Good morning,
Hard on the heels of last week’s announcement, of UC’s expansion to 150 jobcentre areas, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has provided the NHF with more comprehensive details of what’s likely to happen after April 2015. My bulletin, earlier in the week, covered what was proposed up to April 2015, including the list of Jobcentre areas affected.
This latest information, is most welcome, as it creates something of a platform on which RSLs can now, with some degree of certainty, develop their respective mitigation plan and training programmes for staff and board/committee members.
Latest Roll out schedule

Nov 2014: Universal Credit extended to families in Warrington and Wirral for new claims only.
End of 2014: UC live in all jobcentres in the north west and Hammersmith, Bath, Rugby, Harrogate, Inverness and Shotton.
Jan 2015: extends to families in all existing live sites.
Feb 2015 – March 2016: National roll out to all jobcentres for new claims from single people without children.
  • Tranche 1 (Feb – Apr 2015) 150 jobcentres – details of the jobcentres in this tranche are in this DWP document, listed alphabetically by local authority. Once the first tranche is completed, Universal Credit will be live in 1 in 3 jobcentres in Great Britain.  
  • Tranche 2 (May – Jul 2015) 160 jobcentres
  • Tranche 3 (Sept – Nov 2015) 180 jobcentres
  • Tranche 4 (Dec 2015 – Mar 2016) 110 jobcentres
  • As more details of the other Jobcentre locations are released, I will inform you. However, if you speak to your local Head of Housing Benefits or Housing Benefits Manager, they’re likely to be alerted, some months in advance, to when your precise area is going to be affected. DWP and local councils are having an ongoing dialogue (recently rebranded – Universal Support) about the expansion plan, and have developed an associated protocol, that’s designed to bring an end to exisitng housing benefit awards, where tenants are required to make a claim for Universal Credit, including the critical “housing costs” element.
  • Alternatively, DWP has provided the attached list of its Regional Development Managers, with their respective contact details, so you can make contact direct, if you’ve not already made their aqaintance
May 2016–Dec 2017: National roll out to all new claims and claimants with change of circumstances. This particular stage should create a sizeable increase in the numbers of UC claimants UK wide.
Jan 2018–Dec 2019: Managed transfer of legacy benefit claims including housing benefit, JSA and income support. The last, and by far, the biggest stage in the process, when all remaining cases, including the unusual and most complicated, are migrated across to Universal Credit.
Will this latest plan be delivered?
Based on the fact,  there’s currently less than 20,000 claiming UC, using existing legacy systems, which demand triple-keying and much manual intervention from DWP staff, Margaret Hodge, the Public Accounts Committe Chair, believes the timetable is still very ambitious. The “digital” system currently being trialed in Sutton, has only dealt with a handful of claims so far. DWP recognise it’s rapid development, and introduction, due to commence in 2016,  is key to whether the DWP ambitions will ever be realised. Let’s hope, DWP, on this occasion, finally get it right, as the alternative i.e. a write-down of £600M in respect of unuseable IT, and another project re-set, are both unthinkable. 
If you are interested in finding out more of what’s been happening in the live sites and some of the many contentious areas of Universal Credit, look no further than  
If you require any further information in relation to this article or if you feel I can assist you in any way, please contact me on 07733 080 389 or e-mail