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Introduction to Universal Credit & Managed Migration of legacy claims (Edinburgh)

It’s been 9 years since Universal Credit was first introduced, as the replacement means-tested benefit in the UK, for benefits like Income Support, JSA, ESA, Tax Credits & Housing Benefit, for “working age” (under 66) claimants. More than 6 million individuals & families now claim, with a majority needing assistance with their housing costs.

Earlier this month, DWP started the process of “Managed Migration” (forced transfer to UC) and by September 2024, another 2 million households will be added – many will be tenants of your organisation currently claiming legacy benefits, including housing benefit.

The course has been designed for new and/or inexperienced staff working in Councils, Housing Associations, & Co-ops. It will focus on the key areas of the scheme; how to claim; how to calculate entitlement; explain how staff can best support tenants through the process of claiming and maintaining their respective claims via online systems; and how, by doing so, landlord organisations can minimise the potential for rent arrears and need for recovery action. We will also cover the Managed Migration process, identify the likely “winners & losers” and how the Transitional protection scheme should operate to minimise claimant losses.

Course Programme

The course covers:

*What is Universal Credit; what does it replace; how to claim, validate identity, income, capital and ensure a positive outcome

*How to assist tenants make & maintain their claim; notify changes; challenge poor decisions via telephone & email, with DWP contacts

*How to assess the Benefits Assessment Period (BAP); payment dates; how these can affect new tenancies and those about to be ended.

*Explain the various features of the calculation process, using worked examples of the most typical cases.

*How to assess the “housing costs element”, non-dependant deductions; what happens when tenant couples separate, move temporarily into hospital, residential care, prison etc.

*Areas of the scheme most likely to cause difficulties; how to assist tenants communicate with Work Coaches, Account Managers and, where necessary, secure “explicit consent” from tenants who are incapable of managing their online account without assistance.

*Managed Migration, likely winners & losers, Transional Protection calculation and shelf-life.

*How to assist tenants pursue mandatory reconsiderations, appeals and make complaints aimed at minimising rental loss and rent arrears.

The course will be delivered from 10 am-3.30pm and included in the price will be a buffet lunch, coffees/teas & snacks.

Who should attend?

The information should be particularly relevant to new and inexperienced staff, who engage with tenants on a regular basis or who specialise in welfare benefits, financial inclusion, or money advice. It would also be suitable to Board & Committee members.

Bill Irvine

Bill spent 30 years in local government, holding senior positions in Social Work, Housing & Finance. He retired as Head of Housing Services (Benefits, Revenues & Advice) at one of the UK’s largest councils. In 2008 he became a Board Member of Trust HA Ltd and the SFHA and in 2010 set up his consultancy business “Housing Benefit Advice & Advocacy” offering advice, training, and advocacy to RSL’s and private landlords throughout the UK.

Since January 2012 he has been at the forefront of Universal Credit training for both SRS and Private Sector landlords, on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Housing, National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), individual Housing Associations, Voluntary and Charitable bodies, UK wide.

He now operates www.universalcreditadvice.com. publishes & distributes regular monthly updating bulletins, explaining new polices, practices and caselaw, relating to Universal Credit to more than 1300 registered subscribers. He also represents before 1st and upper-tier tribunals where attempts at mediation fail and cases need to be referred to Tribunals.