Benefits | LocalGov

Majority on Universal Credit cannot afford enough food


New research reveals the ‘devastating’ consequences of the inadequate Universal Credit system, according to anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust.

Keep carers in work to save £6bn, Government urged


The UK economy will lose billions this year because of unpaid carers who are unable to work, a think-tank has warned.

Suffolk council leaders warn of ‘catastrophic’ HRS proposals


Suffolk council leaders have warned of ‘a catastrophic effect’ on vulnerable residents should Suffolk CC agree proposed Housing Related Support changes.

Millions would need to double income to escape poverty, report warns


Six million people in the UK would need to more than double their income just to escape poverty, a new report has found.

Welsh councils commit to improving benefits system


All local authorities in Wales have signed up to a new charter, committing to work with the Welsh Government to develop a consistent benefits system.

Autumn Statement: Councils remain ‘chronically underfunded’


Support for private renters, devolution, and planning departments is welcome but councils remain ‘chronically underfunded’, council chiefs tell Chancellor.

Autumn Statement: Housing benefits unfrozen


Housing benefits for private renters are set to increase as Jeremy Hunt confirms the uprating of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates in autumn statement.

LGA calls for Healthy Start uplift


The value of the Healthy Start scheme should be increased by 20% to compensate for food inflation, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

Call for 'urgent action on deepening housing crisis'


The council that increased new homes supply the most last year has urged the Government to take ‘urgent action’ on the ‘deepening housing crisis’.

Government falling 'woefully short' on supported housing


Vulnerable people are increasingly provided with poor quality supported housing and suffer ‘significant, detrimental’ impacts due to inadequate support, a report has found.

Homelessness warning over LHA freeze


A maintained freeze on local housing allowance (LHA) rates could push 60,000 Londoners into homelessness over the next six years, according to new analysis.

One million UK children in poverty


There were 3.8 million people, including a million children, living in destitution in the UK in 2022, with state support ‘relatively absent’, a new report has found.

Disconnected job schemes failing to tackle unemployment


Nine million people who are struggling to find work are at risk of being left out of the labour market because of a ‘complex patchwork’ of job schemes.

LGA warns Hunt over housing allowance rates


The LGA has warned chancellor Jeremy Hunt he will force more into homelessness unless he ends a three-year freeze on housing rental benefits.

Child poverty warning over possible benefit freeze


A freeze on working-age benefits would push 400,000 children into poverty, new research has found.

Housing allowance freeze forcing more into homelessness, Government told


More people will be forced into homelessness unless a three-year freeze on housing rental benefits is ended, the Government has been warned.

Seven in 10 councils struggling amid cost of living crisis


Seven in 10 councils are struggling to support people hit by the cost of living crisis, according to new research published today.

Childcare expansion has ‘little to offer’ poorest families


The free childcare expansion continues a trend of prioritising support for working parents rather than helping low-income families, financial experts warn.

Claimants losing benefits in ‘managed migration’ to UC


More than a quarter of claimants who are required to move to universal credit (UC) have not claimed UC and have had their tax credits stopped as a result, new analysis has revealed.

Disabled people missing out on £24m every month


Delays to Personal Independent Payment (PIP) reviews have left disabled people missing out on an estimated £24m every month, according to Citizens Advice.

Rent arrears surge


Four in five council landlords have reported growing rent arrears over the past year, according to the findings of a new survey.

Childcare payments boosted by 47%


Childcare payments to working families on universal credit are to increase from today by 47% in England, Scotland and Wales.

Newly listed properties unaffordable to benefit recipients


The proportion of newly listed private rental properties on Zoopla affordable to recipients of housing support has dropped from 23% to 5%, according to IFS.

Vulnerable families facing £5,600 shortfalls


The UK’s most vulnerable families are facing shortfalls of up to £5,600 this year due to the cost-of-living crisis, new research has revealed.

Local Housing Allowance failing to cover costs


The allowance paid to help people pay rent for private housing is failing to cover their costs, according to new analysis.

Call for Government to share more data with councils


Councils are struggling to reach households hit by the cost of living crisis due to the Government’s failure to share its data with local authorities.

Seven in 10 children experiencing poverty in working households


The number of children suffering poverty has shot up since support given during the COVID pandemic came to an end, according to new figures.

Universal Credit childcare payments to rise nearly 50%


Parents on Universal Credit will be able to claim hundreds of pounds more to cover childcare costs from the end of June, the Government has announced.

Opportunities missed to help man who died of starvation


A man with severe mental health problems died alone weighing four and a half stone after opportunities to help him were missed, a review of the case found.

Nearly £19bn of benefits go unclaimed


The total amount of unclaimed income-related benefits and social tariffs is now £18.7bn a year, a new study has found.

Food banks hand out record 3 million food parcels


A record number of food parcels have been given out over the last year to people struggling with the cost of living, UK’s largest food bank network reports.

Landlords letting ‘non-decent’ homes get £1.6bn of benefits


London Mayor Sadiq Khan is demanding action over the ‘scandal’ that billiions of pounds are being paid to landlords for substandard properties.

Landlords accuse Government of complacency over benefits


Landlords have accused the Government of complacency over tenants who cannot pay their housing costs.

Million children in poverty due to limit on benefits


The two-child limit for payment of benefits is affecting 1.5m children, with more than a million of them growing up in poverty, according to campaigners.

Half of homeless children forced to move schools


Almost half of school age children who have become homeless have been forced to move schools as a result of living in temporary homes, charity reveals.

Benefits £140 a month below everyday costs


Poverty campaigners have called for a shakeup in the UK’s welfare system after finding that benefits are at least £140 a month below basic everyday costs.

Over 200,000 children missing out on free school meals


Local authority leaders have called for the introduction of an automated sign-up system in order to expand access to free school meals to 215,000 children.

Councils call for ‘fair’ benefits system to help vulnerable


Councils have warned that vulnerable and less well-off people are being hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.

Council calls for housing benefits funding review


Councillors at Telford and Wrekin Council have called for an urgent review of the Government’s funding provision for housing benefits.

One million private renters at risk of eviction


One in 12 private renters in England – or nearly one million people – are currently under threat of eviction, housing charity reveals.

Mini budgets, big budgets – the need for stability and direction is clear


Sean Sutton argues revenues and benefits have always been at the forefront of implementing new and innovative ways of delivering services – no more so than in the current climate.

Benefit cuts leave council welfare schemes ‘over-burdened’


Cuts to benefits have left local authority-administered discretionary welfare support funds ‘over-burdened’, think tank warns.

Benefits set to be 6% below pre-pandemic levels


Benefits next year are on course to be 6% below their pre-pandemic levels, financial experts predict.

Foodbank workers call on PM to increase benefits


Thousands of food bank workers have signed a letter calling on the Prime Minister to increase benefits and to end the reliance on food banks.

Benefit cuts to reduce incomes of nine million households


Plans to cut benefits by increasing them below inflation will leave the poorest struggling to get by on incomes that will drop to levels not seen since 2000.

Landlords call for cost-of-living plan


Landlords have urged the Chancellor to adopt a cost-of-living plan for the private rented sector.

75,000 children stuck in London’s temporary housing


More than 75,000 children are housed in temporary accommodation in London because of a lack of affordable housing and low benefits.

Six million people on disability benefits to receive £150


Six million people who are paid certain disability benefits will begin to receive a one-off payment of £150 from today to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

Disabilities charity calls for ‘immediate increase’ in benefits


A charity has called for an ‘immediate increase’ in disability benefits and for more assistance with energy costs to help families with disabled children.

London councils warn of ‘devastating’ homelessness spike


The cost-of-living crisis and increases in private rents are set to cause a homelessness spike in the coming months, London boroughs have warned.

