Universal credit consultations
SSAC consultation of managed migration regulations
The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has launched a public consultation on proposals for moving all existing claimants of a working age income-related benefit to Universal Credit.
From next year, DWP will begin the process of moving claimants in receipt of one or more of the following benefits to Universal Credit:
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
The wide-ranging draft legislation, which was presented to the committee for scrutiny at its meeting on 20 June 2018, sets out the government's proposals on:
1. Requirements for claimants on existing benefits to make a claim for Universal Credit (including the deadlines for doing so) and arrangements for ending their existing benefit
2. The calculation, award and ongoing treatment of transitional protection
The task of safely moving around 3 million claimants (in around 2 million households) from legacy benefits to Universal Credit raises important questions about the delivery challenge facing the department and the potential impact on claimants.
SSAC has therefore decided to examine this draft legislation, and the impacts that flow from it, in more detail. To help inform this work, the committee would welcome evidence from a broad range of organisations and individuals who have good insight into and/or experience of the following aspects of these proposals:
- the overall migration timetable
- arrangements for contacting claimants and inviting claims from them
- issues associated with making a claim, and ending legacy benefit claims
- the calculation of transitional protection (including the treatment of earnings and capital)
- the impact of proposed transitional protection (including how easily it will be delivered and the degree to which it will be understood by claimants)
- the impact on workers, including the self-employed
- equality impact (whether there will be particular effects for different groups and how these can best be addressed), for example are there any groups that will not be covered by transitional protection?
- monitoring and evaluation
Responses should be submitted to the Committee Secretary by no later than 10am on Monday 20 August:
The Committee Secretary
Social Security Advisory Committee
Alternatively, responses can be emailed to - email@example.com
The Department for Education launched a consultation about the eligibility for children currently receiving additional support from the government during their education, such as free school meals and additional school funding, in light of the national roll out of Universal Credit. (This consultation is about these entitlements in England only. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have responsibility for establishing their own criteria for these entitlements). The consultation closed on 11 January 2018.
The Scottish Social Security Committee are currently seeking views on the Social Security (Scotland) Bill.
The Bill aims to provide a framework for the creation of the Scottish social security system. Most of the rules about new benefits will be in Regulations.The Committee have posed a number of questions on their website about the Bill and written submissions were welcomed up to 23 August 2017.
- Work and Pensions Committee – inquiry into the impact of the Benefit Cap
The Committee launched an inquiry into the Benefit Cap and how it affects British Households. The deadline for written submissions was 7 April 2017.
The Committee asked for submissions that answered the following questions:
- The cap is intended to incentivise behavioural change amongst claimants and secure savings for the Exchequer. To what extent is it achieving that?
- To what extent has claimant behaviour responded to the cap, through moving into work, moving house etc? What effect does the lower cap have on incentives, what are the barriers to behavioural change and how can they be overcome?
- Does the cap address high underlying rates of housing benefit and child maintenance in a fair way?
- What are the consequential costs of the cap for other public spending, such as that by local authorities?
- What are the consequences for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) and what impact does use of DHPs have on behavioural change?
- Are there unintended consequences (either positive or negative) of the cap?
Due to the general election on 8 June 2017, the Committee closed the inquiry. However, they did publish written evidence received in response to the inquiry on their website.
Following compelling evidence of the problems in the roll-out of UC in its recent follow-up work, the Committee re-launched its inquiry and was accepting written submissions up to 20 March 2017. The Committee were interested in submissions that answer the following questions:
- How long are people waiting for their Universal Credit claim to be processed, and what impact is this having on them?
- How are claimants managing with being paid Universal Credit monthly in arrears?
- Has Universal Credit improved the accuracy of payments?
- Have claimants reported making a new claim for Universal Credit, and then found that the system has not registered their claim correctly?
- What impact is Universal Credit having on rent arrears, what effect is this having on landlords and claimants, and how could the situation be improved?
- Would certain groups benefit from greater payment process flexibility and, if so, what might the Government do to facilitate it?
- Does Universal Credit provide people in emergency temporary accommodation with the support they need, and how could this be improved?
- What impact is Universal Credit having on the income and costs of local authorities, housing associations, charities and other local organisations?
- How well is Universal Support working, and how could it been improved?
- What impact has the introduction of full Universal Credit service had in areas where it has replaced the live service?
- Scottish Government consultation on Universal Credit (Claims and Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 (January 2017)
This consultation sought views on two UC flexibilities – managed payments of rent to landlords and more frequent payments of UC. The closing date for responses was 13 March 2017.
The Government's response states that they have made a number of changes to the draft regulations based on the responses received. As a result they have:
- Strengthened the wording to address stakeholder concerns that a right to request flexibility, rather than a right to choose, could unintentionally result in a request for a flexibility being refused without legitimate reason which is contrary to the policy intention. The new regulations make it clear that the request must be agreed to unless it is considered unreasonable to implement the request
- removed the word claimant and replaced it with applicant or recipient
- updated references to rent to include service charges
The new regulations will come into effect on 4 October 2017.
- DWP & HMRC consultation on exceptions to the two child limit policy in universal credit and child tax credit (November 2016). The Government response to this consultation was published in January 2017.
The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 restricts the number of children/young people in respect of whom the child element in UC and CTC is payable to a maximum of two. The Government announced that there would be exceptions to this rule and this consultation sought evidence and views to inform the detailed design of those exceptions. The exceptions consulted on were:
- Where a child is born as part of a multiple birth where there were previously fewer than two children in the household
- Living long term with family or friends because they were unable to live with their parents and could be at risk of entering the care system
- Born as a result of rape
- Adopted children
- SSAC consultation on waiting days for UC (June 2015) - SSAC consulted on the Regulations that proposed the introduction of waiting days for UC claimants. The SSAC report and Government’s response was published in June 2015.
- SSAC consultation UC surplus earnings and losses regulations (Feb 2015) - SSAC consulted on the Universal Credit (Surpluses and Self-employed losses) (Digital Service) Amendment Regulations 2015. SSAC's report and the Government’s response was published in February 2015.
- DWP consultation on UC data sharing with social landlords (Jan 2015) - DWP sought views on data sharing with landlords in order for them to assess and provide support to their tenants who have made UC claims.
- DWP consultation on UC data sharing between DWP and local support providers (December 2014) - DWP sought views on data sharing to enable local support providers to assess and provide support to vulnerable people as part of the Universal Support initiative.
- SSAC consultation on Universal Credit Regulations (2012) - SSAC consulted on the Universal Credit Regulations in 2012. The Government’s response was published alongside the SSAC report in December 2012.
Last reviewed/updated 23 July 2018