Department of Social Security (United Kingdom)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Department of Social Security
Department overview
Preceding Department
Superseding agency
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
HeadquartersLeeds, United Kingdom
Minister responsible
Child agencies

The Department of Social Security (DSS) was a governmental agency in the United Kingdom from 1988 to 2001. The old abbreviation is still often used informally. Advertisements for rented accommodation used to describe prospective tenants who would be paying their rent by means of Housing Benefit, or the "Housing Element" of Universal Credit, as "DSS" tenants. However, because of many changes within the benefit system, which is managed by the Department for Work and Pensions, the "DSS" tenants phrase has become outdated and is rarely used.


The DSS headquarters in Quarry Hill, Leeds.

After the Fowler report, the Department of Health and Social Security separated during 1988 to form two departments, one of which was the DSS.[1] During 2001, the department was largely replaced by the Department for Work and Pensions,[2][3] with the other responsibilities of the department assumed by the Treasury and the Ministry for Defence.[4]

Beginning in 1989, the Department of Social Security was subdivided into six executive agencies - firstly into the Resettlement agency, in 1990 ITSA (Information Technology Services Agency), the Benefits Agency and Contributions Agency in 1991, the Child Support Agency in 1993 and the War Pensions Agency in 1994.[1]

As part of the UK government's spending review (March 1998),[5] a paper New Ambitions for our Country: A New Contract for Welfare (1998) announced plans to increase efficiency ("streamline") in the administration of benefits from policy of social welfare, plans subsequently adopted as the "single gateway to benefits".[6][7] The Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999[8][9] brought reforms to the DSS guided by the principle of "work for those that can and security for those that cannot".[10]


  1. ^ a b Dept. of Social Security. "Resource Accounts 2000-2001". Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  2. ^ "The welfare state 1945–2002". BBC News. 5 August 2002. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Department of Social Security renamed". Practical Law Company. 29 June 2001. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  4. ^ E Carmel & T Papadopoulos. "The New governance of Social Security in Britain". University of Bath. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  5. ^ transcription of DSS:July 1998 Archived 2007-10-05 at the Wayback Machine - Archive of The Treasury Dept. of the government of the U.K. of Britain Retrieved 2012-06-06
  6. ^ J. P. A. Van Vugt, J. Peet (16 November 2000). Social Security and Solidarity in the European Union: Facts, Evaluations, and Perspectives. Springer, 2000. ISBN 9783790813340. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  7. ^ secondary - G Duncan, T Eardley, M Evans, P Ughetto, W van Oorschot S Wright - Towards 'Single Gateways'?-A Cross-National Review of the Changing Roles of Employment Offices in Seven Countries
  8. ^ J Fulbrook DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.00318 The Modern Law Review March 2001 Retrieved 2012-06-06
  9. ^ The Crown ( Table of Contents The National Archives - Retrieved 2012-06-06
  10. ^ The Crown ( Background to the Act The National Archives - Retrieved 2012-06-06