Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

Newsletters: September 2020


September 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to our latest newsletter - bringing you right up to date with useful welfare benefit information. 

In this issue find out more about:

  • Carers on UC are missing out - many should have a Carer Element included in their UC award giving them an extra £162 a month.
  • New 'isolation payment' - to help low paid workers asked to self-isolate to 'do the right thing'. Pilots now running in part of the North West of England.
  • UC and Market Rents  - shouldn't automatically fall under the LHA scheme - check out our latest Briefing.
  • Our 2020 Conference - Movers need Shakers! Get booked on now...
  • Finishing work? - Make sure the various payments received by those finishing work are treated correctly.
  • Pension age now in 'steady state'  - it's reached 66 and not rising (for a while)!
  • Numbers claiming Pension Credit still too low - the DWP's latest estimate is that £2.5 billion goes unclaimed.
  • Looking for engaging online training packed full of useful information? - take a look at what we have on offer.
  • Your chance to WIN £50 for your local FOOD BANK and a COMPLIMENTARY PLACE at our Conference for you!

Carers on UC are missing out!
Many carers claiming Universal Credit are missing out on the addition of the 'Carer Element' in their UC award - worth up to £168.81 a month.

Where a UC claimant is a (non-paid) carer and is looking after a severely disabled person or child for 35 hours or more a week, then their UC award should include the 'Carer Element' regardless of whether they are getting Carers Allowance or, if working, any earnings.

But this Element is often missed altogether, or missed for a period when the claimant should have been entitled to it.

There are many reasons why claimants are missing out, but the main ones are:

1. The rules of entitlement under UC are different to the legacy benefit system

2. The DWP miss off the award / don't seem to understand the rules

3. The DWP don't always 'backdate' the Carer Element

4. Awaiting award of PIP, DLA or AA - need to notify DWP that they are a carer

5. Made claim for UC following death of disabled person - Carers Allowance in payment but no Carer Element?

A UC claimant who thinks they are entitled should request a Mandatory Reconsideration on their UC journal explaining why and giving the date from which they believe they became entitled.

More detailed information here
Want to know more about:

Challenging UC Decisions?

Get booked on to our popular Workshop:
Added date: Thurs 22nd October 2pm - 4pm
Just £49+vat per delegate - click here for more info.
Trials of new self-isolation

From 1st September 2020, the government is trialing a new self-isolation payment for those living in high Covid-19 incidence areas.

It is for people in receipt of certain benefits who normally work (employment or self-employment), but who are having to self-isolate at home, who are unable to work from home and are not being paid by their employer or who have no self-employed income. 

The government hope that this extra payment – paid on top of these benefits - will mean people "don't lose out by doing the right thing".

The benefit will be trialed in parts of North West England first. Those entitled need to apply to their Local Authority - generally the claim will be online.

More information here
Want to know more about:

Coronavirus & Benefits?

Why not take our E-Learning module
It's free! - click here for more info.

Universal Credit & Market Rents

In this new Briefing we answer some common questions about UC and market rents:

  • Should the claimant tick the box on the UC claim form that says 'I rent from a council or housing association', or 'I rent from a private landlord'?
  • When the DWP assess the amount of their Housing Costs Element - will their market rent fall under the social rented sector rules or the private rented sector Local Housing Allowance rules?
  • And what does this mean for the landlord in terms of using the Landlord Portal for these claimants?
Click here for the Briefing

Conference 2020

Movers need Shakers

Be inspired to shake it up at our online Conference 2020

Thursday 15th October

Make Universal Credit work for your tenants / customers -

Know the problem areas
Find out how to tackle them
Make sure claimants get what they’re entitled to and can pay their rent

You’ll be armed with knowledge and inspired to make a real difference.

The day will be packed with fascinating speakers and really useful workshops.
Book now! Places are limited - and with the cost being just £129+vat – we expect they will fill quickly.

