Working age benefits

All Standard Notes
56 Documents
DateDescription
04.09.2014Social security benefits and expenditure: Social Indicators page
A summary of expenditure on benefits and tax credits.
01.09.2014Measures to limit migrants' access to benefits
Following an article by the Prime Minister's in the Financial Times on 27 November 2013 in which he said he shared concerns about the impact of lifting transitional restrictions on the right of Romanian and Bulgarian right to work in the UK from 1 January 2014, the Government has introduced a raft of measures 'to tighten up our EEA migration rules to ensure our welfare system is not taken advantage of.'
07.08.2014Impact on the UK of Scottish independence: social security and tax credits
In the event Scotland becoming an independent country, the Scottish and Westminster governments would have to address two main issues with regard to welfare provision: how to deliver benefits and tax credits in the initial transitional period following independence; and how the two countries' systems should relate to each other in the longer term.
01.08.2014Statistics on migrants and benefits
This note collates the main data available on UK benefits paid to migrants or in respect of children living abroad.
18.07.2014Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit for children resident in other EEA countries
Domestic legislation provides that both Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit cannot normally be paid in respect of children resident abroad. However, under provisions in EU law on social security coordination within the European Economic Area (EEA), Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit may be payable to EEA migrants in the United Kingdom in respect of their dependent children resident in another Member State.
16.07.2014Self-employed people and contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance
Self-employed people are eligible for the same contributory benefits and pension as employed earners, with one exception. Self-employed people cannot claim contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA).
15.05.2014People from abroad: what benefits can they claim?
This note gives a broad overview of the rules on access to benefits and tax credits for people coming to the UK from abroad. It describes the situation for asylum seekers, nationals from European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and non-EEA nationals.
12.05.2014Council Tax Reduction Schemes
This note provides information on the implementation of Council Tax Reduction Schemes from 1 April 2013.
23.03.2014Budget 2014: a summary
Budget 2014 and Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts: a summary. Includes overview along with analysis of forecasts and changes to pensions and savings, the welfare cap and the treatment of disputed tax.
06.02.2014Housing Benefit: withdrawing entitlement from the under 25s
This note considers the status of this "proposal," evidence on its potential impact, and provides comment from housing organisations and those working with young homeless people.
29.01.2014Government support for childcare under the Labour Government 1997-2010
This note gives an overview of support for childcare under the Labour Government 1997-2010.
10.01.2014Social security benefits and tax credits for people under 25
In his speech on welfare on welfare given at Bluewater, Kent on 25 June 2012, the Prime Minister put forward a number of ideas including removing access to Housing Benefit for people aged 16-24, and preventing school leavers from claiming benefits straight away. This note outlines the ways in which the tax benefit system already treats young people aged 18-24 differently, and the reaons why
29.11.2013The housing element of Universal Credit
This note highlights some of the key differences between the current Housing Benefit system and the housing element of Universal Credit.
26.11.2013Sources of social statistics: social security and pensions
A brief guide to sources of statistics on benefits and pensions.
11.11.2013Cold Weather Payments for winter 2013/2014
Cold Weather Payments are made from the Social Fund to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather.
31.07.2013Universal Credit: proposals for a seven day 'waiting period' for claims
In Spending Round 2013 on 26 June, the Chancellor announced that new Universal Credit claimants subject to work-related conditionality who have not had a UC claim in the previous six months will have to wait seven days before becoming eligible for support. The measure is expected to be introduced from April 2015, and ultimately yield savings of around 260 million a year.
12.07.2013Short Term Benefit Advances and Budgeting Advances
From 1 April 2013, a new advance of benefit facility administered by DWP replaced Social Fund Budgeting Loans, interim payments of benefits and "alignment payments". This note gives details of the new system of Short Term Benefit Advances and Budgeting Advances.
24.06.2013Localising support for Council Tax - background
This note provides background to the introduction of Council Tax Reduction Schemes and the abolition of Council Tax Benefit.
28.05.2013Support for Mortgage Interest scheme
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). Payments are made towards mortgage interest payments and are generally made direct to lenders.
22.03.2013Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill 2012-13
On 12 February 2013 the Court of Appeal ruled that regulations underpinning some of the Government's back to work schemes were unlawful and must be quashed. The Bill - which has retrospective effect - would remove the ability for individuals sanctioned for not participating in one of the schemes to challenge the sanction decision on the grounds that the regulations were invalid, or notices given to them were inadequate.
