Following ‘Freedom Day’ and the lessening of coronavirus-related restrictions, the DWP is losing no time in establishing a business-as-usual energy to benefits administration.
This resumption of the way things used to be will have substantial consequences for your clients, and so it’s vital that you are up to date with what’s going on in the world of Universal Credit.
The biggest headline of all is the DWP’s insistence that the £86 a month uplift to the standard allowances of UC, introduced at the start of the 20-21 tax year as an emergency pandemic response, will be whisked away from this point onwards.
This means that your clients and service users will need to adjust abruptly to a sharp dip in income, which will bring them to the same levels as everyone who is still on ‘legacy’ benefits. This disparity between old and new systems is being challenged in the courts, but any decision on this is a long way away.
There is an outside chance that the Chancellor may have a change of heart, but the fact that UC claimants are having messages on their journals reminding them of the temporary nature of the uplift does not fill me with optimism.
Other temporary reprieves for claimants are now being withdrawn, and so it’s vital that you are aware of other ways in which the people you support may face challenges.
For the self-employed, the reintroduction of the Minimum Income Floor will be very difficult, especially if the business has not yet recovered from any coronavirus setbacks.
For the majority of UC claimants, face to face assessments, work-search requirements, and ID and tenancy verification are all being reinstated. This means that the conditions for receiving UC are all being tightened up, and the risks of sanctions and non-payment of benefit are increased.
Come along to our ‘Catching Up with Universal Credit’ training courses, and ensure you are fully aware of how your clients are going to be affected by the DWP effectively rolling up its sleeves and resuming pre pandemic ways of working.
Find Out More
Click below to find out more about BHT’s upcoming benefits training:
About Jayne Knights
Jayne has been delivering training in Brighton for 15 years.
After qualifying as a social worker and working as an adviser in London, she finally made it to the seaside and has been in Brighton since the mid-80s, doing a variety of benefits-related jobs.
Having had such a long immersion in benefits world, she is familiar with just about every scenario that might crop up, and aims to bring that experience and overview into all of her courses.
The trainer was brilliant, she clearly knows her stuff and set the learning at a great pace. There was a good amount of information conveyed in a clear way.” (Benefits for Beginners)