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U C What is Universal Credit? 1 March 2012 NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "U C What is Universal Credit? 1 March 2012 NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 U C What is Universal Credit? 1 March 2012 NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

2 U C Content Introduction What is Universal Credit? Universal Credit Policy Intent Gateway & Touchpoints Communications approach NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

3 U C Aim give a broad overview of Universal Credit at this early stage of development provide an opportunity for you to raise questions and concerns and suggest ways we can overcome concerns The aim of this presentation is to: NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

4 U C Scale of the Change …the most significant change to the welfare system since Beveridge in 1940s Iain Duncan Smith, DWP Secretary of State …we need to break inter- generational worklessness, create new role models in families and communities, and break the cycle of benefit dependency. Nelson McCausland, DSD Minister NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

5 U C Objectives DWP White Paper Universal Credit: Welfare that Works – published November 2010 – builds on work of Centre for Social Justice; Current system is failing and has perverse incentives; Universal Credit proposes to help: Ensure that work always pays Protect the most vulnerable Improve levels of benefit uptake Reduce fraud and error in the system Streamline the system Achieve administrative savings NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

6 U C Replaced by Universal Credit Income based JSA Income related ESA Income Support Child Tax Credits Working Tax Credits Housing Benefit SF (Budgeting loan elements) Whats in / Whats out Not covered by Universal Credit DLA / PIP Contributory Benefits (although earnings rules aligned) Child Benefit Carers Allowance SF Crisis Loans & CCGs HB (Rates) (Council Tax Benefit equivalent) Passported Benefits Claims made for households NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

7 U C Universal Credit - Overview Universal Credit JSA ESA IS HB TCs Customer Programme Self serves online Operation of the taper Finds work Benefits Increased income Employment Poverty Worklessness over generations Replacement of welfare benefits Legislation Automation Advice and assistance NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

8 U C NI Programme Structure NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

9 U C Nov 13Apr 13Oct 14Oct 15Oct 16Oct 17 DWP Pilot New claims to JSA, ESA, IS, and HB will be phased out from Oct 13 Management of caseload and payments will continue All new claims to Tax Credit cease in April 14. Renewals, caseload management and payments continue. Working age legacy benefits Universal Credit caseload builds … Timeline – UC Implementation Current assumption – full transition over 4 years Housing Costs / Child costs for pensioners - to Pension Credit Pension age benefits Mar 11Jan 12Feb 11 Westminster Welfare Reform Bill NI Welfare Reform Bill Jun12 NI UCP Start- Up ESA & IS JSA HB NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

10 U C Universal Credit Policy Intent NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

11 U C What is Universal Credit? A single allowance – which replaces income-related social security benefits, housing benefit and working and childrens tax credit; A single allowance – which can be paid whether you are in or out of work; Focused on household earnings – through credit payment reflecting circumstances (including additional elements for disability, caring duties, housing costs and children); Tapering of the allowances earnings rise – Universal Credit withdrawn at a constant rate of 65p in the pound of net earnings NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

12 U C Constant Taper Single customer, no children, National Minimum Wage, Renting (£95 rent) NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

13 U C Constant Taper Taper – rate at which benefit is reduced to take account of earnings Currently different tapers for social security benefits & Tax Credits Universal Credit – single withdrawal rate (Marginal Deduction Rate) of 65% applied to earnings net of tax and National Insurance NB: Taper rate (MDR) could change nearer the launch date NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

14 U C Universal Credit – Key Features Replaces income-related social security benefits, housing benefit and working and childrens tax credits; Single household payment instead of mixture of weekly, fortnightly and monthly payments; Personal responsibility for bills instead of direct payments by state Self service and digital access; Conditionality and labour market support Childcare support; and Gradual reduction in benefit as earnings increase. NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

15 U C Policy Four Conditionality Groups under Universal Credit: 1.Full Conditionality 2.Work Preparation 3.Keeping in Touch with the Labour Market 4.No Conditionality NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

16 U C Full Conditionality Default Option Be immediately available for work Claimant commitment Exceptions for immediate availability e.g.: Those who need to make childcare arrangements; Those who need to serve a period of notice. Personalised Conditionality Requirements Permitted customers can place limitations on work they must search for in certain circumstances e.g.: Those with a good work history Those with a health condition NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

17 U C Work Preparation Customers in this group are: Disabled or have a current health condition which means they have limited capability for work at the current time Expected to take reasonable steps to prepare for work NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

18 U C Keeping in Touch with the Labour Market Customers in this group are: Lone parents or lead carers in a couple with a child over one but under five Expected to attend periodic interviews to discuss their plans for returning to the labour market NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

19 U C No Conditionality Customers in this group: Are disabled or have a serious health condition which prevents them working and preparing for work; and/or Are a lone parent or lead carer in a couple with a child under one; and/or Have intensive and regular caring responsibilities; and/or Earning above the relevant threshol d NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

20 U C Universal Credit Sanctions – Key Aspects SanctionApplicable to:1 st failure2 nd failure3 rd failure Higher Level e.g. failure to take up a job offer Claimants subject to all work- related requirements 3 months6 months3 years Medium Level e.g. failure to undertake all reasonable action to obtain work Claimants subject to all work- related requirements 4 weeks3 months Lower Level e.g. failure to undertake particular, specified work preparation action, failure to participate in a work-focused interview Claimants subject to all work- related requirements Claimants subject to work preparation and work-focused interview requirements Open ended until re-engagement followed by 1 week2 week4 weeks Lowest Level Failure to participate in a work- focused interview Claimants subject to work- focused interview requirements only Open ended until re-engagement NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

