The world of benefits never stands still

The world of benefits never stands still… and so within a few days of the appointment of the new Prime Minister, we were introduced to the third Secretary of State for the Department for Work & Pensions since the start of the year.

BHT’s benefits trainer Jayne Knights brings you up to speed with the major news to affect all things welfare benefits-related.

Stephen Crabb barely had time to absorb some of the rules of Universal Credit before he was out of the revolving door to make way for Damian Green, who bears a resemblance to IDS in both appearance and viewpoint.

Mr Green’s first action has been to make yet more changes to the rollout of Universal Credit, which now has over 300,000 live claims. Some areas have been speeded up, some slowed down, and some major rules have been tweaked.

We are now unlikely to have full migration to UC until 2021,2,3, who knows, but every area now has Universal Credit in some form, and Hastings* will be the South Coast pioneers of the full digital service from December this year – if you have clients from this area, you need to be aware of what’s happening to them!

Benefit cap reduction

The other major news due to hit the proverbial fan quite soon is the reduction in the benefit cap, which is set to affect thousands more households in the Sussex area than it does at the moment, with Hastings and Brighton and Hove likely to be particularly badly affected.

The reduction will take place from early November onwards. Letters to affected claimants will be dropping onto doormats at any time so make sure you’re prepared for clients being a little bit upset that their HB / Universal Credit will reduce overnight, in some cases by over £100 a week.”

*BHT’s Universal Credit Digital Service comes to Hastings training course has now sold out, but if you need help preparing for UC rollout please contact training@bht.org.uk to discuss alternative training.

Jayne is also running the following courses:

Benefits & Vulnerable People – Thursday 22 September (9:30 – 12:30)

Cutting Caps: An Essential Guide to the Benefits Cap Reductions – Tuesday 11 October (a  2.5 hour workshop that will run in the morning and the afternoon)

Benefits & Mental Health – Thursday 17th November (9:30 – 12:30)

Benefits for Beginners – Tuesday 17 January (9:30 – 4:30)