6th June, 2017
By October 2018, Universal Credit’s “Full” or “Digital” service will be operating throughout Great Britain. At the moment, only a few dozen areas have the full-blown version, which we all hoped would improve on the “limited” service it eventually will replace. Sadly, experience to date suggests the very opposite is the case. Landlords (Social & Private) have been consistently complaining of:
a) Delays of 6-12 weeks before first payment is made;
b) Expected notifications of claimant awards via e-mail or schedule is not happening;
c) Landlord Managed Payment requests are being lost or mislaid for weeks, frequently mishandled, refused for no apparent reason; and “housing costs” are being repeatedly misspent by tenants, despite APA requests having been made;
d) Lines of communication are proving poor, following DWP’s decision to no longer acknowledge “Implicit Consent” arrangements, insisting instead on “explicit” consent, recorded on the claimant’s online “journal” which, at this point, simply doesn’t work in the way it was intended, with tenants waiting weeks for responses;
e) Decision-making is horrendously poor with even the simplest of cases being assessed wrongly and attempts to rectify are frustrated by DWP’s reluctance to engage with housing/revenues staff.
The above are simply examples of the problems being currently encountered. Many more will emerge as Full Service expands and numbers of claimants increase. DWP’s handling of even the simplest cases has been nothing short of appalling. Housing and welfare rights staff attempts to assist tenants has proved very challenging and frustrating, due to DWP’s staffs’ apparent lack of training, knowledge and experience.
So, what can you & your staff do to tackle and help resolve some of these issues; help your tenant pursue legitimate concerns over the accuracy of awards; and when that doesn’t work, complain & appeal on their behalf in an attempt to remedy errors?
The following course programme http://universalcreditadvice.com/housing-associations/training/universal-credit—how-to-mitigate-the-worst-effects-of-full-service-delivery attempts to address the key concerns and provide answers to how you and your tenants should respond. Failure to do so promptly and effectively will impact adversely on your tenants’ ability to meet their rent liabilities, the organisation’s cash flow, income management, recovery processes and overall costs.
We operate many of our courses in-house for councils, housing associations, charitable bodies. In some cases, these organisations collaborate to deliver joint sessions and in the process, share the costs. This is the most cost-efficient method of delivery. We can also create bespoke sessions for senior management, board members and tenant groups. Our testimonials reflect how effective we are http://universalcreditadvice.com/testimonials
UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd