Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

Newsletters: June/July 2018

June/July 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to this month's newsletter - bringing you right up to date with useful benefit information.

In this issue find out more about:

  • The government's plans for UC claimants who have lost their Severe Disability Premium
  • Managed Migration- the government's plans for the final phase of the rollout of UC - who will and who won't get help.
  • Watch out - moving home within LA area can sometimes be a new claim for HB and therefore trigger the need to claim UC!
  • Universal Credit problem areas....
  • New-Style JSA and ESA
  • New video- Have you seen our new video about the Housing Systems website?
  • Success stories- helping you to help your tenants.
  • As well as:
  • Your chance to WIN £50 for your local FOOD BANK and chocolates for you!
  • This month's really useful standard letter.
  • This month's really useful tool!

UC & loss of the Severe Disability Premium.

Following the government’s announcement that they intend to protect those who have already lost out and will lose out financially due to the loss of the Severe Disability Premium (SDP), we now have the detail of the proposals - given in draft regulations.

Note:The Social Security Advisory Committee has launched a consultation on these regulations and is keen to hear from organisations and individuals by 10am on Monday 20th August 2018.
So it is unlikely that anything will happen before 20th August 2018 and these draft regulations are subject to change.

Key Facts
  • From a date in the future - still to be announced - the government are introducing a new 'Gateway Condition' into the Full UC Service Regulations. This will mean that there will be no new claims for Universal Credit from anyone who has the Severe Disability Premium in their current legacy benefit award(or has had within the previous month) until the final phase of the rollout of UC - 'managed migration'.
  • Transitional protection will be* available for some# claimants already on UC (and who remain entitled both to UC and the SDP) who were getting the Severe Disability Premium in their legacy benefits before moving onto UC and are worse off as a result of claiming UC.
  • A backdated payment will be* given to some# claimants still on UC who were made worse off - paid at a set rate - to compensate for the benefit lost since moving onto UC.
* No date has been set yet for when this Transitional SDP Payment will be given - but we do know that it will only be available to those claimants who, at the point the DWP look to see if they are entitled to it if they are:
  1. Still getting Universal Credit, and
  2. Since going onto UC:
  • They have not separated/become a couple, or
  • They have not lost the disability benefit that gave them entitlement to the SDP, or
  • Their carer has not been awarded Carers Allowance or a UC Carer Element.
It will be important to keep a list of those claimants you think may be entitled to the Transitional SDP Payment, this is because:
  • The DWP are not intending to do a trawl of UC claimants to find out who is entitled to the Transitional SDP Payment, and
  • Entitlement to it will depend on the claimant's circumstances on the day the DWP become aware that they may be someone entitled to a Transitional SDP Payment, and
  • If the claimant has a change in their circumstances before their entitlement to the Transitional SDP Payment is considered - and that change means that they are not longer entitled to it -then not only will they have lost entitlement in their on-going UC award, they will also have lost entitlement to the backdated payment (as the draft Regulations currently stand).

See our briefing for more information and examples.
Click here

Rollout of Universal Credit-
The final phase -
Have your say!

The government has finally announced draft regulations and details of its plans for:

  • The process of how the ‘managed migration’ process will work and
  • Who will qualify for transitional protection.

'Managed migration' is the term used to describe the final, third, phase of the rolllout of UC, due to happen between July 2019 and 2023, (although some testing will start from January 2019).

The DWP will select working age claimants who are still in receipt of legacy benefits, to inform them that their legacy benefits are due to end and that they can make a claim for UC by a certain deadline. Their legacy benefits will come to an end whether or not they meet that deadline.

Should someone who is 'forced' onto UC be worse off (ignoring deductions) - then there will be a 'Transitional Element' available that will be included when their UC is paid - although this will not last forever and can be eroded over time.

Additional arrangements have been put into place for claimants who are entitled to the Severe Disability Premium with their legacy benefits, and those who were entitled to the SDP and have lost out financially due to having moved onto UC already - please see our briefing.

The Social Security Advisory Committee has launched a consultation on these plans and is keen to hear from organisations and individuals by 10am on Monday 20 August 2018.

You can find more information on these plans, and links to the draft regulations and the explanatory memorandum here.

Watch out!
Moving home within LA can trigger claim for UC

Normally a HB claimant moving within a LA area and having no other change in circumstances would not need to claim UC - even if the new property was in a Full / Digital UC service area. They can, therefore, stay on the legacy benefit system. This is because they do not need to make a new clam for any of the benefits UC is replacing.
However, we have come across a couple of cases where such a move did trigger the need to claim UC.

This was where, although the working age claimant was moving within the LA area, they had delayed moving into their new property AND their liability on their old property had ended*.
So because there was a break in their HB claim, the move could not be treated as a change in circumstances. As such, they could not make a new claim for HB and needed to claim UC instead.

