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Universal Credit Kairen Francis Partnerships Manager DWP Jobcentre Plus Staffordshire and Shropshire December 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Universal Credit Kairen Francis Partnerships Manager DWP Jobcentre Plus Staffordshire and Shropshire December 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Universal Credit Kairen Francis Partnerships Manager DWP Jobcentre Plus Staffordshire and Shropshire December 2012

2 The Welfare Reform Act 2012 The Act introduces a wide range of reforms to: –make the benefits and tax credits system simpler; –create the right incentives to get more people into work; –protect the most vulnerable in our society: and –deliver fairness to those claiming benefit and to the tax payer. Universal Credit is at the heart of the Act and the Government’s reforms. Regulations needed to implement key policies in the Act, including Universal Credit, were laid and published on 10 December 2012.

3 What is Universal Credit? A policy A benefit A gateway A platform An ambition that tackles welfare dependency, poverty and worklessness by making work pay that replaces a complex system of working-age benefits and credits with the Universal Credit and a single set of rules that together with our employment support programmes, helps people into work that will help us deliver an internet-age service whilst continuing face-to-face support for those who need it transforming lives and society through work

4 Payments are paid to different adults in a household and for various periods Universal Credit is paid on a calendar monthly basis in a single payment to each household (we will retain ability to pay more frequently or to split payment in exceptional circumstances) Conditionality: some benefit claimants are capable of working but have no obligations to look for work Universal Credit will personalise conditions according to people’s capability and circumstances Work incentives can be very low, benefits are reduced to take account of earnings but different benefits have different rules Universal Credit will make work pay. Financial support will be reduced at a consistent and predictable rate and people will generally keep a higher proportion of their earnings The welfare system has more than 30 benefits each with their own rules and criteria Universal Credit provides a new single online system of means-tested support for working-age people who are in or out of work How is Universal Credit different? Current System Universal Credit

5 Personal Independence Payment Universal Credit Simplifying a complex system Child Benefit, Carer’s Allowance (will remain) Income related JSA Income related ESA Income Support (including SMI) Working Tax Credits Child Tax Credits Housing Benefit Disability Living Allowance Contributory JSA and ESA (conditionality rules changing) Council Tax Benefit (Localised Council Tax Schemes) Current system Pension Credit … to include support for housing and children

6 Making work pay The way UC treats people’s earnings will mean that they are better off in work than they would be in the legacy system. We want people to be clear that getting a job and increasing their earnings will benefit them. UC is designed to allow people to keep more of their benefit in the transitional period back to work. A simple disregard structure and single taper rate means people are better able to understand their benefit income. Work allowances (earnings disregards) Disregards are an income allowance, i.e. earnings up to a certain level are ignored when calculating how much UC they should receive. The UC work allowances vary by household composition – structured to focus on those groups who face the highest barriers to work. The rates for 2013-14 were set out in the Autumn Statement 2012. The taper Earnings will reduce UC awards at a steady rate of 65 per cent once work allowances are exhausted - this means that 35 pence in every pound earned would be kept.

7 A simpler system with clear work incentives

8 Real Time Information HMRC’s Real Time Information (RTI) programme aims to improve the operation of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and support the introduction of Universal Credit. Universal Credit will make work pay by reducing financial support consistently, taking actual earnings into account at the time they are received – using RTI. Employers will report PAYE income and deductions to HMRC when they pay employees. If employee is a UC claimant, HMRC will send DWP the information. DWP will assess UC entitlement on a monthly basis. RTI will be simpler and less burdensome for employers; this is a driving factor behind the changes. DWP and HMRC officials have been working closely together on the requirements and delivery of RTI and its support for Universal Credit. Most employers will be required to send PAYE returns in real time from April 2013 and all employers will be routinely reporting PAYE in real time ready for the start of Universal Credit in October 2013.

9 Designed and built around real claimant journeys Universal Credit

10 Universal Credit – how is the service being designed? Design is focused on claimant journeys –System is built from scenarios with tangible stories – covering different household types and circumstances Building the system using an ‘Agile’ approach –Build the system in small pieces –Continuous testing – allows much earlier testing of the end-to-end processes –Continuous feedback loops from claimants and staff –Solve problems within the design process –Match requirements to build

11 Designing the system - tested as we build

12 Digital by Default Universal Credit

13 Universal Credit – why a digital service? The service will be digital by default because: –it is better for claimants, staff and taxpayers. It is: –the future is digital: availableflexibleresponsive informativeintegratedaccessible Most jobs need digital skills Mobile devices more prevalent Online services help people save money

14 What are we doing to prepare for channel shift? We plan to work across government, private sector and voluntary sector boundaries to create, support and encourage opportunities to deliver the digital message. DWP We are increasing activities and support to boost take up of online services, e.g.:  through Digital Champions,  through providing computer access in Job Centres  through implementing JSAOL and using the lessons learned to shape future actions to support channel shift Private Sector In partnership with stakeholder organisations, persuading major employers to support and encourage their people to use work facilities to access online services During migration Delivering targeted & timed advice and guidance to claimants on why and how to get online Public Sector Developing innovative approaches to getting social housing tenants online through the pilot Digital Deal Initiative Using customer contacts to deliver ‘digital interventions’ (e.g. when tax credits are claimed) HMRC are introducing iForms this autumn and improving information services on new website Voluntary Sector Collaboration with Go On to extend our reach to a wider range of delivery partners than we can influence on our own Working with voluntary sector who help our claimants Providing advice, support and resources to claimants and potential claimants

15 Security and identity assurance Security is a key issue for Universal Credit. Before an online claim can be made, we will seek to authenticate the identity of the claimant by using secure identification procedures. Only where the claimant’s identity is verified will the claim be treated as authenticated for the purpose of the Universal Credit. Where a person’s identity can’t be verified online, we will contact the claimant and request they bring in documentation to verify their identity.

