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Council for the Homeless NI Welfare Reform Information Session.

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Presentation on theme: "Council for the Homeless NI Welfare Reform Information Session."— Presentation transcript:

1 Council for the Homeless NI Welfare Reform Information Session

2 Council for the Homeless NI Today's Session Rationale for Reform Welfare Reform Agenda Welfare Reform Bill Welfare Reform Regulations - Housing Benefit

3 Council for the Homeless NI Today's Session- cont’d Wider Changes Timetable for Reform Mitigating actions

4 Council for the Homeless NI Governments Rationale for Reform Making Work Pay Consider current system to have failed Overly complicated Too expensive Does not encourage people into employment Open to fraud

5 Council for the Homeless NI Agenda for Reform Simplified, Streamlined Welfare System Reduce Bill for Welfare Benefits by 20% Encourage and incentivise people to work –Ensure those not working, no better off than working households –Break the cycle of Welfare Dependency Increased Sanctions attached to all elements of Welfare Reform

6 Council for the Homeless NI Welfare Reform Bill

7 Council for the Homeless NI Benefits being abolished Income support Income based jobseeker’s allowance Income related employment and support allowance Housing benefit Child tax credit Working tax credit

8 Council for the Homeless NI Universal Credit Introduced October 2013 One benefit payment to be paid in or out of work Payment to one member in a household New work related activity requirements Stronger sanctions Real time IT system Payments may change to monthly in arrears

9 Council for the Homeless NI Personal Independence Payment Replaces disability living allowance 2 components: mobility and daily living with 2 rates for each component Assessment by way of medical examination Initially only for working age claimants Entitlement to PIP part of gateway for carers allowance Plans to introduce a habitual residence test instead of ordinary residence test (DLA)

10 Council for the Homeless NI Regulations

11 Council for the Homeless NI Housing Benefit 2011 LHA – capping, change to 30 th percentile Ending of excess payment award Increase in rate of non-dependant deductions These applied to new claims from April Changes were delayed for existing claimants for 9 months after the 1 st anniversary date of their claim after April Change started from January 2012

12 Council for the Homeless NI 2012 Age range for Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) extended to 35 Capping of LHA for existing claimants LHA at 30 percentile for existing claimants

13 Council for the Homeless NI 2013 April Reduction in HB award for under-occupation in social rented sector Overall cap on benefits received Increase in LHA rate limited by rate of Consumer Price Index October Introduction of Universal Credit

14 Council for the Homeless NI Phased transfer of existing HB caseload to Universal Credit

15 Council for the Homeless NI Supported Housing HB Reform Grouping of different ‘types’ of supported housing with different payment rates : flat rate/geographical rate Identifying types of additional activities and pricing these Intensive housing management costs to be separated from HB and administered by local authorities under personalisation agenda Housing benefit to be paid via Universal Credit Tied to personalisation agenda

16 Council for the Homeless NI Potential Impacts Increased competition & demand for housing Remove/Limit housing choice Prevent move on & impede progress Financial impact on housing providers due to a number of changes: direct payments, communal areas, intensive housing management Rent Shortfalls - Debt/ Arrears Loss of Accommodation/Homelessness

17 Council for the Homeless NI WIDER CHANGES

18 Council for the Homeless NI Other key elements Income support for lone parents Contributory ESA limited to one year ESA in youth to be abolished Benefit cap to be introduced – problematic for disabled people Social Fund community care grants, budgeting loans and crisis loans abolished from 2013 Childcare gaps Passport benefits

19 Council for the Homeless NI Procedural Issues Changes to right of appeal Overpayment recovery Benefit penalties and fraud Immigration status and entitlement Access to welfare advice

20 Council for the Homeless NI TIMETABLE FOR REFORM

21 Council for the Homeless NI NI Welfare Reform Bill Due Welfare Reform Bill GB received Royal Assent Possible Accelerated passage Social Fund Lack of a work programme Childcare Forecasted longer recession recovery

22 Council for the Homeless NI Timetable cont’d April 2013 DLA replaced by PIP Mobility provisions for people in residential care to be reviewed HB entitlement to reflect family size LHA to be uprated in line with CPI Benefit cap £500 p/w for couple/lone parent. £350 p/w for single people (does not apply to those on DLA, working tax credit & war pensions) October 2013 UC introduced Community care grants and crisis loans abolished

23 Council for the Homeless NI Mitigating Actions Support financial capability Promote realistic housing options Develop relationships with local employment services Develop relationships with local PRS landlords Lobby MLAs for changes to HA regs to allow better use of existing stock Respond positively to the Housing Strategy for NI consultation when available


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