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Bill Irvine: Universal Credit – a look to 2015 and beyond!

RLA
Written by RLA

RLA trainer, consultant, and Housing Benefit expert Bill Irvine has written an update regarding Universal Credit (UC) and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) time line for continuing roll out following an announcement from the DWP about plans for roll out in 2015 and beyond…

RLA trainer, consultant, and Housing Benefit expert Bill Irvine has written an update regarding Universal Credit (UC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) time line for continuing roll out following an announcement from the DWP about plans for roll out in 2015 and beyond

This round of information will help private landlords with incoming changes regarding the on going roll-out of the Universal Credit scheme.

Latest Roll out schedule

Nov 2014: Universal Credit extended to families in Warrington and Wirral for new claims only.

End of 2014: UC live in all jobcentres in the North West, as well as Hammersmith, Bath, Rugby, Harrogate, Inverness, and Shotton.

Jan 2015: extends to families in all existing live sites.

Feb 2015 – March 2016: National roll out to all jobcentres for new claims from single people without children.

May 2016–Dec 2017: National roll out to all new claims and claimants with change of circumstances. This particular stage should create a sizeable increase in the numbers of UC claimants UK wide.

Jan 2018–Dec 2019: Managed transfer of legacy benefit claims including housing benefit, JSA and income support. The last, and by far, the biggest stage in the process, when all remaining cases, including the unusual and most complicated, are migrated across to Universal Credit.

Will this latest plan be delivered?

Based on the fact that there’s currently less than 20,000 claiming UC, using existing legacy systems, which demand triple-keying and much manual intervention from DWP staff, Margaret Hodge, the Public Accounts Committee Chair, believes the timetable is still very ambitious. The “digital” system currently being trailed in Sutton, has only dealt with a handful of claims so far. DWP recognise its rapid development, and introduction, due to commence in 2016, is key to whether the DWP ambitions will ever be realised. Let’s hope, DWP, on this occasion, finally get it right, as the alternative i.e. a write-down of £600M in respect of unusable IT, and another project re-set, are both unthinkable.

Bill will be conducting training courses on Universal Credit early on in 2015. For dates and rates please visit the RLA UC training page for more information.

 Further Information

 

About the author

RLA

RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

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