21 U C Welfare Reform Bill Progress Introduced House of Commons: 16 th Feb 2011; Introduced House of Lords: 16 th June 2011; Expected to complete Westminster Parliamentary process- end February 2012; Royal Assent GB Bill estimated by March NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

22 U C Northern Ireland Timeline Minister has yet to decide on the policy proposals; Introduce to NI Assembly after Westminster Bill receives Royal Assent – estimated March 2012; Accelerated or normal passage – still to be decided. NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

23 U C Universal Credit Gateway and Touchpoints NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

24 U C How the system will work? Real Time Information system (RTI) – Data & Money flows NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

25 U C Universal Credit Customer Gateway I need help to make a new claim. I telephone UC number, call into a front line service or seek help from a Customer Representative Group /my appointee. Work focused Interview is arranged if applicable. If application completed go to 4. If application not completed go to 3b. RISK DRIVEN GATEWAY INTERVENTION UC may contact me to verify some details on my application. If details confirmed go to step 6. If I have to provide supporting evidence go to 5a. I find out about Universal Credit through media communications, frontline services, hospital, Customer Representative Group, family or friends I am unable to make a claim online or by phone. Someone calls with me and takes my UC claim at my home. Application completed go to step 4. If application not completed UC to consider contingency to allow advancement to step 4 I become sick, unemployed, responsible for a child or young person*, need to supplement my income, or my household changes** 1 2 F2F Unemployed or working and earning under conditionality threshold Employed + earning over conditionality threshold F2F My circumstances, income or capital mean I am not entitled to UC. I have not provided supporting evidence requested at step 5 and application has been disallowed – I may ask for a reconsideration of, or appeal this decision. I try a claim online. If application completed go to step 4. If unable to complete online go to step 3a 3b DATA GATHER Basic customer details, family, finances, health, medical evidence, housing. I have made an application to UC and agreed my initial responsibilities and await next steps at 4a, 5 or 6 5 Supporting evidence requested at step 5 confirms my circumstances are correct. Go to step 6. Supporting evidence provided means changes to my application are required go to step 5b. No evidence provided or supporting evidence confirms no entitlement go to step 4a. F2F I agree to the changes as specified in 5a and proceed to 4a or 6. I disagree with changes specified in 5a and have to provide further supporting evidence. I provide further evidence. Outcome will either be to go to step 4a or 6. I do not provide further evidence proceed to step 4a or 6. * Birth of new child, adoption, foster carer or become a guardian ** Joint to single household, single to Joint household, new household or Joint claim where both customers need to complete online claim. I have made a successful claim to UC and continue my journey as Unemployed, Sick or Employed Sick 4 4a 5a 5b 3a 3 6 Draft - Process still in development NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

26 U C Universal Credit Customer Touchpoints Unemployed customer or customer earning under conditionality threshold U C U C I receive my first payment. I may receive budgetary management support and information on passport benefits. I receive notification/e- mail to prompt me to view confirmation of my UC award online. I attend my Work focused Interview bringing with me any requested information and agree relevant responsibilities (Claimant Commitment). I receive an reminder about my Work focused Interview 2 days prior to my interview. If I make my claim online I may receive a phone call to book a Work focused Interview which I must attend. I move into work or increase my earnings so that I am now earning above the conditionality threshold. I may still be entitled to UC. I continue to sign on and satisfy my conditionality and the conditions of my Claimant Commitment (products still being developed). I move into work or remain in work earning below the conditionality threshold and still receive UC. I ask for reconsideration/ appeal against my Failed To Attend/Failed To Participate decision I fail to attend/participate in Work focused Interview or satisfy my Claimant Commitment. My UC payment is sanctioned as appropriate. I no longer have to sign on or have any mandatory UC conditionality. I continue to sign on. I may have new conditionality and Claimant Commitment until my circumstances change to where I am earning over the conditionality threshold F2F Conditionality threshold Claimants earning below this threshold could face full or some work-related conditionality, for as long as they continue to receive Universal Credit. At present this is set as equivalent to 35 hours at minimum wage. I have completed my claim. I am either unemployed or working and earning below the conditionality threshold. I do not attend my Work focused Interview. I will not be paid UC until I attend my Work focused Interview. Go to point 2 if Work focused Interview reorganised. 3 I fail to agree my Claimant Commitment. I will not be paid UC until I do so. 5 8 I move into work or increase my earnings so that I am earning above conditionality threshold and also am now not entitled to any UC. My UC claim closes. 9 2 I do not satisfy conditionality requirements. My UC may be sanctioned (work on sanctions still ongoing). 12 Draft - Process still in development NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

27 U C Communications Approach NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

28 U C Communication Objectives Immediate To ensure there is a consistent level of understanding of Universal Credit, the rational for the change and how it will work. NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

29 U C Communication Objectives Medium to long term Ensure customers transferring to Universal Credit understand how and when the change will affect them; Encourage customers and employers to contact us through the right channel and encourage the use of online channels; and Encourage customers and employers to give us the right information, at the right time. NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

30 U C Communication Objectives Longer term Demonstrate the greater incentive to take up and increase work that Universal Credit will create; Encourage people who are entitled to Universal Credit to claim it; and Reduce both staff and customer fraud and error by providing appropriate and useful information. NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

31 U C Approach Communications Approach Online information – NI DIrect Stakeholder Events Media coverage Staff updates Communications to existing customers NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014

32 U C Contact us NI Universal Credit revised go live - April 2014


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