Former PM warns of cost of living ‘humanitarian crisis’


Government support to help with the cost of living crisis falls short for households on benefits and risks a 'humanitarian crisis', former PM says.

Call to simplify devolved-benefits in Wales


A new report has called on the Welsh Government to simplify the benefit system to help more people during the cost of living crisis.

MPs call for pause in benefit deductions to help struggling families


MPs have urged the DWP to pause deductions from benefits to help families who are struggling to get by due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Seven more Scottish councils make Adult Disability Payment available


The Adult Disability Payment is now available in seven more council areas in Scotland ahead of national roll out on 29 August.

Disabled benefit claimants forced to wait five months for first payment


Benefit claimants applying for disability support are waiting around five months on average to be awarded their first payment, financial experts have revealed.

Over 820,000 households struggling to pay rent


Landlords have called on the Chancellor to unfreeze housing benefit as they warn that hundreds of thousands of people struggle to pay their monthly rents.

Council chiefs welcome £15bn cost of living package


Local authority leaders have welcomed the Chancellor’s multi-billion-pound announcement of cost of living payments but called for a ‘longer-term solution’.

MPs voice ‘concerns’ over lack of funding for Ukrainian refugees


MPs have joined council leaders in calling on Government to provide councils with funding to support Ukrainian refugees arriving via the family visa scheme.

Around 50% of Muslim households living in poverty


Half of Muslim UK households are living in poverty and deprivation compared to 18% of the general UK population, an Islamic charity has revealed.

Homeless deaths increase 80% in two years


The number of people dying while homeless has increased by 80% in two years, shocking new research reveals.

Household income to experience 'sharpest fall since mid-1970s’


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to cause typical household incomes across Britain to fall by 4% in the coming financial year, think tank says.

Nine million families will be £500 worse off from April, analysis reveals


A real-terms cut to benefits could push 400,000 people into poverty by April, new analysis has warned today.

Sunak unveils £150 council tax rebate


Local authorities have been tasked with administering a council tax rebate and £144m fund to soften the impact of soaring energy prices.

More social housing could save councils nearly £600m a year on housing support


A new study has calculated that councils could save millions if money spent on housing support was invested in building homes in the social rented sector.

Personal Independence Payment for people with mental health problems: Implications for local government


Richard Machin outlines the findings of a new paper exploring the impact of welfare reform on local government services.

Counties see fastest growth in number of people claiming out of work benefits


County councils have warned that a 'narrow and simplistic focus' in the levelling-up agenda risks England’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Confusion and stigma stopped half a million people claiming UC during pandemic


Around half a million people failed to claim for Universal Credit during the start of the pandemic despite being eligible for the benefit, new research has found.

Charity warns of soaring food bank use if UC uplift ends


One in five people on Universal Credit are 'very likely' to use a food bank if the £20 weekly uplift is removed, new research has found.

Councils urged to back £20 Universal Credit uplift


Councils have been urged to lobby the Government to make the £20 uplift in Universal Credit permanent by trade union Unite.

Study highlights ‘appalling’ rise in destitution in the UK


The number of people experiencing destitution in the UK has increased by 54% in two years, a new study has found.

Think tank calls for a 'family stimulus' boost


A 'family stimulus' would help support hard-hit families through the pandemic, a new report has said.

Councils warn of ‘avalanche of evictions’


The local government sector is braced for a deluge of homelessness following the end of the evictions ban.

Politicians calls for universal basic income to jumpstart economy


The Government has been urged to make Universal Basic Income a crucial part of its coronavirus recovery plan by 110 MPs and Peers.

DWP ‘condemns’ 2,000 terminally ill people to die without benefits, charity says


A charity has accused the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of condemning 2,000 people in six months to die without benefits.

Housing benefit errors pushing families into homelessness, ombudsman warns


Families are facing the prospect of becoming homeless due to the way some councils are handling housing benefit appeals, the ombudsman has warned today.

