benefits

  • Bedroom tax

    Level: Standard

    training course
    The controversial ‘bedroom tax’ has seen thousands of the  lowest-income households lose some housing benefit and has been responsible for an alarming rise in rent arrears. This course looks at the benefit issues that the measure throws up one year on with particular reference to an update on the varied legal challenges that have emerged.

    It includes:

    Read more
  • Challenging PIP decisions

    Level: Standard

    training course

    This one-day course looks at how to challenge personal independence payment (PIP) decisions. There is an opportunity to discuss how the different PIP criteria affect appeal tactics, and think through how to go about getting the right outcome for clients. 

    The course covers:

    Read more
    Dates:
  • Maximising income through take-up campaigns and the living wage


    page

    The living wage was discussed by a range of local authorities as one way to improve the incomes of working families. Many authorities have already become living wage employers, but some are also looking at writing it through their procurement procedures, and believed that the Social Value Act 2013 – which places an obligation on public bodies to consider the social value inherent in any procurement – provides them with incredible leverage to do so.

  • Guide to welfare reforms for local authority staff and their partners


    page

    A (long) plain language guide to welfare reforms for local authority staff and their partners

    A wide reaching programme of welfare reform is underway that will have a significant impact on child poverty levels across local authorities. The scope of the welfare reform programme is broad, and a number of reforms will affect a variety of family types, and for many households, these effects will be cumulative.

  • Missing potential: why the European funds should be used to support parental employment in London

    June 2013
    briefing

    London has the highest child poverty rates in the country, and the lowest rates of mothers employment. This briefing argues that the next round of the European Social Fund from 2014 should be used in London to support parents to access paid work.

  • Editorial: low-income families face another bleak year

    Issue 141 (Spring 2013)
    article

    Looking back at how low-income families fared in 2012 is a dispiriting exercise: minimal wage rises, the escalating price of essentials and benefit cuts all conspired to make it a dismal year.  Sadly, 2013 looks set to be no better: this year we will see, among other things, the introduction of the benefit cap which, for the first time since the 1970s, disconnects assistance from assessed need; the localisation of the social fund and of council tax benefit, which will result in many low-income families having to find the funds to pay council tax in the future; and the advent of the tougher regimes of both universal credit and personal independence payment.

  • Poverty, social security and stigma

    Issue 144 (Spring 2013)
    article

    ‘Proud to be poor’ is not a banner under which many want to march.’

    Writing recently about the lack of respect accorded to those living on a low income, Ruth Lister identified the strong and historic link between poverty and stigma. Social security can be seen as a way of helping to reduce the stigma of poverty, providing enough for people to participate in society, without being reduced to charity. But in recent years, there has been a perception of an increasing sense of stigma attached simply to the receipt of benefits. Kate Bell asks whether social security itself has become a source of shame.

  • The impact of the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill

    Issue 144 (Spring 2013)
    article

    In December 2012, at the tail end of the parliamentary session, the government laid before the House of Commons a new piece of legislation. The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill 2012 has a clear objective: to legitimate the Chancellor’s decision in his Autumn Statement to uprate key in- and out-of-work benefits by just 1 per cent for the next three fiscal years. Lindsay Judge explores the likely impacts of the Bill on the fortunes of children growing up in low-income families in the UK today, and subjects some of the rhetorical claims surrounding it to further scrutiny.

  • The Double Lockout: How low income families will be locked out of fair living standards

    January 2013
    briefing

    This report, published on the eve of the second reading of the Welfare Benefits Up-Rating Bill 2012-13, reveals that the government’s welfare benefit uprating legislation is based on bogus claims and is a poverty-producing bill that will further exclude the poorest workers, jobseekers, carers and disabled people from the mainstream of society.