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1 GMCC Universal Credit November 2014. 2 Universal Credit – overview Universal Credit aims to ensure claimants are better off in work than on benefits.

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Presentation on theme: "1 GMCC Universal Credit November 2014. 2 Universal Credit – overview Universal Credit aims to ensure claimants are better off in work than on benefits."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 GMCC Universal Credit November 2014

2 2 Universal Credit – overview Universal Credit aims to ensure claimants are better off in work than on benefits. It promotes personal responsibility to actively seek work and increase earnings, while continuing to provide support for those who need it most. It’s designed to make work pay. As claimants earn more money, financial support will be withdrawn at a slower rate than is the case under the current system. Real Time information (RTI) link with HMRC will facilitate this Claimants will be able to apply for their benefits online. 80 per cent of benefit claimants already use the internet. Telephone and other support services available if needed. A single payment will be made to a household rather than an individual. This will include housing costs. It will be paid monthly, in arrears. Universal Credit requires claimants to accept a ‘Claimant Commitment’. This sets out what is expected in return for receiving assistance, taking into account personal circumstances and capability to earn. Local support will be available to help claimants where appropriate. This will be provided through DWP and local authority delivery partnerships.

3 3 Universal Credit - it’s all about work Universal Credit aims to reward work. No 16 hour rule and no limits on the number of hours someone can work. UC payment only reduces gradually as their take home pay increases so claimants won’t lose all their benefits at once if they are on a low income. Universal Credit will encourage a new type of relationship with claimants. Work Coaches will help claimants to become more independent by supporting them in their worksearch activities. They will help claimants plan and focus their jobsearch as well as set them actions that give them the best chance of finding work. Universal Credit aims to support jobseekers through the Claimant Commitment to raise their expectations of what they can achieve, and to encourage responsibility. Those who are fit and ready for work will be expected to look for a job on a full time basis dependent on circumstances. Universal Credit claimants are expected to use Universal Jobmatch, an intelligent job matching service that helps employers to get the best fit for the jobs that they have on offer.

4 4 Making work pay

5 5 Universal Credit - one year on The first year of Universal Credit has seen major progress in delivering the main components of the new benefit across the country including: Universal Credit is available in 44 Jobcentres across Britain thousands of claimants benefiting from an easier single benefit payment sticking with them as they move into work – rather than the current mixture of 6 in and out of work benefits the Claimant Commitment is now in place in all British jobcentres 26,300 members of staff have been trained to provide job coaching, expert help and advice to encourage and motivate claimants in their search for work over 600,000 Claimant Commitments have been signed – resetting the relationship between benefit claimants and Jobcentre Plus help the roll-out of digital jobcentres will be complete by Autumn – placing wi-fi and computers in all jobcentres

6 6 Live service – experience so far The vast majority of claims (90%) from Universal Credit claimants have been made online. Over three-quarters (78%) of Universal Credit claimants also feel confident about their ability to budget with monthly payments Almost two-thirds of Universal Credit claimants think that the new system provides a better financial incentive to work Universal Credit claimants are doing more to get into work than jobseekers claiming under the current system – 27.1 hrs / week versus 13.6 hours /week RTI is working for claimants and employers - majority of employers are submitting PAYE data in real time ; RTI data is used in approximately 30% of UC payment calculations

7 7 Progression and future roll out The expansion of the full Universal Credit benefit to the rest of the north west of England will start later this month. Jobcentres in the North West of England have started taking Universal Credit claims from later in June, with more coming online each week until the whole region is covered. In total 90 Jobcentres – 1 in 8 across Britain – will offer the Universal Credit service once the North West expansion is complete During the summer Universal Credit was also made available for new claims from couples in a number of jobcentres that already deliver the full Universal Credit, expanding to all the current live sites over time. We will extend to families later in the year

8 8 Universal Credit claimant journey I get information or advice about how to claim Universal Credit. I receive a telephone call inviting me to attend an interview in the jobcentre. I attend my interview at the jobcentre, taking along any paperwork that has been asked for. I sign my Claimant Commitment, which records the activities I’ve agreed to do in return for receiving Universal Credit. I receive my Universal Credit decision letter. It tells me when I will receive my payments, and confirms what I need to do in return for getting Universal Credit. I telephone the helpline if there is a change in my circumstances, including if I start work. My Claimant Commitment is reviewed and may be changed to take into account my new situation. I make my claim online at GOV.UK. If I need help, I can telephone the Universal Credit helpline for assistance. I receive a text message to remind me about my interview at the jobcentre. I begin looking for work. I can get advice on jobseeking, budgeting and going online from my work coach. I regularly visit the jobcentre where my work coach and I discuss the actions we’ve agreed in my Work Plan. If a change in my circumstances means my Universal Credit payments change, I receive a letter confirming the new details.

