Department for Work and Pensions


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Welfare Reform

Many people on benefits perceive the financial risks of moving into work as just too great. For some groups the gains to work, particularly at low hours, are small, and any gain can easily be wiped out altogether by in-work costs such as transport. The Coalition Government has identified two key problems with the current system:

  • work incentives are poor, and
  • the system is too complex.

We are reforming the system to help people to move into and progress in work, while supporting the most vulnerable.

Reforming the benefit system aims to make it fairer, more affordable and better able to tackle poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency. We are committed to overhaul the benefit system to promote work and personal responsibility.

Latest on Welfare reform

15 June 2012

Draft regulations covering key elements of Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payments and changes to working-age benefits have been reviewed by the Social Security Advisory Committee, which is now leading a public consultation.

Welfare Reform Act 2012

On 8 March the Welfare Reform Act 2012 received Royal Assent. The Act introduces a wide range of reforms to make the benefits and tax credits system fairer and simpler by:

  • creating the right incentives to get more people into work
  • protecting the most vulnerable in our society
  • delivering fairness to those claiming benefit and to the tax payer.

Personal Independence Payment

A key measure in the Welfare Reform Act is to replace Disability Living Allowance for eligible working age people (aged 16 to 64) with a new benefit, Personal Independence Payment, from April 2013. Find the latest information on policy developments and the draft assessment criteria in the Personal Independence Payment pages.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a major feature of the Welfare Reform Act. . It will help claimants and their families to become more independent and will simplify the benefits system by bringing together a range of working-age benefits into a single streamlined payment. Key decisions on the detailed policy for Universal Credit are being made over the coming months. Find the latest information on the Universal Credit pages.