Consultation on proposals for a new statistical series to count unemployed claimants

Consultation on proposals for a new statistical series to count unemployed claimants: Universal Credit produces a higher claimant count than JSA.

This new consultation wants your views on ways to reduce this number by excluding certain groups, including claimants awaiting a work capability assessment.

The consultation closes 11:45pm on 21 July 2018. Go to consultation


MPs say Motability Scheme needs a new road map

MPs say Motability Scheme needs a new road map:  This Treasury and Work & Pensions Committees report, whilst praising the scheme itself, questions the wisdom of a monopoly organisation benefiting from extensive tax breaks and DWP benefit pay outs, which also add to the profits of four retail banks. Read more

SSAC report on young people living independently

This Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) report examines the effect of the support provided through the benefit system to young people living independently. These young claimants often have no or little access to financial support outside the benefit system and so feel the effect of welfare changes more than young people living with their parents or other guardians.

DR UK contributed to this report. Read report recommendations

Early warning letters make little difference to the outcomes of claimants

DWP say sanctions early warning letters make little difference to the outcomes of claimants

The DWP have abandoned the idea of a ‘Sanction Warning Letter’ because DWP staff reported, in trials, that these made little difference to the outcomes of JSA claimants. Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Officer said: “The DWP has not said how many of those in the trial who were sanctioned went on to successfully appeal that decision [four out of five appeals are successful]. “ The DWP is now exploring the feasibility of an alternative process to give claimants written warnings, instead of a sanction, for a first sanctionable failure to attend a Work-Search Review. Read more

The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR)

ECSR has published its annual conclusions on health, social security and social protection  for 2017.

View conclusions

These conclusions concerned the articles of the Charter relating to the thematic group “Health, social security and social protection”:

  • the right to safe and healthy working conditions (Article 3),
  • the right to protection of health (Article 11),
  • the right to social security (Article 12),
  • the right to social and medical assistance (Article 13),
  • the right to benefit from social welfare services (Article 14),
  • the right of elderly persons to social protection (Article 23),
  • the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion (Article 30).

The Committee found that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 12 section 1 of the 1961 European Social Charter on the grounds that:

  • the level of the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is inadequate
  • the minimum levels of the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) are  inadequate
  • the level of long term incapacity benefits is inadequate
  • the level of unemployment benefits is inadequate

Government reject recommendation to automatically send PIP claimants their assessment report

The Government has rejected its independent PIP reviewer’s recommendation that PIP claimants to receive their assessment report at the same time as they receive their decision letter.

DR UK’s Welfare Rights Adviser Ken Butler said, “In our response to Paul Gray’s second PIP review we recommended that the DWP should provide a copy of the Healthcare Professional (HCP) report with all decisions made.  Read more

WE AGREE, thanks Ken Butler for responding!

Payment Cards


Payment cards must support not restrict choice and control for users of direct payments: A new report from the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG), based on FOI returns from all English councils with statutory social services responsibilities reveals significant concerns about payment card practice and makes recommendations on how councils can properly comply with Care Act guidance.

Commenting on the report, Sue Bott, DR UK Deputy CEO said; “On the face of it pre-payment cards may seem a convenient way to pay for support but I have always had my concerns particularly because Councils can see when and where you have support which is an infringement of people’s privacy.  Interesting that this report finds that whilst councils insist on people with direct payments reporting on how the money has been used to the last penny; when it comes to knowing how much a pre-payment card service costs some of them are unable to say.”


Read more