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Policy briefings: Social security / Welfare reform


Universal credit - explicit consent December 2017

Universal Credit changes the way that third parties / advisers can liaise with the Department on a claimant’s behalf. This paper explains the changes and urges Department for Communities to agree a mechanism whereby third parties can continue to assist and support benefit claimants.

Discretionary Support Scheme December 2017

The Discretionary Support Scheme has been in place for one year. While the scheme provides important financial support to persons in urgent need, the eligibility criteria means it is not accessible to all who need it. Law Centre argues that vulnerability should the key determining factor for assessing eligibility.

Access to benefits for victims of trafficking  June 2017

The Department for Communities should take a proactive approach to ensure that victims of trafficking have access to social security benefits. Currently European victims are at a disadvantage.



Refugees / benefits

For a long time now, the voluntary and community sector has been highlighting the problem of newly-recognised refugees facing long delays in receiving their benefits. Delays cause much hardship for refugees and their families and put a considerable strain on charitable organisations. The Syrian VPR Scheme, which resettles a number of Syrian refugees in Northern Ireland, has shone a fresh focus on the issue. The picture is fairly complex and there are many factors that cause delays for refugees.

This paper summarises the issues and proposes three next steps towards resolving this problem. As articulated by the Refugee Asylum Forum, no refugee should experience destitution due to administrative delays in the benefit system.

Welfare reform

This paper was written to brief the Committee for Social Development on the implementation of the mitigations regulations. It sets out the Law Centre's recommendations on steps towards the effective implementation of the mitigations set out in professor Evason's Welfare Reform Mitigations Working Group Report. 

  • Video briefing: Welfare in Focus February 2016 



Welfare reform

This briefing paper is for Welfare Reform Group members and provides an update on the Welfare Reform Bill as it cleared Further Consideration stage early 2015.

With NICVA and Consortium partners, we call for a statutory right to independent advice to be incorporated into the Welfare Reform Bill. This paper explains why this provision is needed.

This briefing paper is aimed at MLAs debating the Welfare Reform Bill at the Further Consideration stage and outlines our two priorities for change: the introduction of a statutory right to independent advice and a different approach to sanctions. 



Social security



Social security



Social security



Welfare reform



Welfare reform



Welfare reform



Welfare reform



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