Our speakers include:

Amanda Garrard, Chief Executive, Berneslai Homes
    Matthew Ahluwalia, Public Law Project


Payments on finishing work

When someone makes a claim for UC after finishing work they may be entitled to receive various different payments. We summarised which payments from an employer count as earnings and which count as capital for Universal Credit in our June newsletter - click here.

But what about personal insurance payments?

Payments received under an insurance policy which is insuring against the risk of losing income due to illness, accident or redundancy are taken fully into account as income when a UC claimant's award is assessed. However watch out for ‘mixed income protection policies' where the policy contains an amount for mortgage protection.

Following the introduction of the Loans for Mortgage Interest regulations ie since 6th April 2018, Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance (MPPI) policies or any equivalent payments, are no longer taken into account as income - but where they are 'hidden' in a lump sum insurance payment these could easily be missed by the DWP and included as income.

Want to know more about:

Lost Job? Benefits during COVID-19

Why not book our Workshop to be delivered
in-house? Just £500+vat- 
 click here for more info.

Pension Age set at 66!
State pension / pension credit age has been slowly increasing.
Due to the way it increased it was difficult to answer the question 'What is state pension age?' But that is all about to change.

From 6th October 2020, state pension age / pension credit age will be 66 and will remain 66 for the next 5 1/2 years. It will not start to increase again until 2026 when it will then start to increase to reach 67 in 2028.
Want to know more about:

Turning Pension Age from a UC perspective?

Then book yourself onto our Conference - one of the Workshops is all about this complex topic!
 - click here for more info.

£2.5 billion Pension Credit goes unclaimed
Around £2.5 billion of Pension Credit remains unclaimed annually.

The most recent statistics - for 2017/18 - show that only around 61% of families who would be entitled to Pension Credit were claiming it. 

Pension Credit is more generous than working age means-tested benefits. It guarantees a single pensioner a minimum income of £182.60 a week, there is no upper savings limit (although savings of £10,000 or more will be taken into account), and it includes help if the claimant is responsible for a child.
So it is always worth checking if someone could qualify for it.

Single people of pension age and couples who are both pension age could be eligible to make a new claim and it can now be claimed online, in addition to by phone or by post.
More info on Pension Credit here

Engaging and information packed training

With a sharp increase in Universal Credit claims due to the current economic climate it is important that all front line staff have the information and tools they need to give accurate and informative advice to their clients.

Our highly rated training is now available online. There's something for everyone, from a 2 hour online workshop, to a full Blended Learning package that incorporates our engaging e-learning courses.

Get yourself booked on!

Can't see what your looking for? Give us a call or send us an email - we can put together a course just for you. 


Housing Systems Online Training Courses
Course Type Level Date Price per person
UC: The Essentials
click here

Blended Learning

Introductory /

Workshop Dates:
25th Sept / 9th Oct
23rd Oct


UC Housing Costs
click here
Online Workshop Intermediate
29th September

Mixed Age Couples
click here
Blended Learning Intermediate /
Workshop Date:
29th September

EEA Nationals
and UC

click here
Blended Learning Intermediate /
Workshop Date:
6th October

UC: Taking the Challenge
click here
Conference Intermediate /
17th October £129+vat

Intro to Welfare Benefits
click here
Blended Learning Introductory Workshop Date:
22nd October

Challenging UC Decisions
click here
Online Workshop Intermediate 22nd October £49+vat

Maximising Universal Credit
click here
Blended Learning Intermediate Workshop Date:
29th October

Your chance to
win £50 for your local food bank and a place on our Conference!

Every month we give you the chance to win £50 for your local food bank

This month the winner will also get a complimentary place on our online Conference being held on Thursday 15th October.

The winner will be selected at random and can nominate a food bank of their choice to receive a £50 cheque from us, and they will receive a free place on our Conference for themselves.

Well done to our August winner -  Rachel from Radian - a £50 cheque is making its way to her chosen Foodbank.

To enter this month's competition, just email your entry to us by Friday 2nd October 2020 for your chance to win.

This month's competition question - 

Which of our Conference Workshops would you find most useful?

To help you make a decision click here

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

Why not follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn?

Keep yourself up to date and find out what we're up to!


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