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Discretionary welfare payments are being "hacked away", a senior MP has claimed, after new figures showed more than £300 million has been axed from two major benefits funds. Fresh analysis shows the scale of cutbacks to the discretionary social fund and flexible support fund, which can be awarded to poor…
Ministers have delayed the rollout of Universal Credit to 21 jobcentres. Employment minister Alok Sharma announced that 13 centres with the highest concentration of Welsh speakers would have the rollout pushed back to December. This is to allow time to ensure the Welsh language is available in the Universal Credit…
Tens of thousands of ill or disabled people were underpaid benefits by an average of around £5,000, the public spending watchdog has found. An estimated 70,000 claimants transferred to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from other benefits since 2011 were underpaid - some by up to £20,000 - the National…
Hundreds of disabled people are set to benefit from a £15,000 boost to a cap on funding provided through a flagship scheme to help people into work. Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has announced a £57,200 limit on funding awarded through Access to Work, a 36% rise on the…
A "small army of people" are leaving prison without any form of employment or accommodation, a former minister has warned. The latest Government figures reveal that almost a third of adult prisoners released last year were sent to "unsettled or unknown" accommodation and just over a quarter were found to…
A senior MP has issued a fresh warning about "state-sponsored destitution" amid claims of a "gaping hole" in the welfare system.Figures uncovered by Labour's Frank Field found that nearly 200,000 applications were made for advances on working age benefits in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available.However, only…
Some 60% of people claiming the main long-term sickness benefit believe the amount of money they get is not enough to live on, according to a major new survey. Labour called the findings from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants "a damning indictment of the Government's treatment of sick and…
A Tory MP promoted in Theresa May's reshuffle has apologised over a blog post suggesting benefit claimants should have vasectomies. Ben Bradley, who was named as Conservative vice chairman for youth, said people on welfare should stop having children if they could not afford them, before suggesting sterilisation. The Mansfield…
More than one million calls to the Universal Credit helpline have been abandoned without claimants getting an answer over a 12-month period, new figures show. Labour MP Jim McMahon said the sheer number of calls going without an answer could mean many claimants were giving up trying to get through…
Campaigners have launched legal action against the Government over a cap in funding for a flagship scheme to help disabled people back into work. The challenge over Access to Work concerns a cap on the amount of money people can be awarded through the scheme, which it is argued will…
Disabled people are seen as a burden on society "because the Government thinks we cost too much money", an Access to Work claimant has said. Julie Fernandez is an actor, trainer and entrepreneur who sold her craft business at the beginning of the year and is now working in a…
More than 200,000 original decisions on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) have been changed since April 2015, according to analysis of Government figures. Those unhappy with a PIP decision must first go through a mandatory reconsideration, in which the Department for Work and Pensions reviews the decision. Following that, a claimant…
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