicial review on PIP cold calls.
Brexit has been blamed for empty supermarket shelves
Protected rights for EU nationals
The government has confirmed the rights of EU nationals who have applied late to the EU Settlement Scheme will be protected.
The DWP had previously advised local authorities that extra statutory payments could be made to late applicants during a grace period following 30 June 2021, but Home Office minister Kevin Foster has since confirmed that the government will 'protect their rights until their application and any appeal is decided.'
Bereavement benefits advice
If you are in any doubt about how to advise unmarried / cohabiting partners with children on their entitlement to bereavement benefits, given that the government is still not paying them, our advice is for surviving partners with children to claim, request mandatory reconsideration and appeal, even though the appeal will not yet be decided.
Work & Pensions Secretary, Dr Thérèse Coffey
Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales
Links to articles, reports and guidance which separately affect benefits in Scotland, Wales and/or Northern Ireland, when they differ significantly to those in England or the rest of the UK.
(See also LATEST GUIDANCE)
Social Security Scotland guidance on transfer of child DLA to devolved Child Disability Payment
Rollout of Adult Disability Payment in Scotland likely to lead to 20% increase in case load and spending
Guidance relating to changes to DLA and PIP made following the introduction of Child Disability Payment in Scotland (see also LATEST GUIDANCE)
SNP/Green power sharing agreement includes commitment of support to people with no access to public funds
Guidance on treating Scottish Child Disability Payment as a qualifying benefit for the purpose of means tested benefits (see also LATEST GUIDANCE)
More than 100 anti-poverty organisations call for doubling Scottish Child payment this year
Scottish Government consultation on setting up a Minimum Income Guarantee for Scotland
Changes to rules for terminally ill people could lead to a 90% increase in successful benefit applications
Scottish Government proposes that Covid related rules on virtual courts or tribunals should be extended beyond March 2022
Social Security Scotland to roll out face to face service for new claims from Nov 2021
Expiry of Coronavirus related benefits provisions from 30 September
(to May 2021)
Legislation on recovery of overpaid benefits
20% of discretionary support challenges changed or returned at 2nd Review stage
Number of households in absolute poverty at a record low in 2019/20
Self isolation support payment raised to £750