9 9 Local Authority role in UC All Local Authorities in Live Service locations have agreed to provide –Face to face services in line with UC Local Support Service Framework as described under local flexibilities Face to face services include: –Claimant support Working closely with DWP to get people into work –Non standard services Support for vulnerable claimants and those with complex needs Personal Budgeting Support – process agreed with Pathfinder LAs –Support for on-line access Help get claimants on-line and keep on-line Support for UC Service Centre –Complex housing cases –Counter fraud activity

10 10 Local Support Service Framework – Key role for Partners –Provides a structure for the delivery of local support services to individuals needing additional help with the new demands of Universal Credit. –The framework sets out how we plan to trial and test elements of the framework such as: –access to Digital support –triage (where are looking to co-locate services in at least one location in each DWP District during 2014/15) –Development of personal budgeting support initiatives (helping claimants to obtain bank accounts, debt advice and Alternative Payment Arrangements) –Partnership development

11 11 Personal Budgeting Support Universal Credit supports claimants to get used to monthly payments and managing finances successfully, making it easier to move into work. A range of support services are available to claimants not used to managing money in this way: Personal planner is available on to help claimants understand and prepare for financial changes. Online budgeting tools for claimants who can help themselves - such as those offered by Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice. Jobcentre Plus Work Coach will direct claimants to help and advice in their areas. This could include help from local organisations to open a bank account or to put together a monthly budget. Some people may also be offered support over the phone or face to face to help them.

12 12 Personal Budgeting Support Alternative Payment Arrangements For a minority of claimants, alternative payment arrangements may be required; these might include –paying the rent directly to the landlord –making more frequent than monthly payments –splitting the payment within the household We will also have the option to make rent payments direct to the landlord if a claimant reaches a certain level of rent arrears.

13 13 Alternative Payment Arrangements – Consideration Factors Tier One factors – Highly likely / probable need for alternative payment arrangements Drug / alcohol and / or other addiction problems e.g. gambling Learning difficulties including problems with literacy and/or numeracy Severe / multiple debt problems In Temporary and / or Supported accommodation Homeless Domestic violence / abuse Mental Health Condition Currently in rent arrears / threat of eviction / repossession Claimant is young either a 16/17 year old and / or a Care leaver Families with multiple and complex needs Tier Two factors - Less likely / possible need for alternative payment arrangements No bank account Third party deductions in place (e.g. for fines, utility arrears etc) Claimant is a Refugees / asylum seeker History of rent arrears Previously homeless and / or in supported accommodation Other disability (e.g. physical disability, sensory impairment etc) Claimant has just left prison Claimant has just left hospital Recently bereaved Language skills (e.g. English not spoken as the ‘first language’). Ex Service personnel NEETs - Not in Education, Employment or Training

14 14 Working with landlords We're working closely with social landlords such as councils and housing associations to help them pro-actively support tenants to manage the change to UC: As part of our learning from our Pathfinder, we have already: –improved the process of payments direct to landlords, identifying a single point of contact within the Department to swiftly address any issues that landlords may have. –increased support to help people adjust to budgeting. This includes extra support to help people manage their finances better. Going forward - a budgeting action plan is being included with each person’s Claimant Commitment to make sure they are ready to manage their monthly payment at the very start of their Universal Credit journey.

15 15 Useful links for stakeholders An introduction to Universal Credit video Universal Credit pages on GOV.UK A toolkit for Partners The Claimant Commitment commitment A Personal Planner to help claimants prepare for Universal Credit A pictorial representation explaining Better off in Work w-uc-tops-up-earnings-to-make-work-pay.pdf w-uc-tops-up-earnings-to-make-work-pay.pdf Budgeting help and support Operating Guidance for Personal Budgeting Support & Alternative Payment Arrangements rsonal-budgeting-support-cover-note.pdf rsonal-budgeting-support-guidance.pdf rsonal-budgeting-support-cover-note.pdf rsonal-budgeting-support-guidance.pdf The Local Support Services Framework -local-service-support-framework.pdf -local-service-support-framework.pdf

16 16 Useful links for stakeholders The Money Advice Service A Money Advice Service Universal Credit video Making work pay comparison graph explaining how Universal Credit compares to the current system when claimants increase their hours w-uc-helps-to-make-work-pay.pdf A quick guide for employers about Universal Credit and RTI claimants-quick-guide HMRC and RTI Eight Ways Universal Credit can help your business w-uc-can-help-your-business.pdf

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