07.02.2013Draft Universal Credit Regulations 2013
Starting in selected 'Pathfinder' areas from April 2013, Universal Credit (UC) will begin to replace a range of means-tested benefits and tax credits for working age families. The Draft Universal Credit Regulations set out the detailed rules for the new benefit.
28.01.2013Draft Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age, starting from April 2013. Part 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 provides the framework for PIP, but the detailed rules for the new benefit - including the assessment criteria - are to be set out in regulations.
30.11.2012The Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance
The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) was introduced in October 2008 to assess entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Between now and 2014, 1.5 million incapacity benefits claimants will also undergo the WCA. The WCA has however proved controversial and remains so, depsite changes to the test itself and how it is applied as a result of Government an independent reviews.
16.11.2012Localisation of the Social Fund
As a result of measures in the Welfare Reform Act 2012, certain elements of the discretionary Social Fund scheme will be replaced by new locally based provision delivered by local authorities in England and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.
13.11.2012Personal Independence Payment: an introduction
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to replace Disability Living Allowance for people of working age, between April 2013 and March 2016. The changes will affect existing working age DLA claimants, as well as those making a new claim. For those existing DLA claimants found not to satisfy the conditions for PIP on reassessment, their DLA will stop.
09.11.2012Universal Credit: an introduction
Starting from next year, Universal Credit (UC) will begin to replace a range of means-tested benefits and tax credits for working age families. The intention is to simplify and streamline the benefits system for claimants, making it easier for people to understand; to reduce the financial and administrative barriers to work; to tackle in-work poverty; and to bear down on fraud and error.
25.10.2012Cold Weather Payments for winter 2012/2013
Cold Weather Payments of 25 pounds a week are made to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. To 'trigger' the payments, the average temperature at a specified weather station must be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days.
13.07.2012ESA and Incapacity benefit statistics
A summary of statistics relating to Employment and Support Allowance and other incapacity-related benefits.
16.05.2012ESA and incapacity benefits - constituency statistics for Great Britain
Statistics on working-age claimants of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and its predecessor incapacity-related benefits in each constituency in Great Britain. In November 2011 there were 2.57 million claimants of these benefits in Great Britain.
27.04.2012ESA assessments and reassessments: Social Indicators article
A summary of the latest figures on outcomes of ESA Work Capability Assessments - published as part of the April 2012 edition of Social Indicators.
25.04.2012Time limiting of contributory Employment and Support Allowance from 30 April 2012
The 2010 Spending Review announced that contributory Employment and Support Allowance for claimants in the Work-Related Activity Group would be limited to 12 months. The time limit takes effect on 30 April 2012. For some claimants, benefit will stop immediately. All recipients of contributory ESA in the WRAG, including Incapacity Benefit claimants 'migrated' to ESA on reassessment, will be affected by the time limit. Savings of almost 1.5 billion a year are expected by 2015-16.
16.04.2012Child Benefit for higher income families
At the Conservative Party conference in October 2010 the Chancellor announced that from January 2013 Child Benefit would be withdrawn from families with a higher rate taxpayer. Revised proposals were set out in Budget 2012 under which Child Benefit will instead be clawed back gradually from families with a taxpayer with an income between 50,000 and 60,000 a year.
26.03.2012Changes to the Working Tax Credit hours rules for couples with children from April 2012
At the moment, couples with children need only work at least 16 hours a week in order to qualify for Working Tax Credit. From April 2012, this will increase to 24 hours for most couples. Over 200,000 families will be affected, and there are concerns about the impact on those unable to increase their hours to meet the new threshold. The change does not affect lone parents, for whom the 16 hour threshold for WTC will still apply.
27.01.2012Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12: amendments at the Lords Committee and Report stages
The Welfare Reform Bill has its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 31 January 2012. At Report Stage in the Lords, the government suffered defeats on amendments relating to under-occupation of social housing, the Employment and Support Allowance, the proposed benefit cap, and child support maintenance
28.12.2011Employment and Support Allowance: an introduction
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) replaced incapacity benefits for new claimants from 27 October 2008. It replaced both Incapacity Benefit, and Income Support for people judged incapable of work. There are two forms of Employment and Support Allowance: contributory ESA, for those who have a sufficient National Insurance contribution record; and income-related ESA, which is means-tested.
23.12.20112012 Benefit Uprating
Sets out the basis for the uprating of benefits and tax credits in the 2012-13 financial year.
05.12.2011Uprating of social security benefits
Most but not all benefits are uprated in April each year, by reference to the increase in prices over the year to the previous September. The current Government has adopted the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) as the measure of inflation for uprating purposes. CPI tends to rise more slowly than the measures used. previously. The CPI for September 2011 was higher than expected, and media reports have suggested that the Government was considering changing the basis for uprating benefits. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that while benefits would increase by the full CPI from April 2011, the couple and lone parent elements of Working Tax Credit would be frozen and the child element of Child Tax Credit would increase by less than was planned.
05.12.2011EEA nationals: the 'right to reside' requirement for benefits
To access most social security benefits and tax credits, a EEA national has to have a 'right to reside' in the UK. Broadly speaking, this means they must be economically active. The European Commission has stared infingement proceedings agains the UK on the basis that the test discriminates against non-UK nationals from other Member States, but the UK Government has pedged to fight any challenge.
26.08.2011Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12: Commons Report Stage and Third Reading
The Commons Report Stage and Third Reading of the Welfare Reform Bill took place on 13 and 15 June. Amendments relating to the Universal Credit, housing support, the Social Fund and the Personal Independence Payment were debated, but other groups of amendments -including those on Employment and Support Allowance changes and the benefit cap - were not discussed as proceedings on each day reached the deadlines specified in the programme motion before they could be considered.
18.05.2011The Habitual Residence Test
The Habitual Residence Test is applied to people (unless they are exempt categories) who have recently arrived in the country and who make a claim for certain means-tested social security benefits, or seek housing assistance from a local authority.
17.02.2011Welfare Reform and the Universal Credit
On 11 November 2010 the Government set out plans for a 'Universal Credit' to replace most in work and out of work benefits for people of working age. This note gives an overview of the main features of the Universal Credit and looks at some of the issues raised by the proposals.
14.02.2011Disability Living Allowance reform
The June 2010 Budget announced that a new "objective medical assessment" would be introduced for both new and existing working age DLA claims from 2013-14, saving over £1 billion a year by 2014-15 and reducing the DLA caseload by 20%. On 6 December the Government published a consultation paper, Disability Living Allowance reform, which sets out plans for an entirely new benefit - the "Personal Independence Payment" - to replace DLA, starting from 2013-14.
10.02.2011Restriction of the Sure Start Maternity Grant
The June 2010 Budget announced that from April 2011 the Sure Start Maternity Grant would be restricted to the first child only in a family, saving around £73 million a year. The Social Security Advisory Committee believes that the measure "lacks a coherently argued rationale", and the House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee has suggested that the Government needs to set out more clearly the rationale for the change and its anticipated impact. A particular concern is that changes to the Social Fund Budgeting Loans scheme to mitigate the impact on families will not come into effect until early 2012.
03.02.2011Time-limiting contributory Employment and Support Allowance
The Spending Review on 20 October 2010 announced that, from April 2012, for those Employment and Support Allowance claimants assessed as eligible for the Work Related Activity Group, contributory ESA will only be payable for up to one year. Some claimants affected by the change will be able to claim income-based ESA, but it is estimated that around 280,000 could lose entitlement to ESA completely.
26.01.2011Disability Living Allowance mobility component for people in care homes
The October 2010 Spending Review announced that the DLA mobility component would be withdrawn from people in care homes whose place was funded by a public body. The proposal was dropped by the Government during the passage of Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12. This note gives background to the original proposal and summarises initial reactions to it.
05.01.2011Support for Mortgage Interest: the standard rate from 1 October 2010
The Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme provides help with mortgage interest payments for claimants of certain means-tested benefits. From 1 October 2010 the standard interest rate used to calculate SMI payments was cut from 6.08 per cent to 3.63 per cent. This note looks at the background to the change and at the issues it raises.
23.12.2010Cold Weather Payments for winter 2010/2011
Cold Weather Payments are made to certain claimants of means-tested benefits during periods of very cold weather. To trigger the £25 payments, the average temperature in an area must be recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below for seven consecutive days.
20.12.20102011 Benefit Uprating
From April 2011 rates of many benefits and Tax Credits will increase; this will mainly be in line with the 3.1% annual increase in the CPI to September 2010. Exceptionally, this year the basic state retirement pension will be increased by the 4.6%. The Government is committed to a "triple lock" for uprating the basic state pension, which means in future it will be increased by the highest of the increase in earnings, prices (as reflected in the CPI increase) or 2.5%. This year, to ensure the basic state pension is in line with the previous uprating rules, the increase in the RPI is being used. There is a requirement for Pension Credit to be increased in line with earnings. However, to ensure the least well-off pensioners benefit from the triple guarantee, the standard minimum income guarantee in Pension Credit will increase in April 2011 by the cash rise in a full basic State Pension. This note sets out the basis for the April 2011 uprating. It focuses on the Retirement Pension and Pension Credit but also contains a summary of the main benefit and tax credit rates before and after the uprating. Child Benefit is frozen until April 2014.
