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Managed Migration – Safeguarding interests of tenants and your organisation!

Good morning

The “Managed Migration” process adding 3 million households, to the current caseload of 1.8M, starts in Harrogate from July 2019, expanding to other, yet unannounced, areas in the next 12 months.

Separately, DWP expects to add a further 180,000 pcm through a combination of “natural migration” i.e. transferring as a result of changes in family or property circumstances; and over-zealous Work Coaches and Account Managers encouraging JSA & ESA claimants to migrate voluntarily even though there is no need to do so and often finding themselves worst off with no Transitional Protection (TP) to fall back on.

Not surprisingly, the Social Security Advisory Committee has publicly expressed concerns over what’s happened to date and has forewarned Parliament that DWP is not yet ready to cope with the challenges of delivering its ambitious target of completing the migration process, and more than trebling UC recipients in the next 3/4 years.

Council and Housing Association staff have already played a significant 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, has, in most cases, only involved around 15/25% of your anticipated caseload transfer . Plus, a large percentage of existing claimants are young, single, able bodied and IT literate. In other words, the simplest of cases. The other 75% of anticipated caseload transfer (couples, families, people with disabilities) will not be anywhere near as straightforward.

This most critical stage of the migration process, will reveal more of Universal Credit’s hidden obstacles & problems, so both tenants and staff must be suitably prepared and ready to cope with the many challenges they’ll face. 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 significant hike in demand from tenants, seeking assistance to resolve issues.

Programme content & timings

9.45  Registration/Coffee

10.00 Introduction – What’s happened so far – 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 mishandling of this process and how to protect tenants and the organisation.

2.30 Landlord Portal issues – Third Party deduction errors by DWP – Communicating with DWP at frontline and hierachy to resolve individual & more general problems – Overpayments and Recovery – Complaints & Legal Action.

3.30 Finish

Who should attend?

The course should appeal to Housing & Income Management, Financial Inclusion, Welfare Benefit and Financial Advice staff , and associated managers.

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.

Bill Irvine

Bill’s an ex Head of Housing (Benefits, Revenues & Advice) Services; COSLA representative on the Housing Benefit Standing Committee, Westminister; Welfare Rights Advocate and representative at First & Upper-tier Tribunals; ex Board Member of SFHA; Retained Consultant to a large number of  Housing Associations & Co-ops and the Residential Landlords Association. Bill’s website now has nearly 1300 registered users and his regular updating bulletins have widespread appeal, even DWP staff read them for updates!