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

06.02.2015Further devolution of powers to Scotland: Universal Credit housing element and payment arrangements
This note explains the Smith Commission's proposals and the Draft Scotland Clauses in relation to Universal Credit (UC), including the housing costs element (currently Housing Benefit). As it stands, UC will remain a reserved benefit but the Scottish Parliament would be given the power to vary the housing costs element of UC, and powers to vary the manner and frequency of UC payments.
19.01.2015Introduction 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 an assessment and by the end of the year no one will have to wait more than 16 weeks.
19.01.2015Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment assessment
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 requires the Government to commission an independent review of how the Personal Independence Payment assessment is working. The first report of the Independent Review, led by Paul Gray, was published on 17 December 2014. It makes recommendations aimed at improving the claimant experience, the use of evidence, and the effectiveness of the assessment.
08.01.2015Social security expenditure: Social Indicators page
Summary data on benefit and tax credit expenditure in Great Britain.
21.12.20142015 Benefit uprating
State pension, benefit and tax credit increases in April 2015 - what the rates are and how are they are calculated.

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 ...

Lords Library Notes

17.11.2014The Azure Card
This Library Note provides background reading for Members in advance of the debate to be held on 20 November 2014: 'that this House takes note of the Azure card'.

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