Benefits administration

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  • This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the administration of Social Security benefits. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

    Commons Briefing Papers

    07.11.2016Carer's Allowance
    This Commons Library briefing looks at Carer's Allowance - a non-contributory, non-means-tested benefit paid to people who care full-time for someone who is severely disabled. It covers the background to the benefit and issues frequently raised by people claiming it, including the level of the benefit, its interaction with other benefits including the Retirement Pension, and the difficulties recipients face when seeking to combine their caring duties with paid work or studying. Reforms to Carer's Allowance have been discussed, but there have been no significant changes to the benefit in recent years, and Carer's Allowance will remain a separate benefit under the Universal Credit system. Responsibility for Carer's Allowance and related disability benefits is to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and all the major parties in Scotland are committed to increasing Carer's Allowance to at least the level of Jobseeker's Allowance.
    04.11.2016Abolition of the ESA Work-Related Activity Component
    This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides an overview of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and details the changes to the Work Related Activity Component that will be introduced from April 2017. The paper also includes information on the mitigating support announced by the Government.
    23.09.2016Welfare savings 2010-11 to 2020-21
    The House of Commons Library Welfare Expenditure and Savings Tool combines multiple sources of expenditure and savings data into one easy to use, up-to-date analysis tool. Users can track changes in welfare expenditure over time, analyse savings as a proportion of expenditure and identify key policy measures by benefit announced since June 2010. Total spending on UK social security and tax credits will be 218.4 billion in 2016-17, 28.3% of total managed expenditure. Measures announced since 2010 will save around 26 billion in the same year, roughly 10% of what welfare spending might otherwise have been.
    12.09.2016Social Fund Funeral Payments
    This Commons Library briefing looks at Social Fund Funeral Payments scheme, under which claimants of means-tested benefits and tax credits may get help with funeral costs. The adequacy of payments has long been a source of complaint. The complex eligibility criteria have also been criticised for creating confusion, frustration and further emotional distress.
    07.09.2016Rough sleepers: access to services and support (England)
    Rough sleepers are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, many with high levels of complex and interrelated needs. This paper provides an overview of the support and services - including accommodation, health, welfare, training, employment and voter registration - that are available for rough sleepers, and the challenges rough sleepers can face in accessing them.
    13.07.2016Sources of Statistics: Constituency Statistics
    This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on constituency level statistics.
    13.07.2016Sources of Statistics 2016
    This briefing paper brings together sources of statistics on subject areas covered by the Economic Policy & Statistics and Social & General Statistics sections of the House of Commons Library. In doing so it draws upon the knowledge of Library specialists, aiming to provide comprehensive topic-by-topic guides for use by anyone interested in the statistical series that underpin the United Kingdom.
    25.04.2016Welfare reform and disabled people
    The Library briefing provides an overview of the benefits changes introduced since 2010 affecting disabled people and their families, looks at the impact of the changes, and summarises responses from disability organisations and others.
    24.03.2016Winter Fuel Payments update
    The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax-free annual payment to help older people meet the cost of their winter fuel bills. The 'standard' rates are 200 per eligible household where the oldest person is under 80, and 300 for households containing a person aged 80 or over.
    18.02.2016Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16: Lords amendments
    The Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16 had its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 9 February, and the Commons is due to consider Lords amendments on 23 February.

    Lords Library Notes

    10.11.2015Welfare Reform and Work Bill (HL Bill 69 of 2015-16)
    This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill on 17 November 2015.
    17.11.2014The Azure Card
    This Library Note provides background reading for Members in advance of the debate to be held on 20 November 2014: 'that this House takes note of the Azure card'.


    11.07.2012Assessing Capacity for Work
    This briefing discusses the role of the Work Capability Assessment and its suitability as a gateway to benefit.

    Select Committee Reports

    02.03.2011Reducing errors in the benefits system.
    Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
    29.03.2010Decision making and appeals in the benefits system.
    Government response. Work and Pensions Select Committee; Department for Work and Pensions report [Commons]
    08.03.2010Department for Work and Pensions: Management of Benefit Overpayment Debt.
    Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
    27.01.2010Decision-making and appeals in the benefits system.
    Work and Pensions Select Committee report [Commons]

    Early Day Motions

    That this House is aware of the Government's decision to reduce by at least 1 billion the annual spend on disability living allowancebenefits;notes the concerns of the National Autism ...
    That this House supports the historic change made to the Welfare Reform Act in 2009 that means blind people will receive the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living ...
    That this House expresses its concern at the suspension of disability living allowances (DLA) for children spending more than 84 days in hospital; congratulates the Contact a Family ...
    14.09.2010REVENUE AND CUSTOMS (S.I., 2010, No. 1879)
    That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Taxes and Duties (Interest Rate) Regulations 2010 (S.I., 2010,No. 1879), dated 21 July 2010, a copy of which was ...
    That this House calls on the Government urgently to halt its programme of job cuts and office closures in Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC); is concerned that the Department ...


    • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
    • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
    • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses