2 Employment Support Allowance (The sickness benefit) ESA: 2 Types Contributory and Income relatedMay 2012Contrib ESA limited to 1yr for those in work related activity group (70% of contrib esa claimants)Monies stopped but still unfitMay be able to claim (ir)ESA but problems for certain claimants ie couples were one worksAfter 12 months if you are in receipt of contrib ESA and are in the work related activity group the money stops.You may be able to move over to income related ESA however this benefit is means tested and any income you have may be counted and prevent income related ESA being paid. In addition if you have a partner their earnings and capital will also count . Further to this if they work 24hours per week or more then you will not receive any monies regardless of what your partner earns.
3 Employment Support Allowance 3 Dec 2012: SanctionsApplies all claimants in work related activity group regardless of type of ESA (70% of claimants)Fails to take part in work focused interviews or undertake work related activity (without good cause)Penalty: loss of £71.70 pr week for as long as don’t participate plus 1, 2 or 4wk additionPossibility of hardship payments in limited circsESA claimants are unfit for work. Regardless of which type of ESA you receive contributory or income related you will be placed in one of two groups, work related activity or support. If you are placed in the work related activity group you will be expected to participate in up to six work focused interviews and participate in work related activity. Failure to attend or participate can see you lose £71.70 per wk until you do participate with an additional penalty imposed on top of thatIn both ESA and JSA cases claimants can make a claim for a hardship payment if sanctioned. Claimants should also appeal against any sanction decision which they believe to be wrongly imposed. In the majority of cases HB should not be lost during either of the aforementioned sanctionsMay be problems for single claimants to qualify for hardship payments as the Decision Makers Guide ie the tool decision makers use within the DWP to make sense of the law says the following.DMG 41/12 : When a hardship payment is made26 A hardship payment is made when all the following conditions are satisfied1 the DM is satisfied that the claimant is or will be in hardship unless hardship payments are made (but see paragraph 27) and ….27 For the purposes of paragraph 26.1 a claimant is in hardship if1 their partner or2 a child or qualifying young person for whom they or their partner are responsibleIs or will be in hardship unless a hardship payment is made
4 Employment and Support Allowance SanctionsAppeal1 month from date of decision to lodge appealCan be up to 12 months later but need to show good causeHousing BenefitShould continue to receive Housing Benefit during sanction periodHardship payments: Statutory Instrument 2012: No 2756The Employment and Support Allowance (Sanctions) (Amendment) Regulations 2012Further amendments of the ESA Regulations Reg 6 After regulation 64 insertThe amount of a hardship payment64D –(1) A hardship payment is 60% of the prescribed amount for a single claimant as set out in paragraph (1)(a) of part 1 of Schedule 4Appeals should be completed in writing and addressed to the office that is named on the decision letter you are appealing against
5 Jobseekers Allowance Oct 2012: Sanctions 3 types: Low, intermediate or highFail to attend an adviser interview or not actively seeking employment or leaving a job voluntarily without good cause4, 13, 26 or 156 weeksLoss of all moniesHardship payments can be claimed(discretionary and not paid for first 14days unless in vulnerable group)Low Level Sanctions: Refusal /failure to attend adviser interviewRefusal/failure to participate in employment programmeRefusal/failure to comply with a jobseekers directionIntermediate level sanctions: Only applied following a period of disallowance for not being available for work, not actively seeking workHigh level Sanction: Leaving a job voluntarily without good reason, losing a job through misconduct, refusal/failure to apply for or accept a suitable job without good reasonHardship payments: The figure you would receive would be your normal applicable amount minus if you are a single person 40% of the appropriate personal allowance for a single person of your age. If you are member of a couple 40% of the appropriate personal allowance for a single personThe reduction is only 20% if you or your partner or child included in the claim is pregnant or seriously ill.If you are not in a vulnerable group you cannot get hardship payments until the 15th day of the period when a JSA is not paidVulnerable group: you or your partner are pregnant or you are responsible for a child under 16 who would experience hardship if no payment was made or a disability premium is payable or you are caring for someone who gets AA or DLA m or h care or daily living component of Pip
6 Jobseekers Allowance Sanction Appeals Housing Benefit 1 month Can be up to 12 months later but need to show good causeHousing BenefitShould still be paid during sanction however often issues ( HB Regs (3) (a)) (also nil income declaration)Once a sanction period has started it runs unbroken until the length of time it was set for ends. This means that if you broke your claim the time not in receipt of JSA will count as part of your sanction period. That can mean that if you reclaim JSA within the sanction period any outstanding sanction would still be applied.However if the DWP is satisfied that since the date of the most recent sanctionable action you have been in employment for a period of 26 weeks the remaining sanction is not applied if claiming JSA againA second sanctionable action committed within 2 weeks of an earlier action will not be counted when it comes to escalating the penalties.HB should still be paid as for HB purposes you are treated as being on income based JSA if not being paid it because of a sanction. See HB REGS (3)(a)
7 Housing Benefit: Bedroom Tax April 2013: Social Sector: Size RestrictionEntitlement for working age claimants reflect household size (16 – Pension Credit qualifying age)Size Criteria applies1 spare bedroom 14% cut in rent allowed for HB2 or more spare 25% reduction appliedOptions: Discretionary Housing Payment’s and/or AppealsWhat is working age SI 2012 No 3040Social SecurityThe Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2012Reg 5 A13(2) This regulation does not apply(d) Where the claimant or the claimant’s partner has attained the qualifying age for state pension credit, or where both have attained that ageThe full list of properties exempted from the bedroom tax is to be found atStatutory Instrument 2012 No3040 Social SecurityThe Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regs 2012Lord Freud has made it clear that Supported Exempt accommodation should not be liable for the bedroom tax (letter to Nicola Sturgeon 4 April 2013)There is an issue however especially in Scotland re Temporary Accommodation. (A group of properties meant to be exempt) which the letter from Shelter, Chartered Institute of Housing and The Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers dated 26 Feb Local Authority or Housing Assoc owned Temp Accom will be subject to the social sector size criteria ie The Bedroom Tax
8 Housing Benefit Size Restrictions: Bedroom Tax 1 bedroom perAdult coupleAny other adult aged 16 or overAny 2 children of same sex under 16Any 2 children regardless of sex under 10Any other childrenFoster children*Disabled Child*Non resident carers*In Scotland for Foster carers also read Kinship carers. In addition contrary to publicity Foster carers are not exempt rather one bedroom is allowed in the sum.Additional bedroom for a carer only applies where HB claimant or partner need the care. The disabled person most be in receipt of AA or M or H care DLA or provide evidence they require such care. The carer must not be a resident at the HB claimants address but they must stay overnight at the dwelling for the purpose of caring.Disabled children may be entitled to a room alone (ie don’t have to share) but this will only be after an investigation.
