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Welfare Reform Where are we now ? Elected Member Masterclass Background Information Andrew Noble Welfare Reform Implementation Support Programme Improvement.

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Presentation on theme: "Welfare Reform Where are we now ? Elected Member Masterclass Background Information Andrew Noble Welfare Reform Implementation Support Programme Improvement."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welfare Reform Where are we now ? Elected Member Masterclass Background Information Andrew Noble Welfare Reform Implementation Support Programme Improvement Service

2 Purpose of the Welfare Reform Masterclass To enable elected members to: review the progress of Welfare Reform to date consider the potential impact and challenge of the new Claimant Commitment and sanctions policy Hear about ongoing work to mitigate and respond to Welfare Reform consider the specific roles and challenges for elected members in responding to the reform agenda to date, and in the future

3 Welfare Reform- the story so far Implementation and impact of key reforms- Universal Credit Personal Independence Payment Under occupancy- “the bedroom tax” Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) expansion Benefit Cap, Scottish Welfare Fund Council Tax Reduction Scheme- National scheme in place.

4 Welfare Reform- story so far Delay in roll out of Universal Credit (UC) and Personal Independence Payments(PIP)- the cornerstone Reforms. UC will not now roll out in Scotland till early 2016, beyond a single Jobcentre in Inverness PIP roll out has started on a phased geographic basis in Scotland Significantly diverging approaches between Scottish Government and UK Government/ DWP- Funding to mitigate in Scotland Negotiations ongoing between CoSLA and DWP over a range of issues- LSS, SFIS, HB administration costs etc. Growing evidence impact on Local Authorities, RSLs and partners

5 Universal Credit roll out Phased rollout of Universal Credit for new, single JSA claimants in 6 areas from November th November 2013 launched in Inverness Jobcentre Plus Universal Credit will be available in every area of Great Britain. It will no longer be possible to make a new claim for income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Tax Credits Existing claimants of means-tested benefits will be transferred to Universal Credit by the end of 2017.

6 Personal Independence Payment PIP replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for new claimants from June From January 2014 in postcode areas: DG, EH, TD and ML, existing DLA claimants are being invited to claim PIP if: –They turn 16 –Their fixed term award ends on or after 2 nd June 2014 –They report a change in their health needs or disability –They are aged and wish to claim PIP

7 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) From October 2015 it is intended that the DWP will start to contact all remaining working age DLA claimants inviting them to apply for PIP. It is expected that all working DLA claimants should have been invited to claim PIP by October Very little information has been released to date regarding the outcome of PIP assessments.

8 Under Occupancy- the “Bedroom Tax” Policy came into effect 1 st April 2013 for both new and existing HB claimants in the Social Rented Sector. Latest DWP statistics show that in Nov ,862 claimants had their HB reduced due to spare room subsidy. Of these: –60,925 or 85% of claimants under occupying by 1 room –10,491 or 15% of claimants under occupying by 2 or more rooms In Nov 2013 the average weekly reduction amount in Scotland was £ This ranged from £8.96 in Moray to £15.13 in Edinburgh.

9 Discretionary Housing Payments October 2013, Scottish Govt provided £20m in additional DHP funding for LAs, bringing the total to £33.6m. Funding topped up each LA DHP allowance to the maximum 1.5x limit. Scottish Government statistics 1 st April st January 2014 show during this time 60,961 DHP awards were made in Scotland. Amounting to a spend of £21,949,228: 65% of overall spending limit. The average award in Scotland was £362. Ranged from £141 in South Ayrshire to £738 in Aberdeen City. Scottish Government allocated additional funding in budget

10 Benefit Cap DWP figures show from April 2013-January 2014, 1476 households in Scotland were subject to the Benefit Cap. Edinburgh had the largest number of capped households across local authorities: 314. But no Scottish local authority in UK Top 20 Local authorities by households capped. During this time, 540 households in Scotland who had previously been capped were no longer been subject to the cap. This amounts to 37% of capped households- the largest proportion amongst all regions.

11 Scottish Welfare Fund New system implemented as of 1 st April 2013, programme funding £33m for 2013/14. From April-Sept 2013, over 68,400 applications for the SWF. 19,500 applications for Community Care Grants (CCG) were received. 61% were accepted. A total of £7,010,996 was spent on CCGs in April-Sept Average award for CCGs was £594. West Dunbartonshire £347 and Stirling £990. April-Sept ,500 Crisis Grant (CG) applications were received. 68% were accepted. A total of £2,174,452 was spent on CGs in April-Sept Average award for CGs was £65. This ranged from £42 in West Dunbartonshire to £111 in West Lothian.


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