Benefits administration

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the administration of Social Security benefits. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

07.11.2014People from abroad: what benefits can they claim?
This note gives a broad overview of the rules on access to benefits and tax credits for people coming to the UK from abroad. It describes the situation for asylum seekers, nationals from European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and non-EEA nationals.
05.11.2014Measures to limit migrants' access to benefits
Following an article by the Prime Minister's in the Financial Times on 27 November 2013 in which he said he shared concerns about the impact of lifting transitional restrictions on the right of Romanian and Bulgarian right to work in the UK from 1 January 2014, the Government has introduced a raft of measures 'to tighten up our EEA migration rules to ensure our welfare system is not taken advantage of.'
24.10.2014Introduction of Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people of working age. Since it was first introduced for new claims in April 2013 there have been problems with the claims process, with some claimants waiting six months or more for a decision. The Government said that, as a result of actions it is taking, by autumn 2014 no PIP claimant will have to wait more than six months for a decision and by the end of the year no one will have to wait more than 16 weeks.
04.09.2014Social security benefits and expenditure: Social Indicators page
A summary of expenditure on benefits and tax credits.
07.08.2014Impact on the UK of Scottish independence: social security and tax credits
In the event Scotland becoming an independent country, the Scottish and Westminster governments would have to address two main issues with regard to welfare provision: how to deliver benefits and tax credits in the initial transitional period following independence; and how the two countries' systems should relate to each other in the longer term.

Research Papers

08.06.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. It complements Research Papers 11/23 and 11/24, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate.
04.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: reform of disability benefits, Housing Benefit, and other measures
This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. For information on the provision in the Bill relating to the introduction of Universal Credit, please see the complementary Library Research Paper, 11/24. Besides Universal Credit, the Bill proposes a number of other significant welfare reforms, including replacement of the current Disability Living Allowance, restriction of Housing Benefit entitlement to social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need, time-limiting the payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance to twelve months, and capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.

Select Committee Reports

02.03.2011Reducing errors in the benefits system.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
29.03.2010Decision making and appeals in the benefits system.
Government response. Work and Pensions Select Committee; Department for Work and Pensions report [Commons]
08.03.2010Department for Work and Pensions: Management of Benefit Overpayment Debt.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
27.01.2010Decision-making and appeals in the benefits system.
Work and Pensions Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House is aware of the Government's decision to reduce by at least 1 billion the annual spend on disability living allowancebenefits;notes the concerns of the National Autism ...
That this House supports the historic change made to the Welfare Reform Act in 2009 that means blind people will receive the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living ...
That this House expresses its concern at the suspension of disability living allowances (DLA) for children spending more than 84 days in hospital; congratulates the Contact a Family ...
14.09.2010REVENUE AND CUSTOMS (S.I., 2010, No. 1879)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Taxes and Duties (Interest Rate) Regulations 2010 (S.I., 2010,No. 1879), dated 21 July 2010, a copy of which was ...
That this House calls on the Government urgently to halt its programme of job cuts and office closures in Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC); is concerned that the Department ...

POST Papers

11.07.2012Assessing Capacity for Work
This briefing discusses the role of the Work Capability Assessment and its suitability as a gateway to benefit.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses