Good morning,
If you exmine the link you’ll find details of the above course which we’re running in Edinburgh on 28th September and London on 4th October, 2016. Both events have already attracted sufficent interest to allow us to confirm they will definitely go ahead; mainly due to the high demand for information relating to the Universal Credit digital system. 
I’ll be accompanied at these events, by Policy & Practice’s, Peter Carter who will help me conclude the afternoon session with a short Case Study relating to Your Homes Newcastle (YHN). With a housing stock of over 27,000 properties YHN worked with Policy in Practice to identify the impact of welfare reforms on each of those individual households. Peter will share how YHN knew that supporting tenants with their finances in the face of welfare reform was critical, both for their residents and the ALMO’s cash flow. Staff were expected  to be welfare experts and customers repeatedly asked for similar information.
The Benefit
YHN  identified a six figure sum of rental income that was potentially at risk. Together with Newcastle CC they now proactively help those customers most at risk from welfare reforms.
Course content.
The course has been specifically tailored for Social Landlord staff. It’s been designed to address the concerns and problems mentioned above; the likely effect this will have on your tenants; your organisation’s collection arrangements, rental income and arrears management. 

Programme: (9.30am – 4pm) includes:

  • When, where and how will Universal Credit’s digital system be introduced;
  • Who exactly will be able to claim it, when the scheme is fully operational;
  • How will it be claimed; the importance of the web based system, the “claimant commitment” and how you can support tenants during the process;
  • Data sharing, information about live claims, awards, notifications, annual rent increase processes etc.
  • How claims will be assessed, with various examples of the calculation methodology, including the “housing element”; non-dependent charges; under-occupation deductions; benefits cap.
  • How & when will it be paid, including the use of bank, building society, Post Office and Credit Union accounts; and variations to the default position of paying monthly and to the tenant?
  • Backdating of claims; changes in circumstances; the “whole month rule”; penalties for late reporting changes; overpayments, cause, recovery and late notification “fines”.
  • Threat to “housing element” when couples separate; two households combine as one; tenant’s move home without giving notice; temporary absences, hospital in-patients, prison etc.
  • Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs) – How to apply for these; request suspension of the housing costs; and “third party deductions” to reduce historic rent arrears?
  • Conditionality and sanctions – how these will affect the tenant’s willingness to cooperate; may prejudice your ability to APAs & TPDs; and might result in the “housing element” being misused to compensate for benefit loss.
  • DWP maladministration – how to challenge DWP mistakes/errors; how to pursue “compensation” using the “complaints process” and referrals to the Parliamentary Commissioner.
  • Appeals – what can and can’t the tenant/you appeal; what is a mandatory reconsideration; how & when do First-tier tribunals play a part.
  • Policy & Practice Case Study – Your Homes Newcastle.

If you’re interested in either course, you’ll find the details in the link. Similarly, if you’d like us to run the course in-house later this year or next, please use or contact details form or get in touch or simply e-mail me bill@ucadvice.couk or phone 07733 080 389.

Bill Irvine

UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd.