To match an exact phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate". Use "OR" or "AND" as link words to form more complex queries.


Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest developments by exploring our subscription options to receive notifications direct to your inbox

Written Question
Social Security Benefits: Domestic Abuse
Monday 29th April 2024

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of claimants applying for the Domestic Violence Easement extend the initial unevidenced four week easement to (a) 13 and (b) 26 weeks.

Answered by Jo Churchill

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.


Written Question
Pension Credit: Eligibility
Monday 22nd January 2024

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of eligible people claiming Pension Credit.

Answered by Paul Maynard

We continue to maximise opportunities to raise awareness of Pension Credit which provides vital financial support to households on a low income. Our Pension Credit Communications campaign, ongoing since April 2022, has included advertising on national TV, newspapers, broadcast radio, on social media and via internet search engines as well as on screens in Post Offices and GP surgeries. We have also used sponsored advertising on targeted websites that pensioners, their family, and friends are likely to visit.

Our latest campaign messaging highlighted that Pension Credit can be worth up to £3,900 on average and is a passport to a range of other help and benefits – including Cost of Living payments.

There is a strong indication that the campaign has had a positive impact and has resulted in an unprecedented number of Pension Credit applications. The number of claims received in the financial 2022-23 was more than 80% higher than over the same period the year before.

The latest available figures covering the three months to May 2023 show an increase in the Pension Credit caseload. More households were receiving Pension Credit in May 2023 than in May 2022 at the beginning of the campaign. The recent quarterly increases in the caseload in August, November 2022 and now May 2023 – the first increases since 2009 - are very welcome and significant.


Written Question
Household Support Fund: Pensioners
Friday 19th January 2024

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of removing the Household Support Fund on low-income pensioner households.

Answered by Jo Churchill

The current Household Support Fund runs from April 2023 until the end of March 2024. The government continues to keep all its existing programmes under review in the usual way.


Written Question
Jobcentres: Training
Friday 24th November 2023

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of work coaches in job centres have received disability equality training as of 15 November 2023.

Answered by Jo Churchill

We are unable to provide the information you have requested as it is not centrally collected and would incur disproportionate costs.

However, all DWP Work Coaches undergo comprehensive learning to support customers with disabilities, and they continue to build on this in the workplace through accessing point of need learning products. This includes all Work Coaches undertaking the Public Sector Equality Duty learning which was mandated for all Civil Servants by the Cabinet Office.

Work Coaches are also signposted to tools, guidance, and websites (internal and external), so that they have access to the most up to date advice and expertise to help them better support those with disabilities or health conditions.

Work Coaches are also supported by Disability Employment Advisors (DEAs) within Jobcentres. More information on DEAs can be found here https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2023-05-22/186157.


Written Question
Jobcentres: Assistive Technology
Friday 24th November 2023

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of jobcentres have specialist assistive technology installed on their customer computer kiosks to support those who are (a) deaf and blind and (b) have complex disabilities.

Answered by Jo Churchill

As part of its commitment to make services accessible to all customers, the Department provides computers for customer use in Jobcentres. All the computers have assistive technology built into those Operating Systems such as screen readers and screen magnification and are managed separately from the wider DWP IT estate.

The Department also provides a range of other items in Jobcentres such as alternative keyboards. Computers for customer use with assistive technology are currently in 635 permanent jobcentres.


Written Question
Jobcentres: Assistive Technology
Wednesday 22nd November 2023

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing his Department's funding for specialist assistive technology in job centres.

Answered by Jo Churchill

As part of its commitment to make services accessible to all customers, the Department provides computers for customer use in Jobcentres which have assistive technology built into them such as screen readers and screen magnification and are managed separately from the wider DWP IT estate. The Department also provides a range of peripheral items in each Jobcentre such as alternative keyboards.

Customers can also access a wide range of services which can support their needs such as braille and large print documents being made available upon request.

The DWP have also improved access to our Wi-Fi services in all Jobcentres, allowing customers to use their own personal devices if they prefer.


Written Question
Mothers: Poverty
Thursday 8th June 2023

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate he has made of the number of mothers with children under the age of four who are living in relative poverty.

Answered by Mims Davies - Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities

The information requested is publicly available and can be found here.


Written Question
Pregnancy: Poverty
Thursday 8th June 2023

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate he has made of the number of pregnant women who are living in relative poverty.

Answered by Mims Davies - Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities

We do not collect this information; however, National Statistics on the number and percentage of people in relative poverty are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. This can be found here.


Written Question
State Retirement Pensions: Terminal Illnesses
Tuesday 31st January 2023

Asked by: Andrew Western (Labour - Stretford and Urmston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing people who receive terminal diagnoses to access their allowance under the State Pension before they reach pensionable age.

Answered by Laura Trott - Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

No assessments have been made on early access to the State Pension for terminally ill people.

Hearing that your illness cannot be cured can be a frightening and devastating experience. For those at the end of their life, the Government’s priority is providing financial support quickly and compassionately. The main way that the Department does this is through special benefit rules, sometimes referred to as “the Special Rules”. These enable people who are nearing the end of their lives to get faster, easier access to certain benefits, without needing to attend a medical assessment, serve waiting periods and in most cases, receive the highest rate of benefit. For many years, the Special Rules have applied to people who have 6 months or less to live and now they are being changed so they apply to people who have 12 months or less to live.