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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2011): Social security - UK

Job allowance for the sick gets time-limit

R. Bennett

The Times, July 26th 2011, p. 14

Ministers have been criticised by MPs and cancer charities for allowing claimants of their new key invalidity benefit to receive it for only 12 months, whether they are close to finding a job or not. Many cancer patients require treatment beyond 12 months.

A guide to the Welfare Reform Bill

J. Casebourne

Working Brief, Mar. 2011, p. 8-11

This article examines provisions of the 2011 Welfare Reform Bill other than those relating to the introduction of the Universal Credit and presents Inclusion's response. Provisions discussed include changes to Housing Benefit, the Employment and Support Allowance, the Disability Living Allowance, Child Maintenance, conditionality for lone parents and partners, sanctions and appeals, the household benefit cap, and crisis loans and community care grants.

Lib Dem fight on benefit curb

A. Asthana

The Times, July 4th 2011, p. 10

Liberal Democrats have warned that they want the 'unintended consequences' of the Government's 26,000 benefits cap addressed before the policy is implemented. There are concerns that benefits reforms could drive 40,000 people out of their homes with London likely to see the worst effects. The Department for Work and Pensions argued that the cap was about fairness - making sure that people were not getting more on benefits than if they went to work, stating that many working families live on this amount of money.

(See also Independent, July 15th 2011, p.9)

Migrants face five-year wait for benefits

R. Ford

The Times, July 13th 2011, p. 6

Immigrants joining their families in Britain will be barred from receiving benefits until they have been in the country for 5 years in an attempt to curb abuses of the family visa system rather than to cut overall numbers.

Ministers 'hid evidence' over benefits cap

A. Sparrow

The Guardian, July 4th 2011, p. 1

Ministers have been accused of repeatedly misleading MPs about the impact of their 26,000 cap on welfare payments after it emerged that Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, secretly warned the plan would cost more money than it saved and increase homelessness by 20,000. Liam Byrne, the shadow work and pensions secretary, insisted that Pickles's comments, set out in a letter from his private secretary to No 10 that was leaked to the Observer, showed that a succession of ministers 'haven't been straight with the House of Commons'. They have either dismissed claims that the cap would increase homelessness, or insisted its likely impact was impossible to quantify.

Nine out of ten sickness benefit claimants are judged fit to work

M. Beckford

Daily Telegraph, July 27th 2011, p. 6

Official figures show that more than a third of the 1.3m people who applied for Employment and Support Allowance between October 2008 and November 2010 were fully capable of working, while a similar proportion abandoned their claims. Only seven percent of applicants were deemed too ill to carry out any work. Charities have claimed that the bar has been raised too high for seriously ill people to claim out-of-work benefits and have pointed out that many decisions have been reversed on appeal.

(See also Independent, July 27th 2011, p.21; Times, July 27th 2011, p. 12)

Universal Credit briefing

R. Haque

Working Brief, Mar. 2011, p. 6-8

The Coalition government's Welfare Reform Bill setting out changes to the tax credits and benefits system was published in February 2011. This article looks at potential winners and losers from the introduction of the new Universal Credit, followed by Inclusion's comments on changes to work incentives, council tax benefit, and childcare support.

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