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Benefit CAP Pilots Administering the CAP. What is the Benefit Cap The Benefit Cap limits the level of assistance working-age households can receive by.

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Presentation on theme: "Benefit CAP Pilots Administering the CAP. What is the Benefit Cap The Benefit Cap limits the level of assistance working-age households can receive by."— Presentation transcript:

1 Benefit CAP Pilots Administering the CAP

2 What is the Benefit Cap The Benefit Cap limits the level of assistance working-age households can receive by way of the benefits listed below to £500pw for couples & lone parents and £350pw for single people Bereavement Allowance / Widowed Parents / Mothers Allowance Carers / Guardians Allowance Child Benefit & Child Tax Credit Employment & Support Allowance (Work Related Group) Housing Benefit Incapacity Benefit Income Support Job Seekers Allowance Maternity Allowance Severe Disability Allowance Widows Pension

3 When Does the Cap Not Apply Exempt Groups – Where claimant/partner are in receipt of War Widows/Widowers Pension/Armed Forces Compensation Payments/War Disablement Pension – Households in receipt of Working Tax Credit or working sufficient hours to claim WTC but whose income from earnings is too high – Where the claimant/partner or child receives Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment/Attendance Allowance/Constant Attendance Allowance/ Industrial Injuries Benefits – ESA recipients within the Support Group – 9 month grace period where previously paid NI for 12 month period and lost job through no fault of their own

4 Administering the CAP CAP notification via Atlas – automated processing Haringey & Enfield. manual processing Bromley & Croydon Benefit Cap data comes in regular Atlas file Atlas timings – received by LA 2/3 days after Belfast work on it Atlas notification – calculated income (DWP) – mostly finding very high accuracy levels from Belfast CAP implemented from Monday following Atlas notification Data discrepancies to be reported on standard template via GCSX email – so far, quick response times

5 Processing Issues Supported Accommodation – existing definitions unchanged Incapacity Benefit – changes between current position and national rollout Travellers / Dual Claims – Fleeing Violence – Cross-borough dual claims Outstanding DLA/PIP/ESA Support/Tax Credit claims and appeals – DWP have no capacity to fast-track these Sanctions Training your Benefits Staff Training your Customer Services staff and any other interested staff

6 IT Position (General) All Software Packages are calculating the Cap accurately Management reports will identify cap cases from ATLAS file Pilots advise you to check all cases during the transfer period in case of any outstanding work which could affect the Housing Benefit due & therefore the cap amount General Testing will be difficult as DWP cant offer you a test file Pilots advise you to run in your first ATLAS file to TEST systems to ensure your software has been set up correctly – but as it has other ATLAS data in it – youll have to run it into live quickly after Have arrangements in place to notify any cap support teams that the cap has been applied Work out how you will inform Landlords that cases have been capped What will your capped customers do to seek advice – CMS systems / Call Centres / dedicated teams? Think about who in your LAs will want to know about specific capped cases or general statistics – including your Members – manage their expectations.

7 Change of Circumstances / Reconsiderations Likely to be the bulk of our work in long term and likely to be a pain No DWP decision on how Annual Upratings will be handled – surely not manually? Any change in DWP income (including Tax Credit changes by pennies) will result in an ATLAS Update notification

8 Structural Changes (1) Bromley Contracted-out Revenues & Benefits Service. To date the CAP process has been managed by the Authority. However, additional staff taken on by contractor Expected to be absorbed into day-to-day business Additional resources employed for 6 months to cover all areas of welfare reform Croydon Project managers and additional resources to implement welfare reforms Team made up of 4 existing benefit officers supported by 2 Project Managers

9 Structural Changes (2) Enfield Cross council steering group on Welfare Reform, chaired at Director level. Voluntary organisations represented on the group Haringey In house dedicated cap team check Document management system for outstanding work and ensure that Capping has been appropriately applied (3 staff and one supervisor) Same team deal with all Cap-related DHPs, HB queries and hand offs to Support Team / JCP advisors Ultimately, ongoing work will revert to main processing teams but not for at least 3 months

10 Covering the Shortfall Making up from own means DHP – ensure your policy has conditionality about engagement with support services but theres still not enough money to cover all shortfalls Commencing Work and qualifying for WTC Seeking Alternative Accommodation Fraud No quick solutions for customers - mixed results on engagement with support teams

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