Welfare reform

Welfare Rights - Welfare Reform block

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 became law on 8 March 2012. The Act introduces a wide range of reforms to the benefits and tax credits system.

This page lists all our resources on welfare reform. See also our page on universal credit.

Key resources


  • Two child limit challenge

    Last updated: December 14, 2018
    test case

    The substantive challenge to the two child policy is now being appealed to the Court of Appeal.  The hearing will take place on 19 and 20 December 2018.

    On 18 August 2017, CPAG issued a claim for judicial review in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SSWP) to challenge the two child limit, introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. Permission was granted on 17 October 2017 and the case was heard across two days on 6 and 7 February 2018.  Judgment was given on 20 April 2018 allowing the challenge in part.  The Court accepted CPAG's arguments that the ordering restriction on the kinship care exception was perverse and therefore unlawful.  The wider challenge to the policy as a whole was dismissed.  CPAG is appealing this aspect of the case to the Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, in November 2018, the DWP/HMRC brought in amending legislation to remove the ordering restriction from both the kinship care and adopted children exceptions . Read the judgment and our statement about the judgment.

  • Local welfare assistance schemes


    page

    A local welfare assistance scheme can help you if you are in urgent need following an emergency or unforeseen event and have no other source of help. The schemes are run by local councils and they vary. You may be able to get vouchers to pay for food, fuel or clothing or bigger basic living items such as beds, cookers and fridges. You can’t usually get cash.

  • Universal Credit Advances


    page

    The rules about advance payments of Universal Credit (UC) are similar to the rules about short-term benefit advances of other benefits.

  • Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015

    Issue 247 (August 2015)
    article

    The Welfare Reform and Work Bill was laid before parliament and given its first reading on 9 July 2015. The second reading took place on 21 July 2015 and CPAG will continue to lobby for amendments to the Bill as it progresses through parliament. Paul Treloar summarises the main points of the Bill.

  • Benefit cuts: who is hurting?

    Issue 242 (October 2014)
    article

    Paul Treloar, Advice and Rights Manager at CPAG, describes recent research on the impact of benefit cuts.

  • Welfare reform: what it means to families at risk of poverty


    factsheet

    The Coalition Government has targeted the social security budget with unprecedented cuts in expenditure totalling £22 billion a year by 2014-15.

    This factsheet is a summary of the reforms, and the impact on families.

  • Welfare reform in 2013

    Issue 233 (April 2013)
    article

    2013 is a landmark year in welfare reform. Simon Osborne outlines the main changes.

  • What is replacing the social fund?

    Issue 233 (April 2013)
    article

    David Simmons looks at alternative provision following the abolition of the discretionary social fund (SF) from 1 April 2013.

  • HB deductions for under-occupying social housing

    Issue 232 (February 2013)
    article

    David Simmons examines new rules which restrict the housing benefit (HB) entitlement of social housing tenants with excess bedrooms.

    Note: this article was edited on 21/03/2013 to correct an error- see note at end of article.

  • Taking candy from a baby

    Issue 231 (December 2012)
    article

    Mark Willis explains how the rules designed to restrict child benefit for ‘high earners’ are meant to work.