Good morning

DWP has just released a Stats Update on the progression of Universal Credit’s rollout, UK wide, broken down into political constituencies.

To illustrate its potential usefulness, I’ve selected, as an example, what’s happened, so far, in the Glasgow Central constituency area.

The stats confirm, only 25% of households have transferred, approximately 7 years after its introduction, in Manchester in April 2013, leaving the remaining 75% to transfer between now and December 2023. 

As I’ve previously reported, most people claiming Universal Credit are registered unemployed and ordinarily represent, the simplest of claims. In Glasgow Central, 80% of all registered unemployed have already migrated. In contrast, only 6% of households involving “incapacity” (typically ESA, SDP cases) have migrated to UC, leaving 94% still to migrate. 

The DATA search facility allows you to select your own area(s) to discover what’s happened during the same period.

In recent weeks, I’ve highlighted some examples of tenant horror stories, that frontline SRS staff have had to grapple with; sometimes taking months to resolve. Contrary to DWP’s suggestions, mistakes are routinely being made. Many tenants suffer in silence, not realising they’ve been wrongly assessed, and struggle to meet their commitments. Others try to remedy the error by turning to SRS advice & support services. This, in turn, creates greater demands on those SRS staff, charged with assisting these vulnerable tenants through the UC process.

The Managed Migration process is planned to commence next autumn; the date, previously fixed of 1st July has yet to be confirmed or varied. However, DWP’s Directorate maintains it’s still confident about completing the migration process, including the incorporation of the complex Transitional Protection scheme, by December 2023.

Most SRS landlords will have made some assessment of how this last, and most critical stage of the rollout, might impact on your tenants and the organisation itself. Nevertheless, I would recommend you examine these stats, for your own area, as the information should greatly assist you:

  1. Assess the proportion of your tenants that have already transferred; and
  2. Proportion yet to migrate and how many of that number could be considered “high risk”; and
  3. Develop plans for supporting tenants, where required, through this process; and
  4. Introduce or increase measures to mitigate the potential risk against further spikes in rent arrears.

During the past two months we have been delivering in-house training sessions in (Glasgow; Dundee, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, & Birmingham) to mention just a few. If you’re thinking of doing any in-house training, in relation to this and would like our input, I would recommend you getting in touch after the Christmas & New Year break.

Meantime, I would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you, a happy Christmas and prosperous 2020!

Bill Irvine

UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd.

01698 424301 or 07733 080 389