Prisoners and benefits

Most social security benefits are affected if you are in prison. This factsheet outlines the main issues that come up if you are remanded in custody or if you are serving a prison sentence. It also provides some information on what happens to benefits if you get a community-based sentence, and what should happen when you are released from prison.

For information about universal credit and imprisonment, please see our factsheet Prisoners and universal credit.

Good work in London: have your say


London is one of the most dynamic and successful cities in the world. But we also know our city is highly unequal with some groups excluded from economic prosperity.

‘Loud and clear’ no more: the shift from child poverty to ‘troubled families’

Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

The legally binding commitment to eradicate child poverty, once agreed upon by all our main political parties, no longer exists. Instead, the social policy focus at the current time is on ‘troubled’ and ‘workless’ families. Stephen Crossley examines the shifts that have taken place in recent years, highlighting some causes for concern.

Editorial: Poverty 157

Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

Under David Cameron we saw child poverty targets scrapped and poverty reframed as a matter not of lack of money but of poor ‘life chances’, while the number of children in poverty increased. Theresa May promised to address the ‘burning injustices’ in society, including poverty, but has continued to pursue policies which are projected to drive child poverty up to over 5 million by the end of this parliament.

25 years on: reflections on social justice

Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

Since she took office, Theresa May has adopted the language of ‘social justice’, promising to end the ‘burning injustice’ that some are born into lives of more opportunity than others, because of poverty, race, gender or class. There have been promises of a green paper, setting out her reform agenda. ‘Social justice’ has been high on the agenda before. Twenty five years ago, John Smith’s Commission on Social Justice was set up and, two years later, it published its final recommendations for improving social justice in the UK in Social Justice: strategies for national renewal. Advocating for a society that invests in people as its greatest asset and source of growth, the Commission was very influential in shaping social policy in the New Labour years. Here, four former Commission members, together with a commentator from a different part of the political spectrum, the Director of the think tank Bright Blue, reflect on developments since then and suggest what should be included in a social justice strategy today.

Advice post High Court decision on Benefit Cap and lone parents with children under two

Last updated: June 29, 2017

On 22 June 2017, the High Court ruled that the benefit cap as it applied to lone parents with children under 2 was unlawful.

Latest ebulletins

28 June 2017

Read our latest Tax Credits and Early Years ebulletin which includes: free school meals and free childcare; statistics; Q&A; and caselaw.

Read our latest Students and Benefits ebulletin which includes: UC full service roll-out; claiming benefit in the summer vacation; and UC & FE bursary.

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June 22, 2017

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group:

 “In exposing the absurdity and cruelty of the benefit cap, we hope this case is the beginning of the end for this nasty policy. It is a policy that punishes the vulnerable for being vulnerable and even fails on its own terms.

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Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill - Stage Two Briefing Note

June 2017

This briefing note was sent to members of the Scottish Social Security Committee ahead of the Stage Two consideration of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill on Thursday 22 June.

MEDIA RELEASE: ‘Principles must now be reflected in detail of the legislation’ say child poverty campaigners as first Social Security (Scotland) Bill published

21 June 2017

“The principle of social security as an investment in the people of Scotland and the recognition that social security is a human right are very welcome, as are the commitments Ministers have already made to boost support for carers and young children, but it is absolutely vital that those principles and early improvements are clearly reflected in the legislation as a whole. ...

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