We will keep this page updated with relevant information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), families and social security.
Capped in the New Year - a briefing on the increasing reach of the benefit cap
Advance to debt [external site] – what happens when deductions are made to benefit payments?
Cash in a crisis: a briefing on how local authorities are spending the hardship money they have been allocated by central government and good practice with local welfare assistance schemes.
Through our Early Warning Systems in Scotland and England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we are seeing some of the gaps in the social security system children and families affected by the pandemic are facing, and highlighting these in regular briefings:
- read the fourth Falling Through the Net briefing European nationals being locked out of the benefit system; families saddled with repayments after a DWP error led to a benefit overpayment; and families facing financial difficulty because the DWP gave them the wrong advice.
- read the third Falling Through the Net briefing - families losing out on entitlement due to disability assessment delays; families in work experiencing financial hardship due to the treatment of earnings in universal credit; and families unable to access support through universal credit because they lack a National Insurance number.
- read the second Falling Through the Net briefing - claimants in paid work experiencing financial hardship because of universal credit assessment periods; ill and disabled claimants continuing to lose out on support as a result of assessment delays; legacy benefit claimants missing out on the £20 uplift
- read the first Falling Through the Net briefing - migrants locked out of the benefit system; ill and disabled claimants losing out on entitlement; families affected by the benefit cap
- read the 14th Mind the Gaps briefing - a round-up of key issues from the past six months
- read the 13th Mind the Gaps briefing - gaps faced by migrants, ill and disabled claimants, survivors of domestic violence, people who have lost their jobs and people required to self-isolate
- read the 12th Mind the Gaps briefing - low-income workers who followed government advice when COVID-19 hit, and became worse off
- read the 11th Mind the Gaps briefing - the benefit cap
- read the 10th Mind the Gaps briefing - EU nationals facing right to reside issues; women who experience domestic violence being denied access to benefits; problems retaining ‘worker’ status; problems with DWP administration and appeal processes causing further delays
- read the ninth Mind the Gaps briefing - debt recovery in universal credit; sanctions and conditionality
- read the eighth Mind the Gaps briefing - parents with no childcare told to take unpaid leave; students excluded from claiming benefits; more families affected by the benefit cap; inadequate support for people who are unable to work due to illness or disability
- read the seventh Mind the Gaps briefing - ill and disabled claimants losing out due to delays in work capability assessments; claimants left without any income while the DWP investigates cases of fraud
- read the sixth Mind the Gaps briefing - migrants left without financial support; people moving to UC in error and being financially worse off as a result
- read the fifth Mind the Gaps briefing - the benefit cap
- read the fourth Mind the Gaps briefing - people accruing housing costs when they cannot move; claimants in receipt of PIP being refused an extension; claimants in receipt of severe disability premium transitioning to UC in error; claimants of legacy benefits considering moving to UC because of the temporary increase in amounts
- read the third Mind the Gaps briefing - problems with the job retention scheme and self-employed income support scheme; workers refused furlough; confusion over interaction between self-employed income support scheme and social security system; workers not eligible for income replacement schemes or UC
- read the second Mind the Gaps briefing - the benefit cap; confusion over benefit entitlement; gaps in financial protection for some bereaved claimants
- read the first Mind the Gaps briefing - groups excluded from claiming UC; making and managing a claim; families struggling with additional costs of children
We are also producing regular digests of all the problems that are cropping up through the Early Warning System in Scotland.
We and Children North East wrote an open letter to Gavin Williamson on home learning.
We have written with over 60 others to the Chancellor about the need to increase child benefit.
We have written with 50 others to the Guardian about the need to lift the two-child limit and benefit cap.
7 January 2020 - One million Covid-19 universal credit claimants have deductions from benefits
22 December 2020 - Capped in the New Year
14 December 2020 - New survey shows deteriorating living standards for low-income families as a result of Covid-19
26 November 2020 - 170,000 households hit by benefit cap
31 August 2020 - Low-income parents relying on child benefit for household basics
25 August 2020 - New survey: the toll of lockdown on low-income families
6 August 2020 - COVID-capped
18 June 2020 - The cost of learning in lockdown
12 June 2020 - CPAG welcomes new government money for local welfare assistance and urges councils to now adapt schemes to widen access
5 May 2020 - Thousands of families tipped on to universal credit by Covid-19 getting no support for infants – call to suspend two-child limit
7 April 2020 - Our joint letter to the Chancellor calling for emergency Covid-19 child benefit rise
26 March 2020 - Our response to latest child poverty statistics: poverty continues to rise as pandemic response falls short for families
20 March 2020 - Our response to Chancellor's announcements on supporting jobs during Covid-19
19 March 2020 - Children's charities, parents groups, teaching unions and churches in Scotland unite in call for cash payment for families as schools close
19 March 2020 - Our call for Scottish councils to make cash payments to hard up families as schools close
16 March 2020 - Our call for emergency child payment for families hit by school closures
21 January 2021 - Security and solidarity in our social security system
22 December 2020 - My rent alone takes up 95% of the benefits I receive...
3 September 2020 - Learning after lockdown: school bells herald extra costs
21 August 2020 - Mind the Gaps: social security during the pandemic
16 July 2020 - The two-child limit now affects almost one million children – and it is being implemented when poverty is rising for larger families
14 July 2020 - Covid realities: monitoring from the front line
3 July 2020 - Cost of learning in lockdown: Anna’s story
25 June 2020 - Cost of learning in lockdown: Hannah’s story
21 May 2020 - Has the government forgotten children during Covid-19?
14 May 2020 - Increasing child benefit: five tests, five ticks?
13 May 2020 - Unemployment support post Covid: learning from the job retention scheme
12 May 2020 - Families hit harder because nothing for children in Covid-19 response
1 May 2020 - Supporting children through the pandemic: why we need a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme
23 April 2020 - Documenting the experiences of low-income families during the pandemic: the ethical challenges
21 April 2020 - The impact of school closures on children living in poverty in Wales
9 April 2020 - Mind the gaps – reporting on families’ incomes during the pandemic
26 March 2020 - Poor children need a coronavirus bonus
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