Housing cost element of Universal Credit and 18 to 21-year-olds

This briefing paper provides information on the decision to restrict entitlement to the housing cost element of Universal Credit for young people aged 18 to 21. On 29 March 2018 the Government announced that restrictions on accessing the housing element would be removed. Regulations have been laid – the relevant provisions will come into force on 31 December 2018.…

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Universal Credit: why are sanction rates higher?

Sanction rates are higher under Universal Credit, the Government’s flagship welfare reform, than under the benefits it is replacing. In December 2017 around 0.3% of JSA claimants were currently under a sanction compared to 8.2% of Universal Credit claimants required to search for work though, in the case of UC, this rate has since fallen to 5.3% as of May. This higher rate of sanctioning, the DWP argues and our new analysis corroborates, is due to the way DWP deals with claimants who miss a work-search interview without good reason under Universal Credit compared to under JSA (one of UC’s predecessors). Despite this analysis, however, there are still a number of questions relating to sanctions under Universal Credit that we cannot yet answer. …

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Universal Credit roll-out: 2018-19

Universal Credit roll-out was around 11% complete across Great Britain as of December 2017, in terms of the number of households on UC. However, progress varies considerably between constituencies. Almost half of jobseekers are now on UC rather than “legacy” benefits. The majority of households receiving support for rent, children or incapacity are yet to move onto UC. This briefing provides a guide to roll-out of the Full Service in 2018/19 and original HC Library estimates for the progress or UC roll-out by constituency, region and across Great Britain. …

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Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme

This briefing paper explains the assistance available for certain households with their mortgage interest payments. Help with mortgage costs is available to claimants of certain means-tested benefits for people not in full-time work. The schemes are collectively known as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). Assistance is currently available as a benefit but is changing to a loan on 6 April 2018. …

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Effect of Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016

This House of Commons Library briefing page has been prepared in advance of a debate entitled “Effect of Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016”, which will be led by Dr Philippa Whitford MP. It will take place in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 21st March 2018 at 9.30am.…

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Claimant experience of the Personal Independence Payment process

This House of Commons Library debate pack briefing has been prepared in advance of a debate entitled “Claimant experience of the Personal Independence Payment process”. This will take place in Westminster Hall at 9.30am on Wednesday 31st January 2018, and will be led by Laura Pidcock MP.…

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2018 Benefits Uprating

Most working-age benefits will be frozen at 2015/16 cash values from 2016/17 to 2019/20 inclusive. Over the year 2018/19 the increase in most benefits aimed at disabled people and pensioners will continue to be linked to CPI inflation, which increased to 3.0% in the year ending September 2017. The new State Pension will rise by 3.0% to £164.35.

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