05.11.2010June Budget and Spending Review 2010: DLA and ESA changes
The Coalition Government's June 2010 Budget announced that a new "objective medical assessment" would be introduced for Disability Living Allowance claims from 2013-14. The Spending Review on 20 October announced that that the DLA mobility component is to be withdrawn from people in care homes whose place is funded by a public body. The Spending Review also announced that, from April 2012, for those Employment and Support Allowance claimants assessed as eligible for the "Work Related Activity Group", contributory ESA would only be payable for up to one year.
03.11.2010Child Benefit for higher rate taxpayers
At the Conservative Party Conference in October 2010 the Chancellor announced that from January 2013 Child Benefit would be withdrawn from families with a higher rate taxpayer. This note looks at the background to the announcement and at reactions to it. Revised proposals for a 'High Income Child Benefit Charge' were presented in Budget 2012 under which Child Benefit would instead be clawed back from families where the highest earner had an income in excess of 50,000. Further details can be found in Library briefing SN06299, Child Benefit for higher income families.
20.05.2010Lone parents and Jobseeker's Allowance
By April 2011 most lone parents with a youngest child aged seven or over will no longer be able to claim Income Support but will instead have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance and be available for and seek paid work.
20.05.2010Lone parents with younger children: the Progression to Work pathfinders
The Welfare Reform Act 2009 includes provisions to enable piloting of mandatory 'work-related activity' for lone parents on Income Support and partners of benefit claimants with a youngest child aged 3-6. The Labour Government announced proposals to run 'pathfinders' in four Jobcentre Plus districts in England from October 2010.
25.01.2010Support for domestic energy users
This note sets out financial support available to domestic energy consumers, including grants for central heating, insulation, microgeneration equipment and social security measures. It also explains how to seek advice or information about gas and electricity problems from Consumer Direct and the Energy Ombudsman.
22.01.2010Cold Weather Payments
Cold Weather Payments. By Steven Kennedy. SN/SP/696.
15.12.20082009 Benefit Uprating
Sets out the basis for the uprating of benefits and tax credits in 2009
03.12.2008Means-tested benefits: help with mortgage costs
Means-tested benefits: help with mortgage costs. By Steven Kennedy. SN/SP/737.
All Research Papers
11 Documents
DateDescription
12.06.2013Pensions Bill
This paper has been prepared for Second Reading of the Pensions Bill on 17 June 2013
04.01.2013Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill
27.04.2012Social Indicators
A compendium of the latest social statistics. This edition includes articles: Constituency-level crime data, ESA assessments and reassessments and Measuring well-being
08.06.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. It complements Research Papers 11/23 and 11/24, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate.
07.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Universal Credit provisions
The Welfare Reform Bill provides for the introduction of a 'Universal Credit' to replace a range of existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age, starting from 2013. The Bill follows the November 2010 White Paper, Universal Credit: welfare that works, which set out the Government's proposals for reforming welfare to improve work incentives, simplify the benefits system and tackle administrative complexity.
04.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: reform of disability benefits, Housing Benefit, and other measures
This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. For information on the provision in the Bill relating to the introduction of Universal Credit, please see the complementary Library Research Paper, 11/24. Besides Universal Credit, the Bill proposes a number of other significant welfare reforms, including replacement of the current Disability Living Allowance, restriction of Housing Benefit entitlement to social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need, time-limiting the payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance to twelve months, and capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.
13.03.2009Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage report
This is a report on the Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. It complements Research Papers 09/08 and 09/09 prepared for Commons Second Reading.
23.01.2009Welfare Reform Bill: social security provisions
This paper is one of two which examine the main proposals of the Welfare Reform Bill 2008-09. It deals with Part 1 of the Bill, which includes provisions to establish a 'work for your benefit' scheme for the long-term unemployed, to allow piloting of the 'personalised conditionality' regime, and to enable the future abolition of income support. See also Research Paper 09/09.
05.12.2001Tax Credits Bill (Bill 52 of 2001-02)
Tax Credits Bill (Bill 52 of 2001/02). House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/110
18.01.1999Tax Credits Bill (Bill 9 1998/99)
Tax Credits Bill (Bill 9 of 1998/99). House of Commons Library Research Paper 99/3.
09.04.1998Working families tax credit and family credit
Working families tax credit and family credit. House of Commons Library Research paper 98/46.