Lack of housing benefit forcing families to give up food to pay rent, charity warns


Families are being forced to give up food shopping in order to pay their rent, a charity has warned today.

Families forced into homelessness by ‘unaffordable’ housing


A charity has warned families are being pushed into homelessness as figures reveal nine in 10 homes are unaffordable to families relying on housing benefit.

Benefit problems ‘widespread’ among food bank users


Problems with the welfare system affected two-thirds of people at food banks over the last year, a charity has revealed.

DWP admits overestimating number of disabled people due benefit refunds


The Department for Work and Pensions has overestimated the number of sick and disabled people due benefit refunds.

Housing fraud costs councils £16m each year


People who claim to live alone in order to get a council tax discount cost the local government sector nearly £16m a year, a new study has found.

Rudd orders ‘evaluation’ of benefits for people with terminal illnesses


Amber Rudd has asked the DWP to set up an 'honest and in depth evaluation' of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life.

UC payment delays should be no more than a week, MPs say


Two independent MPs have called for Universal Credit payments to begin within a week of registering for the benefit.

Most councils warn benefit freeze will make more people homeless


Nine out of 10 councils believe the housing benefit freeze will push more people into homelessness, a new survey has revealed.

Universal Credit ‘key driver’ behind increase in foodbank use


The number of food parcels given out across the UK has gone up 73% in five years, according to a major charity.

Child benefit value at ‘record low’


The value of child benefit has fallen to a record low, a think tank says 40 years after the benefit was established.

Benefit assessors convicted of £1m housing benefit fraud


Seven benefit assessors in London have been convicted of a housing benefit fraud worth over £1m.

Campaigners continue legal battle over two-child benefits


Poverty campaigners are continuing their legal battle over the Government's two-child benefits policy in the Court of Appeal this week.

Council signs £65m deal with Capita


Westminster City Council has renewed its contract with Capita in a deal worth around £65m over a decade.

Disability benefit sanctions ‘arbitrarily punitive’, MPs say


The existing regime of benefit sanctions for those with disabilities or other health conditions is ‘arbitrarily punitive’ and needs reassessing, MPs have warned.

Councils cheated out of £1m by housing benefit assessors


Lambeth, Kingston, and Barking and Dagenham councils were cheated out of £1m by a group of housing benefit assessors who used dummy claimants, court has heard.

Charity to provide DWP-funded Universal Credit support


The charity Citizens Advice is to start providing Government-backed support to help Universal Credit claimants navigate the new welfare system.

What are councils spending on discretionary housing payments?


Local authorities are spending record sums on emergency payments to households that otherwise face eviction by private or social landlords. Neil Merrick investigates.

Court rules bereavement benefit restrictions breaches human rights


Denying bereavement benefits to unmarried, cohabiting partners with children is incompatible with human rights law, court rules.

Letting agents discriminate against tenants on benefits


Several major letting agents are discriminating against tenants on housing benefit, according to campaigners.

UC claimants lose ‘hundreds of pounds’ due to assessment timing


Many Universal Credit claimants are losing hundreds of pounds each year because their payday falls too close to their assessment date, a charity has revealed.

Universal Credit is a ‘flawed’ system, housing organisations warn


A group of housing organisations yesterday warned that Universal Credit is ‘flawed’ and is causing debt, suffering and hardship for millions.

Charity warns councils are depriving four million older people of benefits


Nearly four million older people are being denied access to key benefits because they do not use computers, according to campaigners.

Call for more support for young people living independently


The Government must do more to support young people who are living independently, MPs say.

Carers face benefit ‘cliff-edge’, MPs warn


MPs have called on the Government to remove the ‘cliff-edge’ in the benefit calculation that could see many carers lose their allowance.

Whitehall extends Universal Credit support to ‘kinship carers’


The Government has announced it would be extending support under Universal Credit to families looking after children who might otherwise be in the care of the local authority.

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