*In many cases there will be a continued liability, either because they moved in on the tenancy start date, or they are still liable for rent on their old property at the point of move- due to having to give 4 weeks notice on their old property and having unavoidable dual liability.
Where the tenant has remained living in the old property after tenancy termination, one way round this could be for the landlord to make a use and occupation charge (or even mesne profits under HB*) for that property. Therefore, as the claimant retains liability to pay a charge on the property they have left immediately prior to moving to their new home, there is no break in the HB claim.
BUT if the tenant had decided to live elsewhere for a few days - whilst decorating / waiting for gas/electric to be turned on / on holiday / arrested and kept in prison for a few days etc. etc -then the only way round this would be for the landlord to change the tenancy end date,in agreement with the departing tenant.
If the delay in moving in was something outside of the tenant's control and they'd moved all their belongings in to their new home, then they could argue that they should be deemed to have moved in on the tenancy start date. The trouble with this is that it may take some time before the HB Office make a decision on this request, and if they decide not to treat the claimant as moving in to their new home on their tenancy start date,then the claimant will have to claim UC and will have missed out on receiving help with their rent for those first few weeks.

(*remember mesne profits cannot be covered by UC)
Universal Credit: Problem Areas
Many UC claimants are not receiving the help they are entitled to - for more examples - please see our new leaflet.
Click here
Job Opportunity

We’re looking for a Universal Credit Specialistwith a sharp analytical mind to join our small, dedicated and respected organisation which works with social landlords to combat poverty, reduce arrears and sustain tenancies.

Click herefor more details......c
losing date 10am 9th July 2018.

'New Style'

Based on NI contributions

Contribution-Based Jobseekers Allowance and Contributory ESA still exist - even in Full UC Service areas.

But they are called

  • 'New-Style' Jobseekers Allowance,


  • 'New-Style' Employment and Support Allowance.

There has been a lot of confusion about how these benefits are claimed - please see our guide on the website - click here.

NOTE: A claimant on 'Old-Style' Contribution-Based JSA and 'Old-Style' Contributory ESA can still get an income related top up from Income-Based JSA or Income-Related ESA - so unless they need to make a new claim for one of the other benefits UC is replacing, they can get this top-up without having to claim Universal Credit.

Need Training in 2018?

Looking to book one of our courses?
Please contact us asap - dates are disappearing fast!!

Please see our training brochure.
Click here for our training brochure
Have you seen our new video?

Guide to the website.

The video is a quick tour of the Housing Systems website.
Even if you are a frequent user, there may be tools or features you are not aware of.... watch this new video to make sure you are not missing anything!

Click here

Recent successes

Many of you use the information on the Housing Systems website, including our standard letters, or you email us for advice in order to get the right benefit decisions for your customers. We have picked the following unusual query to share with you.

A housing worker emailed recently to check if it was unlawful for the DWP to make deductions from an award of Personal Independence Payment to recover an overpayment of Tax Credits. A tenant was having more than £200 deducted from their 4 weekly PIP payments.

We confirmed that this was not legal(as per paragraphs 7E &1 of Schedule 9 of The Social Security Claims & Payment Regulations 1987).

After quoting the relevant regulation to the PIP dept, they agreed to remove the deductions and refund the £600 they had already taken.

This month's useful
standard letter

With hundreds of useful standard letters on the website it would be surprising if you were aware of all of them. So each month we highlight one for you.

This month we would like to highlight -

UC CP16: -Request for a Short Term Advance due to a change of circumstances.

You may be aware of New Claim Advances or Benefit Transfer Advances - loans which new Universal Credit claimants can apply for if they cannot manage until their first UC payday.... But did you know about 'Change in Circumstances Advances'?

Where a UC claimant has a change in their circumstances which means their UC award will increase (eg having their first or second child), and they need more money to live on now, but they cannot manage until they get their next (increased) UC payment, they can apply for a 'Change of Circumstances Advance', which can be repaid over six months.

You can find more information here and a link to the letter here.

This month's

useful 'tool'

In addition to highlighting one of our standard letters in each newsletter, we thought you may find it helpful if we also remind you each month about the many tools which are at your fingertips too!

Have you seen our....

What Triggers a Universal Credit Claim? - Crib Sheet

Trying to work out whether someone has to claim?

You'll need to know whether their change in circumstances would mean that they would normally need to make a new claim for one of the benefits UC is replacing.

You need to consider each legacy benefit separately - we have devised a crib sheet showing you the most common triggers.

Click here for the crib sheet.

You can find lots of other useful summary sheets here.

Your chance to
win £50 for your local food bank

Every month we give you the chance to win £50 for your local food bank.
The winner will be selected at random and can nominate a food bank of their choice to receive a £50 cheque from us, and will receive a box of chocolates for themselves.

Well done to last month's winner - Donald from Glen Housing
- a £50 cheque is making its way to his chosen food bank.

To enter this month's competition, just email the answer to the question below to us by Friday 20th July for your chance to win.

This month's quiz is about when a Universal Credit claimant has a 'beneficial change' - ie one that would mean an increase in their UC award.
In order to ensure they get the maximum possible award of UC, by when do they need to:
  • Notify the UC dept of the change if the change is that they have finished work?
  • Notify the UC dept of any other change?
  • Provide evidence, if the DWP request it, of the change?
Find your answers here.

email your answers to: info@housingsystems.co.uk

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