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Bedroom Reclassification - Warning shot from Lord Freud to Councils.

Almost every day you’ll find newspaper articles covering protests against: under-occupation penalties; threats of repossession action by councils and RSLs for rent arrears; combined with complaints about new Council Tax charges arising from the less generous Council Tax Reduction scheme which started in April. In Sheffield anti-Bedroom Tax protestors gathered outside…

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Universal Credit - National roll-out concerns.

Earlier this week, the DWP issued its latest circular A14/2013 providing councils with some advice on how the Ashton-under-Lynne Pathfinder will prepare the way for the national roll-out of Universal Credit. The circular is really quite technical, as a whole, so I’ve decided not to attach it nor depress you. But…

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Housing Benefit - Key facts and Overpayment concerns!

In earlier bulletins I’ve commented on the critical importance of Housing Benefit (HB) to RSL revenue streams. With all the attention being focused on the Bedroom Tax and Universal Credit it’s easy to overlook the scheme still has still another 5 years, at least, to run, and probably many more as the…

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Demonstration Projects outcomes delayed until December 2013

The DWP announced yesterday, that the 6 demonstration projects, designed to assess the amount of assistance tenants will require, under Universal Credit (UC) with budgeting, opening bank accounts and paying rent to their landlord, have been extended by 6 months, until December 2013. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/direct-payment-projects-extended-for-6-months Significantly, this means the projects won’t…

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Foster Carers - Extra Bedroom FAQ's advice from DWP

DWP has just issued a briefing note, in response to frequently asked questions (FAQ’s), which is designed to help you understand how the “extra room” should be assessed, when dealing with formally approved Foster Carers; “family and friend” fostering placements(Kinship in Scotland); and those awaiting to be formally approved as…

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Universal Credit - DWP update on Alternative Payment Arrangements

The DWP has just provided an update to its February 2013 Local Support Services Framework (LSSF) report which gives much more detail on what is likely to happen to claimants, needing budgeting and alternative payment arrangements, as Universal Credit is rolled out nationally from October 2013. The update https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-local-support-services-framework firstly…

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Benefits Cap - National Implementation programme

As you know, from my earlier bulletins, the Benefits Cap (limiting of Social Security household benefit awards to £350 or £500 per week, depending on household make-up) is designed to ensure workless households should no longer receive more in social security benefits than the average earnings of working households. The…

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Universal Credit - Super duper IT system revealed!

Universal Credit took it first hesitant steps yesterday in the Ashton-under-Lyne, Jobcentre Plus Pathfinder with the other three projects due to commence in July. The Pathfinders, as their name suggests, were designed to test out the preparedness of the DWP and Councils, and especially the super-duper, real-time, IT system, that…

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