Good morning

The “Managed Migration” of a further 5 million claimants, starts in Harrogate from July 2019, expanding to other (yet unannounced) areas in the next 12 months. Currently, there are around 1.8M recipients of Universal Credit with, at least, a further 100,000 being added every month. The process of “natural” migration, mainly through “changes in circumstances” has taken 6 years and has been the subject of much scrutiny and criticism. Not surprisingly, the Social Security Advisory Committee has publicly expressed concerns over the challenges DWP will face in its attempts to meet its ambitious target of more than trebling UC recipients in around 3/4 years.

Council and Housing Association staff have already played a significant & positive part in the “natural migration” process. Without their input, many more tenants would have experienced some of the hardship and anxiety experienced by others less fortunate. But the effort to date, in most areas, has only involved around 20/25% of your anticipated caseload transfer . Plus, a large percentage of exisiting claimants are young, single, able bodied and IT literate. In other words, the simplest of cases. The other 75% will not be anywhere near as straightforward for a DWP administration that has not exactly covered itself in any glory so far.

So, in this latest and most critical stage of the migration process, both tenants and staff must be suitably prepared and ready to cope with the many challenges ahead. With this in mind,  we’ve prepared this new course. It will focus on the Migration process; highlight some of the key operational considerations that are likely to cause difficulties; and how these can be best addressed to avoid rent arrears, cash flow difficulties and the potentially insatiable demand of tenants, seeking assistance to resolve issues as they arise.

Programme 

9.45  Registration/Coffee

10.00 Introduction – Managed Migration process – problems associated with this – examing your caseload – identifying those tenants at most risk

10.15 Key threats to both tenants and landlord – Initial claim stage fallout – claim & review process including “claimant commitment”- SDP Gateway – Mixed Aged Couples

11.15 Break – Coffee

11.30 Common Problems – Poor decision making – wrong assessments with missing disability, carer elements, seeking a review of a claim – Mandatory Reconsideration – Appeal to Tribunal Service

12.30 Lunch

1.15  Housing Cost Contributions (to whom do they apply) – Untidy Tenancies – couples separate – tenant moves away/dies – effect of changes on award –  Interaction between BAP & “Whole month rule” – DWP’s bungling of this process and how to protect tenants and the organisation.

2.30 Landlord Portal issues – Third Party deduction abuse by DWP – Communicating with DWP at frontline and hierachy to resolve individual & more genarl problems – Overpayments and Recovery.

3.30 Finish

Content & delivery

Throughout the day we will encourage delegate participation. We use practical exercises and case studies, drawn from the “Full Service” sites, to highlight the main features of Universal Credit’s latest version. Ultimately, the tutor will aim to ensure delegates are well informed on how best to maximise tenant entitlement; minimise landlord problems and reduce the potential for rental income loss and the need for recovery action.

Tutor

Bill Irvine runs all our courses. He’s an ex Head of Housing (Benefits, Revenues & Advice) Services; COSLA appointee on Housing Benefit Standing Committee, Westminister; Welfare Rights Advocate and representative at Fist & Upper-tier Tribunals; ex Board Member of SFHA; Retained Consultant to a large number of  Housing Associations & Co-ops and the Residential Landlords Association.