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Universal Credit - Tackling the challenges of Full Service delivery!

Universal Credit’s “Full Service” rollout is now having an impact on tenants and landlords alike. There’s now just over 1.6 milion recipients in the UK. Another 5.5 million claimants are due to be added. Many will have families, and, in some cases, partners, children & adults with disabilities and various health conditions; some will provide care; others will be employed or self employed and struggling to make ends meet.

DWP will no longer be handling only the simplest of claims and there is real concern about the capability of its administration to cope with the expected explosion in numbers and complexity of claims. There’s also, an anxiety amongst landlords and advice organisations, that their compliment of support staff (welfare rights, money advice & financial inclusion) and Income Management teams will be swamped with the sheer volume of potential referrals, and struggle to contain a rise in rent arrears and may need to revert to repossession as a means of control.

We can assist you, as we’ve been supporting landlord clients, already affected by Full Service delivery. By attending this course you will learn who is most likely to be affected first, how best to support them, particularly those who are vulnerable or in difficult circumstances. You will also have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the key aspects of Universal Credit from a landlord and tenant’s perspective. If you’ve already attended our introductory courses, you’ll have the chance to refresh your knowledge and further develop your ability to assist colleagues and tenants, through the challenges they’ll undoubtedly experience dealing with DWP’s service centres and digital by default online system which is still very much a work-in-progress.


9.45 Registration/Coffee

10.00 Introduction & Course outline

#What triggers a “natural” and/or “managed” migration to UCFS?

#How & when tenants must respond to Managed Migration notices?Transional Protection scheme.

#Severe Disability Premium Gateway & Compensation scheme for those tenants who prematurely migrated to UC.

#April 2019 rent increase exercise. Notification process and discretionary applications after the BAP.

#Managing the Landlord Portal and improving communications with DWP.

#Changes in circumstances (start/end work; couples split/reunite; changes to family make-up, rent charges. Timing of notifications.

#How to challenge DWP decisions seeking a revision and “late revisions”

#Mandatory Reconsideration & Appeal. How best to do this, including a  number of examples and draft letters to illustrate.

#Overcoming “explicit consent” and other communication obstacles.

#Rules on UC Overpayments are very different to Housing Benefit! Determining culpability; How to challenge DWP poor practice – standard letters etc.

#How to complain to DWP and Independent Case Examiner (case examples, standard letters used to illustrate).

3.30 Finish

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.

Who should attend?

Any member of staff involved in housing & income management, finance, providing advice & support to tenants and those responsible for collecting rent, pursuing rent arrears, whilst complying with Pre-action protocols/requirements.


Bill Irvine, ex Head of Benefits, Revenues & Advice Services at South Lanarkshire; local government advisor to the Housing Benefit Standing Committee, Westminster; tutored on HB/Rent Arrears issues, on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Currently operates UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd, acting as representative of tenants, Private Landlords and Housing Associations in their respective UC/HB/LHA negotiations with councils and, uniquely, represents them in disputes before First and Upper-tier tribunals.