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A NEW RULE BOOK – ADVICE AND WELFARE RIGHTS GARY VAUX – Chair LGA Social Security Advisers Group.

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Presentation on theme: "A NEW RULE BOOK – ADVICE AND WELFARE RIGHTS GARY VAUX – Chair LGA Social Security Advisers Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 A NEW RULE BOOK – ADVICE AND WELFARE RIGHTS GARY VAUX – Chair LGA Social Security Advisers Group

2 The demand……. 1 million people transferring from Incapacity Benefit/income Support to Employment and Support Allowance ( ) – 16% expected to be refused 1 million people transferring from Incapacity Benefit/income Support to Employment and Support Allowance ( ) – 16% expected to be refused Higher refusal rate for ESA claims already Higher refusal rate for ESA claims already July-August 2010 – ESA/IB appeals increased by 56 per cent on the same quarter last year July-August 2010 – ESA/IB appeals increased by 56 per cent on the same quarter last year Disability Living Allowance being replaced by Personal Independence Payment ( ) – 20% reduction in caseload and expenditure Disability Living Allowance being replaced by Personal Independence Payment ( ) – 20% reduction in caseload and expenditure

3 …and demand…….. Greater “conditionality” and sanctions for JSA claimants (2012) Greater “conditionality” and sanctions for JSA claimants (2012) Changes to Local Housing Allowance (2011 onwards) Changes to Local Housing Allowance (2011 onwards) Changes to Council Tax Benefit (2013) Changes to Council Tax Benefit (2013) Abolition of discretionary Social Fund – local authority taking on some responsibilities (2013) Abolition of discretionary Social Fund – local authority taking on some responsibilities (2013) Introduction of Universal Credit (2013) Introduction of Universal Credit (2013)

4 …and demand. Changes to child tax credit (April 2011 onwards) Changes to child tax credit (April 2011 onwards) Changes to working tax credit, especially child care (April 2011) Changes to working tax credit, especially child care (April 2011) Changes to Child Support (introduction of fees?) Changes to Child Support (introduction of fees?) Abolition of Education Maintenance Allowance (January/June 2011) Abolition of Education Maintenance Allowance (January/June 2011) Higher levels of unemployment/debt/repossessions at least on temporary basis. Higher levels of unemployment/debt/repossessions at least on temporary basis.

5 Supply 4-way support at present:- Job Centre Plus/Local Pension Service Job Centre Plus/Local Pension Service CAB; law centres; advice agencies etc (local and national funding) CAB; law centres; advice agencies etc (local and national funding) Local authority welfare rights services Local authority welfare rights services Legal aid – private or voluntary sector Legal aid – private or voluntary sector

6 Job Centre Plus/Pension Service Retaining some provision but moving to phone-based and web-based service rather than home or office visits Retaining some provision but moving to phone-based and web-based service rather than home or office visits

7 Voluntary Sector Ending of ‘credit crunch’ funding for many organisations Ending of ‘credit crunch’ funding for many organisations Reduced funding at national level (e.g. RNID) or local level (grant-aid) Reduced funding at national level (e.g. RNID) or local level (grant-aid) Reduced donations Reduced donations Part-funding from Legal Services Commission contracts at risk – except for telephone-based services Part-funding from Legal Services Commission contracts at risk – except for telephone-based services

8 Local Authority Welfare Rights Services Non-statutory service (although some duties e.g. combating child poverty; links with charging policies) Non-statutory service (although some duties e.g. combating child poverty; links with charging policies) No clear national picture yet but many WRU’s report cuts or cessation of funding No clear national picture yet but many WRU’s report cuts or cessation of funding Significant overlap between social care client group and those affected by welfare reform (ESA/DLA especially) Significant overlap between social care client group and those affected by welfare reform (ESA/DLA especially)

9 Legal Aid £351m cut from £2.1b budget as part of CSR. £351m cut from £2.1b budget as part of CSR. Funding withdrawn from most cases involving family disputes, clinical negligence, debt, education, immigration, employment, housing and welfare benefit cases (some exceptions) Funding withdrawn from most cases involving family disputes, clinical negligence, debt, education, immigration, employment, housing and welfare benefit cases (some exceptions) 547,000 fewer cases eligible for help 547,000 fewer cases eligible for help

10 Legal Aid Financial criteria changed - full legal assistance will only be granted for those with less than £1,000 in disposable capital (currently £3,000), after which a minimum contribution of £100 will be required. Financial criteria changed - full legal assistance will only be granted for those with less than £1,000 in disposable capital (currently £3,000), after which a minimum contribution of £100 will be required. The Community Legal Advice helpline will be transformed into the single gateway to civil legal aid services, including specialist support. The Community Legal Advice helpline will be transformed into the single gateway to civil legal aid services, including specialist support.

11 Legal Aid – welfare benefits and debt £22m to be saved by withdrawing legal aid from 113,000 people who get legal aid to help with Tribunals and 10,000 who appeal to Upper Tribunal – expectation is that claimant will represent themselves and get support from local welfare rights services. £22m to be saved by withdrawing legal aid from 113,000 people who get legal aid to help with Tribunals and 10,000 who appeal to Upper Tribunal – expectation is that claimant will represent themselves and get support from local welfare rights services. A further 75,000 cases involving debt will also be affected. Exceptions to be made for those whose homes are at immediate risk. A further 75,000 cases involving debt will also be affected. Exceptions to be made for those whose homes are at immediate risk.

12 Legal aid – impact on voluntary sector 2009/ specialist CAB case workers, funded by legal aid, dealt with over 40,000 welfare benefit cases, close to 60,000 debt cases, more than 9,000 housing cases and 3,000 employment cases. These accounted for more than a fifth of all publicly funded cases in these areas. 2009/ specialist CAB case workers, funded by legal aid, dealt with over 40,000 welfare benefit cases, close to 60,000 debt cases, more than 9,000 housing cases and 3,000 employment cases. These accounted for more than a fifth of all publicly funded cases in these areas.

13 Legal Aid All legal help and representation is to be removed for appeals to the employment appeal tribunal including unfair dismissal, redundancy, discrimination, strike action, and wages issues such as equal pay All legal help and representation is to be removed for appeals to the employment appeal tribunal including unfair dismissal, redundancy, discrimination, strike action, and wages issues such as equal pay Consultation ends Feb 14th aid-reform htm Consultation ends Feb 14th aid-reform htm aid-reform htm aid-reform htm

14 Squaring the circle How will demand and supply be matched? How will demand and supply be matched? Improved quality of administration and decision-making to reduce need for representation? Improved quality of administration and decision-making to reduce need for representation? More volunteers? More volunteers? Transfer of work from statutory to voluntary sector – perceived to be cheaper? Transfer of work from statutory to voluntary sector – perceived to be cheaper? Quality control? Quality control?


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