16 Delivery - Transition Universal Credit

17 Universal Credit – implementation and transition challenge Universal Credit supports people into work and continues support to ensure that work pays. To deliver this we need to: –Convert 12 million claims to 8 million household accounts –Create a digital platform that both meets the needs of people who are used to managing their lives online, whilst helping claimants who need extra support to get online –Ensure the right support for claimants –Create a system capable of flexibility and continuous improvement

18 Pathfinder will take place from April 2013. It will test new payment system with local authorities, employers and claimants in a live environment – before national roll-out. Will target single, unemployed people, with or without rented housing costs, in selected areas in Tameside, Wigan, Oldham and Warrington local authority areas. North Dorset Rushcliffe Melton Bath & NES Oxford Lewisham West Lindsey Caerphilly Newport Birmingham North Lanarkshire West Dunbarton Pathfinder Oldham Tameside Dumfries & Galloway Edinburgh Wakefield Shropshire Southwark Torfaen Warrington Wigan Key: Pathfinder LA-led pilots Direct Payment Demonstration Projects

19 2013 focus pilots - Twelve pilots will run from autumn 2012 to September 2013 to explore how local expertise can support residents to claim Universal Credit. 2013 focus pilots will look at: - encouraging claimants to access online support independently; - improving financial independence and managing money; - delivering efficiencies and reducing fraud & error; and - reducing homelessness. Post 2015 focus pilots – on the longer term role for local authorities in supporting Universal Credit claimants. North Dorset Rushcliffe Melton Bath & NES Oxford Lewisham West Lindsey Caerphilly Newport Birmingham North Lanarkshire West Dunbarton Local Authority-led Pilots Oldham Wigan Dumfries & Galloway Edinburgh Wakefield Shropshire Southwark Torfaen Key: LA-led pilots Pathfinder preparation projects Direct Payment Demonstration Projects

20 Universal Credit implementation – key dates APRIL 2013 From OCT 2013 During 2014 2017 Pathfinder begins National introduction of Universal Credit starts – gradual introduction and testing of further scope and functionality, and phasing out of claims for existing benefits Expansion - new claims from people in work and moving current claimants to Universal Credit in phased approach Universal Credit roll-out complete

21 Supporting financial inclusion Exploring better tools and accounts Supporting better budgeting Differentiation to recognise and respond to varying needs Financial Products – working with range of banking and financial product providers to make services more accessible and supportive to low income households. Have issued a call for interest to providers to deliver these products Tailored Support - working with advice sector to ensure claimants are able to access appropriate budgeting support Exceptions – developing an exceptions framework for those not able to manage Universal Credit, even with support

22 Housing Universal Credit

23 To help claimants prepare for Universal Credit, we will test key elements of incorporating housing support into Universal Credit whilst protecting the financial position of social landlords Direct Payment Demonstration Projects will run for a year in six local authority areas including Shropshire. Jun 2013Project completes, Aug / Sep 2013Final Project evaluation report published Universal Credit and housing Universal Credit will be paid to claimants who are in work and out of work. As most businesses pay monthly, Universal Credit will also be paid monthly. Claimants will be responsible for managing all household costs, including rent payments.

24 Working in partnership Universal Credit

25 Universal Credit - working with Local Authorities (LAs) We are using LA expertise, skills and success to inform the Universal Credit delivery. LA groups are represented within the Universal Credit Programme and individual LAs are represented on a range of working groups. LAs are taking part in the Direct Payment Demonstration Projects (started in June) and LA-led pilots (from autumn 2012). Have visited over 120 LAs and the information obtained has helped shape the development of Universal Credit. Started a series of events with Local Authorities across Great Britain on Universal Credit business change impacts.

26 Universal Credit – working with HMRC The Programme is working in partnership with HMRC, using their experience and lessons learned from tax credits and knowledge of in-work customers. HMRC is also: –Developing new processes and IT to stop tax credits –Transferring the HMRC people best suited to help run the new UC service –Safeguarding the current service for tax credit customers and considering the implications of UC on wider tax policies and administration. A dedicated ‘HMRC Business Change Team’ has been established in the Programme to ensure the right people from HMRC are involved with the development of UC HMRC RTI and tax credit officials are seconded to the DWP UC Programme to provide tax credit and employer expertise. Joint Ministerial oversight (Lord Freud and David Gauke) and oversight group chaired by Iain Duncan Smith

27 How is the Programme engaging with external organisations? Stakeholder Strategy in place Engagement at different levels Links to appropriate areas within Programmes Includes engagement at: Roundtable Senior Stakeholder Forums Events targeted at areas of design Local engagement with local stakeholders Touchbase e-bulletin

28 Summary and conclusion Universal Credit

29 Conclusion Universal Credit is at the heart of the Government’s welfare reforms – aims to simplify the benefits system and make work pay, while providing support for those who need it. We are making good progress in delivering Universal Credit. We are building a 21 st Century benefits system – designed with flexibility and with continuous improvement from the outset. We are designing a service based on claimant journeys – involving them and staff in that design from the outset. We are aware that there are challenges ahead. We are working with our partners and stakeholders, using their specialist knowledge and skills to understand and meet those challenges, so we design and deliver a successful service for our claimants.

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