Welfare Reform
14 October 2013
Employment Support Allowance
(The sickness benefit)
• ESA: 2 Types Contributory and Income
• May 2012
• Contrib ESA limited to 1yr for those in work
related activity group (70% of contrib esa claimants)
• Monies stopped but still unfit
• May be able to claim (ir)ESA but problems for
certain claimants ie couples were one works
Employment Support Allowance
• 3 Dec 2012: Sanctions
• Applies all claimants in work related activity
group regardless of type of ESA (70% of claimants)
• Fails to take part in work focused interviews or
undertake work related activity (without good
• Penalty: loss of £71.70 pr week for as long as
don’t participate plus 1, 2 or 4wk addition
• Possibility of hardship payments in limited circs
Employment and Support
• Sanctions
• Appeal
• 1 month from date of decision to lodge appeal
• Can be up to 12 months later but need to show
good cause
• Housing Benefit
• Should continue to receive Housing Benefit
during sanction period
Jobseekers Allowance
• Oct 2012: Sanctions
• 3 types: Low, intermediate or high
• Fail to attend an adviser interview or not actively
seeking employment or leaving a job voluntarily
without good cause
• 4, 13, 26 or 156 weeks
• Loss of all monies
• Hardship payments can be claimed
• (discretionary and not paid for first 14days unless in
vulnerable group)
Jobseekers Allowance
• Sanction Appeals
• 1 month
• Can be up to 12 months later but need to show
good cause
• Housing Benefit
• Should still be paid during sanction however
often issues ( HB Regs 2006 2 (3) (a)) (also nil income
Housing Benefit: Bedroom Tax
• April 2013: Social Sector: Size Restriction
• Entitlement for working age claimants reflect
household size (16 – Pension Credit qualifying age)
• Size Criteria applies
• 1 spare bedroom 14% cut in rent allowed for HB
• 2 or more spare 25% reduction applied
• Options: Discretionary Housing Payment’s
and/or Appeals
Housing Benefit
Size Restrictions: Bedroom Tax
• 1 bedroom per
Adult couple
Any other adult aged 16 or over
Any 2 children of same sex under 16
Any 2 children regardless of sex under 10
Any other children
Foster children*
Disabled Child*
Non resident carers*
Housing Benefit
Size Restrictions: Bedroom Tax
• Carer
• Additional bedroom in size criteria for a non
resident carer where the need for overnight care
has been established and arranged
• Claimant or partner is on AA or DLA Care M or
H rate or if not in receipt
• Can provide evidence to LA they require
overnight care
• Only applies where HB claimant or partner need
Housing Benefit
Social Sector: Size Restriction
• No account taken of couples were one or both
are disabled such that they cannot share a
• No account of properties were additional room
for disability equipment
• No account taken of properties that have been
disability adapted
• No account taken of children whose main
residence is elsewhere
Housing Benefit: Appeals and
Discretionary Housing Payments
• Intended to assist those who require further
financial assistance with housing costs
• It’s a cash limited pot
• Large demand on cash so need to make the
case that claimants situation a priority
• Priority given to disability, carers, moving into
employment etc
• Usually awarded for limited period
Housing Benefit: Appeals
• Lodge 1 month (although have additional up to
12 months if good cause)
• Free representation Social Work Services
Welfare Rights Appeals team and other orgs
• Appeal letter on council website
• Appeals have been won (ie Kirkcaldy, Glasgow)
Social Fund / Scottish Welfare
• April 2013: Part of social fund abolished
• Comm Care Grants and elements of Crisis
• Replaced by Scottish Welfare Fund
• (Comm Care Grants and Crisis Grants)
• Paid on same grounds as they were in
discretionary social fund
• Sits in GCC (Grant Services Team 0141 276 1177)
• Can claim online
Social Fund
• Budgeting loans still exist
• Crisis loan (alignment loans) still exist now
known as Short term Advances
(waiting on payment of benefit)
• The Regulated Social Fund still exists
• All paid by the DWP
Disability Living Allowance/PIP
• DLA a pivotal benefit for income maximisation
• 10/6/2013 introduction of Personal
Independence Payments as replacement for
DLA (for adults)
• Tougher Test
• PIP has 2 components like DLA comprising
Daily Living and Mobility
• Paid at 2 rates of each (standard and enhanced)
New Assessment tool
Similar to ESA: done on a points basis
Activities – Tasks
Descriptors – Measurement of ability
Have problems over 50% of time
No day/night time tests
Very likely claimants will face consultation as
part of assessment
• Winners and losers ie mobility criteria
Disability Living Allowance /
Personal Independence Payments
• Transfer of existing DLA claimants in 2 runs
• 28 Oct 2013
• Oct 2015 – Oct 2017
Claimants invited to claim PIP
No automatic entitlement from DLA to PIP
DLA ends if do not take up invite (8 wks)
If DLA ends other bens can be badly affected i.e
disability premium, severe disability prem, enhanced
disability prem, HB non dep deductions
Personal Independence Payment
• Invitation to claim
– DLA recipients will receive a letter and will be invited
to claim PIP
• No response to invitation
– After 4 weeks
– DLA suspended
• No contact within 8 weeks of invitation
– DLA award ended
• If a claim for Personal Independence Payment
– DLA continues in payment until PIP claim decided
Personal Independence Payment
• Who gets transferred in first run
• 28 Oct 2013 onwards
• Anyone whose existing DLA ward is scheduled
to end from mid March 2014 onwards
• Anyone who reports a change of circumstances
• Oct 2015 – Oct 2017
• All other eligible claimants (ie indefinite awards)
• No system announced for this
Benefit Cap
• Limit on what can be paid via benefit system
• £350 per wk single adults no children
• £500 per wk lone parent and couples with or
without children
• Applies to combined income from
• JSA, IS, ESA, Incap Ben, SDA, HB, Child Ben,
Child Tax Credit, Carers Allow, Widows Ben,
Widowed Parents All, Bereavement Allow
• Initial deductions made from HB
Universal Credit
• Means tested (£6,000 - £16,000)
• People of working age (18 – Pen Credit qualify age)
• Replace IS, (ib)JSA, (ir)ESA, HB and both types of
Tax credits
• Single Payment
• Paid monthly
• Administered by DWP
• Claim online
Universal Credit
• Basic Allowance
• Additions for children, disability*, caring and
housing costs
• Monies for childcare costs
• System of earnings disregards
• Changes to non dep deductions for housing
• Strengthened sanction regime
• Timetable???
Change to Appeal Procedure
• Decisions made on or after 28 Oct 2013
• Negative decision (all DWP bens except UC and PIP
already introduced)
• 1st step review request to DWP (1 month)
• Receive Mandatory reconsideration notice (no
time limit for DWP to respond)
• 2ND Step
• Lodge separate appeal with Courts and Tribunal
Service (1 month)
Other Issues
• April 2011: Rates of Child Ben frozen for 3 yrs
• May 2012: Inc Support: L Parent child now
under 5
• Dec 2012: Ben rates to be increased by only 1%
in next 3yrs
• April 2013: Abolition of Council Tax Ben creation
of new scheme (£40m cut 1st yr 8.5% cut in 2nd year)

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