9 Housing Benefit Size Restrictions: Bedroom Tax CarerAdditional bedroom in size criteria for a non resident carer where the need for overnight care has been established and arrangedClaimant or partner is on AA or DLA Care M or H rate or if not in receiptCan provide evidence to LA they require overnight careOnly applies where HB claimant or partner need careHousing Benefit Amendment Regulations 2010Statutory Instrument No 2835Reasonably requires and in fact has arranged that one or more people who do not occupy as their home the dwelling to which the claim or award for HB relates shouldBe engaged in providing overnight careRegularly stay overnight at the dwelling for that purpose
10 Housing Benefit Social Sector: Size Restriction No account taken of couples were one or both are disabled such that they cannot share a bedroomNo account of properties were additional room for disability equipmentNo account taken of properties that have been disability adaptedNo account taken of children whose main residence is elsewhereNo account taken of couples who are unable to share a bedroom because of disabilities, no account taken of properties disability adapted, no account taken of addition room because of disability equipmentNo account taken of children whose main residence elsewhereWhat can claimants do? Appeal decision and/or claim DHP Discretionary Housing Payment
11 Housing Benefit: Appeals and Discretionary Housing Payments Intended to assist those who require further financial assistance with housing costsIt’s a cash limited potLarge demand on cash so need to make the case that claimants situation a priorityPriority given to disability, carers, moving into employment etcUsually awarded for limited periodA DHP can be paid to offset a shortfall in Housing Benefit as a result of welfare reform changes ie the bedroom tax, (disability or carer cases, parents who are not the main carers etc) or in non dependant deduction cases or where not in receipt of full HB and other expenses or debts make it very difficult for claimant to make up the shortfallShould paint as detailed a picture as possible of circumstances, of how a DHP would help and the consequences of not receiving a paymentLocal Revenues and Benefits officesAnniesland: 841 Crow Road G13 1YTEasterhouse: 1250 Westerhouse Road, G34 7PDGovan: 780 Govan Road, G51 2YLMaryhill: 1 Garbraid Avenue, G20 8YAParkhead: 125 Westmuir Street, G31 5EXShawbridge: 24/34 Shawbridge Arcade, G34 1RTSpringburn: 30 Charles Street, G21 2PNCity Centre: 45 John Street, G1 1PRHomeless Finance: 100 Morrison Street, G5 8LNCompleted application forms should be returned to Glasgow City Council, Financial Services, Revenues and Benefits Service, PO Box 36, Glasgow, G1 1JE or handed into one of the above mentioned offices
12 Housing Benefit: Appeals Lodge 1 month (although have additional up to 12 months if good cause)Free representation Social Work Services Welfare Rights Appeals team and other orgsAppeal letter on council websiteAppeals have been won (ie Kirkcaldy, Glasgow)
13 Social Fund / Scottish Welfare Fund April 2013: Part of social fund abolishedComm Care Grants and elements of Crisis LoansReplaced by Scottish Welfare Fund(Comm Care Grants and Crisis Grants)Paid on same grounds as they were in discretionary social fundSits in GCC (Grant Services Team )Can claim online
14 Social Fund Budgeting loans still exist Crisis loan (alignment loans) still exist now known as Short term Advances(waiting on payment of benefit)The Regulated Social Fund still existsAll paid by the DWP
15 Disability Living Allowance/PIP DLA a pivotal benefit for income maximisation10/6/2013 introduction of Personal Independence Payments as replacement for DLA (for adults)Tougher TestPIP has 2 components like DLA comprising Daily Living and MobilityPaid at 2 rates of each (standard and enhanced)500, 000 fewer expected to qualify. This figure comes from DWP document (Personal Independence Payment: assessment thresholds and consultation) Jan 2012DWP estimated that they will save £1.5 billion per yearDLA will still exist for children and AA will also continueDLA is an absolutely pivotal benefit when it comes to income maximisation as an award of DLA can open up disability premiums, severe disability premiums, enhanced disability premiums as well as protection from non dependent deductions in HB etcIt is envisage that the majority of PIP claimants will go through a consultation as part of the new assessment process. In Scotland these will be run by SALUS sub contracted from ATOS who actually won the contract for the workPayments of PIP ceases to be payable once you have been in prison or legal custody for 28days. This applies both to convicted and on remand. If you have been in prison or legal custody within the previous year this time will be counted towards your 28 days. Suspended payments are not refunded even if you are not convicted
16 DLA/PIP New Assessment tool Similar to ESA: done on a points basisActivities – TasksDescriptors – Measurement of abilityHave problems over 50% of timeNo day/night time testsVery likely claimants will face consultation as part of assessmentWinners and losers ie mobility criteriaAs part of the new assessment process it is the govts intention that the majority of claimants will have to undergo a consultation (In Scotland run bt SALUS sub contracted from ATOS who actually won the contract for the workFailure to attend the consultation without good cause will see a negative decision on your claim.
