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DWP Reforms Coming into Effect in April
April 10, 2019
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Reforms coming into effect in April will support those who can work to get into employment while ensuring there is a safety net in place for those who need it reports the DWP.Image result for Amber Rudd

These include more generous work allowances for disabled people and families with children and extra financial support in the workplace through the government’s Access to Work scheme.

Other changes include increasing the State Pension, Maternity Allowance, most benefits for the additional cost of a disability and for carers, ensuring the government is supporting the most vulnerable.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, said:

“Our benefits system must be an ally of the people it serves, ensuring we are supporting the most vulnerable and that work always pays.

“That’s why we’re bringing in a number of changes to put more money in people’s pockets, while protecting families, pensioners and disabled people. Our reforms are creating a fair compassionate society where everyone can reach their full potential, while maintaining a safety net for those who need it.”

1 April Access to Work cap increase

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Grant to Support Disabled People in the Workplace Increases to Almost £60,000
February 14, 2019
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Disabled employees will be able to benefit from almost £60,000 a year to assist them at work. Disabled employees will be able to benefit from almost £60,000 a year to assist them at work, the Minister for Disabled People Sarah Newton has announced in Parliament.Image result for The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton

From 1 April 2019 people will now be able to claim up to £59,200 annually to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace through the government’s Access to Work scheme. This can include workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters.

It comes after the government increased the cap by almost a third last year. Now, even more people will be able to benefit, especially those from the deaf community who can get BSL interpreters through the scheme. Read more

DWP Touchbase: Edition 132
February 5, 2019
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This edition of Touchbase includes information on:

  • changes to Universal Credit
  • how to contact a claimant’s Universal Credit case manager
  • a new employment-focussed campaign
  • the Help to Save scheme
  • the Workplace Pension campaign

DWP Touchbase: Edition 132

Touchbase: November Budget Edition
November 9, 2018
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In the Budget on 29th October, the Chancellor announced a package of measures worth £4.5 billion to support the safe and secure roll out of Universal Credit.

Key Budget announcements:

  • The Universal Credit Work Allowance will be increased by £1,000 from April 2019. This means that 2.4m households will keep an extra £630 of income each year.
  • Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support will roll on for the first fortnight of a Universal Credit claim, where otherwise they would have stopped. This will be effective from July 2020, and benefit around 1.1 million claimants.
  • Government is extending the 12-month grace period (the period before the Minimum Income Floor applies) to support all gainfully self-employed people. This will be introduced from July 2019 and implemented fully from September 2020.
  • Claimants can repay overpayments and debt more slowly from October 2019 (from 40% of the standard allowance to 30%), and from October 2021 people will have longer to repay advances.
  • In addition, the Budget provides funding for the announcements made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in April and June 2018 to support the roll out of Universal Credit.

The Budget in full Read more

Youth Unemployment Down 50% Since 2010
October 16, 2018
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Official figures, released by the Office for National Statistics today, show that youth unemployment has halved since 2010.

The figures also show that the unemployment rate of 4.0% has not been lower since 1975. Real wages are up for the seventh month in a row, rising by 0.7% above inflation and employment remained high at 75.5%, up 0.4% points on the year.

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The proportion of young people who are unemployed is at a new record low, as more than 120,000 more young people have a job than in 2010. At the same time, fewer children are now growing up in a home without any adults in work than ever before. There are 637,000 fewer children in this position than in 2010, helping inspire more young people into work themselves. Read more

DWP Touchbase: Issue 129
September 28, 2018
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This edition of Touchbase includes information on:

  •  the Get to Know Your Pension campaign
  •  requests for personal information from third parties
  •  the Find a job service
  •  the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service
  •  changes for carers in Scotland
  •  changes to the Universal Credit live service helpline

Touchbase Issue 129

Parents Urged Not to “Miss Out” on National Insurance Credits
September 6, 2018
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Parents and carers should make sure they are getting National Insurance credits which may improve their State Pension income.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey today urges parents with children under 12 to ensure they receive the valuable National Insurance credits which may improve their State Pension income.

Some parents may inadvertently be missing out on retirement income to which they are entitled, the Secretary of State warned today. To ensure they receive National Insurance credits parents must submit a child benefit claim, even if they opt out of receiving any payments.

Credits can help to fill gaps in National Insurance records, and help people to qualify for some contributory benefits including State Pension.

The full new State Pension is £164.35 per week – or around £8,500 a year – however, the actual amount you get depends on an individual’s National Insurance record.

Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said:

I urge everyone to check their eligibility and apply for any credits for which they qualify and are entitled to. Don’t miss out on potentially increased pay-outs from your future state pension.

The State Pension is a foundation for retirement. If you are caring for a child or a relative then you may be eligible for National Insurance credits which will strengthen this foundation.

National Insurance credits aim to ensure that someone’s State Pension is not affected if they are unable to work and pay National Insurance contributions. Read more

DWP Touchbase: Issue 128
August 29, 2018
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This edition of Touchbase includes information on:

  • rough sleeping
  • summer jobs
  • understanding Universal Credit
  • Pension Awareness week
  • an older workers toolkit for employers
  • Child Benefit payments
  • GCSEs
  • government support for savers

Touchbase Newsletter 128

Unemployment Rate Falls to 4%, With Record Low Youth Unemployment
August 15, 2018
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As young people in England and Wales await their A-level results on Thursday 16 August, the proportion of young people who are unemployed and not in full-time education is at a record low of 4.7%.

Meanwhile, there are also a record number of older people in work – over 10.2 million.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey said:

With the unemployment rate falling further to just 4%, and youth unemployment down over 45% since 2010, school leavers this week can look forward to a growing jobs market, improving the prospects for their future careers.

In fact, the UK’s vibrant jobs market is benefiting people across the board. Record rates of ethnic minority people in work also show that more families across our society are benefiting from the security of a job, with wages also on the increase.

We have some of the most creative, innovative and hard-working young people in the world and this summer I’ve been urging them to take on a summer job, gaining ‘soft skills’ – or as I call them, essential skills – for their future careers.

Read more

£1million to Improve Life Skills for Young People in Doncaster
July 25, 2018
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A £1 million programme to improve access to sports, arts and culture for 5,000 disadvantaged young people across Doncaster has been launched today by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Young people from some of the most deprived parts of the town will have access to free extra-curricular activities and healthy meals over the summer holidays including competitive sport, cooking classes and outdoor pursuits. The programme will help broaden young people’s horizons, giving them the opportunity develop lifelong skills in leadership and teamwork, as well as helping build character, resilience and confidence so they can become successful adults.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds launched the programme of activities, funded through the Government’s Opportunity Area programme, during a visit to Bentley Youth Centre where he met with the first young people to benefit from the scheme this summer.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

The Opportunity Area programme is about broadening the horizons of young people from disadvantaged areas. I want every young person living in Doncaster to be able to access extra-curricular activities that build the resilience and character they need to fulfill their ambitions, whatever they are.

This investment will help young people in Doncaster learn the skills of leadership and teamwork that are so important later in life, giving them the boost in confidence they need to succeed in education or the world of work.

The funding includes £550,000 to pay for a programme of summer activities in 2018 and 2019, and a £450,000 fund for local voluntary and community groups to support young people in Doncaster develop additional skills through out-of-school activities from September. Read more

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