17 Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payments Transfer of existing DLA claimants in 2 runs28 Oct 2013Oct 2015 – Oct 2017Claimants invited to claim PIPNo automatic entitlement from DLA to PIPDLA ends if do not take up invite (8 wks)If DLA ends other bens can be badly affected i.e disability premium, severe disability prem, enhanced disability prem, HB non dep deductionsClaimants who will be invited to claim PIP from the 28 Oct 2013 will be DLA claimants whose award is scheduled to end from the middle of March 2014 onward. In addition Any DLA claimant who reports a change in their circumstances from the 7 Oct onwards will be re-assessed under PIPOct 2015: Everyone else: i.e. Claimants whose awards are scheduled to end from end of Feb 2016 onwards and anyone with a indefinite award.When claimants are invited to claim PIP they must take up this invitation within 8 weeks failure to do so will see their DLA end (This cannot be appealed)Just because you have an award of DLA does not mean that you have an entitlement to any degree of PIPIt is very important that for claimants who do not already receive DLA that they should be encouraged to claim PIP prior to the introduction of Universal Credit. This is because while there are premiums available in IS, JSA etc because you have been awarded PIP there are no additional monies for adults in Univ CreditTo claim or (txt phone )
18 Personal Independence Payment Invitation to claimDLA recipients will receive a letter and will be invited to claim PIPNo response to invitationAfter 4 weeksDLA suspendedNo contact within 8 weeks of invitationDLA award endedIf a claim for Personal Independence Payment madeDLA continues in payment until PIP claim decided
19 Personal Independence Payment Who gets transferred in first run28 Oct 2013 onwardsAnyone whose existing DLA ward is scheduled to end from mid March 2014 onwardsAnyone who reports a change of circumstancesOct 2015 – Oct 2017All other eligible claimants (ie indefinite awards)No system announced for thisIt is very important that for claimants who do not already receive DLA that they should be encouraged to claim PIP prior to the introduction of Universal Credit. This is because while there are premiums available in IS, JSA etc because you have been awarded PIP there are no additional monies for adults in Univ CreditTo claim or (txt phone )
20 Benefit Cap Limit on what can be paid via benefit system £350 per wk single adults no children£500 per wk lone parent and couples with or without childrenApplies to combined income fromJSA, IS, ESA, Incap Ben, SDA, HB, Child Ben, Child Tax Credit, Carers Allow, Widows Ben, Widowed Parents All, Bereavement AllowInitial deductions made from HBThe following claimants will be exempted from the Benefit CapClaimant/Partner entitled to working tax creditClaimant/Partner or child receiving DLA, PIP, or entitled to AA or entitled but in hospitalClaimant/Partner receiving ESA support compClaimant/Partner receiving Ind Injuries BenefitSomeone getting war widow/widower pensionDelay of 39wks in applying CAP were worked 50 out of last 52 weeks39 wk period starts on day after last day of work
21 Universal Credit Means tested (£6,000 - £16,000) People of working age (18 – Pen Credit qualify age)Replace IS, (ib)JSA, (ir)ESA, HB and both types of Tax creditsSingle PaymentPaid monthlyAdministered by DWPClaim online
22 Universal Credit Basic Allowance Additions for children, disability*, caring and housing costsMonies for childcare costsSystem of earnings disregardsChanges to non dep deductions for housingStrengthened sanction regimeTimetable???
23 Change to Appeal Procedure Decisions made on or after 28 Oct 2013Negative decision (all DWP bens except UC and PIP already introduced)1st step review request to DWP (1 month)Receive Mandatory reconsideration notice (no time limit for DWP to respond)2ND StepLodge separate appeal with Courts and Tribunal Service (1 month)
24 Other Issues April 2011: Rates of Child Ben frozen for 3 yrs May 2012: Inc Support: L Parent child now under 5Dec 2012: Ben rates to be increased by only 1% in next 3yrsApril 2013: Abolition of Council Tax Ben creation of new scheme (£40m cut 1st yr 8.5% cut in 2nd year)