Workshop 3 - South Ayrshire Council

Report
John Mulholland LL.B
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Benefit Cap
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Size Criteria (bedroom tax)
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Conditionality/Sanctions
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Universal Credit
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Statutory Reconsideration
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South Ayrshire July 2013
Out of work benefits, plus housing benefit, child benefit
and child tax credit
£500 per week for couples/lone parents
£350 per week for single adults
Exemptions from cap, working tax credits, DLA, PIP, AA,
Support Component of ESA, Industrial Injuries Benefits
and equivalent war disablement pensions and other
payments under the Armed Forces Compensation
Scheme
War widows and War Widowers pension
Claimant employed for 52 weeks prior to claim exempt
for a grace period of 39 weeks
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56,000 households will be effected 2013/14
Average reduction in benefit £93 per week
46% affected in the social rented sector
54% affected in private rented sector
74% affected has 3 or more children
28% affected has 5 or more children
39% are in receipt of income support
34% are in receipt of JSA
Maximum HB is calculated on size of
accommodation required by household ;
 Lone Parent or couple :1 bedroom
 Each other person aged 16+ :1 bedroom
 Two children same sex under 16 :-1 bedroom
 Two children under 10 :1 bedroom
 Any other child :1 bedroom
 Overnight carer :1 bedroom
 Maximum number of bedrooms allowed is 4
(will not apply in social sector)
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In Social Rented sector if property is under
occupied the maximum HB will be reduced if 1
bedroom by 14% and 2 or more by 25%
Rent of £80 with full entitlement to HB, entitlement
will reduce by £11.20 for 1 bedroom and for 2 or
more it will be reduced by £16 even if on income
related benefit
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Take up employment or increase working
hours
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Make up rent from other sources of income
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Take in a lodger
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Ask family members to contribute more
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Seek alternative accommodation
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HB/CTB A10/13
Foster carers :- Extra bedroom approved foster carer, kinship
carer in Scotland; who has a child placed with them, If
between placements extra room for a period up to 52 weeks
from the date of the last placement. Newly appointed carers
extra bedroom up to 52 weeks following approval
Parents of Armed Forces Personnel :- Adult children who are
in the armed forces but who continue to live with parents will
be treated as continuing to live at home for purpose of the
size criteria when deployed on operations.
Non dependent deductions will not apply until they return
home
HB A3/2011
“A person who requires overnight care”
 Receives Attendance Allowance or
 Middle or highest care rate of DLA or
 LA is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to show that
this type of care is required, in addition
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LA is satisfied that the customer or partner reasonably
requires and has in fact arranged that one or more people
who do not occupy as their dwelling to which the claim or
reward for HB relates should;
i. Be engaged in providing overnight care, ii. Regularly stay
overnight at the dwelling for that purpose, iii. be provided
with the use of a bedroom in that dwelling additional to those
used by the persons who use the dwelling as their home
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Severely disabled; couples requiring separate bedrooms (Glasgow Tribunal)
Severely disabled children requiring separate bedrooms (Gorry)
When is a bedroom not a bedroom (size of room, established use of room,
exceptional use, need to store medical equipment)
Children and Separated Couples
The Government has provided additional funding from 2013/14 for
discretionary housing payments to seek to offset some of the impact, South
Ayrshire Council has also increased funding to support DHP
Judicial Review re size criteria (10 cases) , this has been appealed
New Judicial Review lodged 24th September 2013, overnight carer for
disabled child, supported by CPAG
Fife Lower Tribunal decisions (Room sizes and actual use)
Local activity, Ayr Housing Aid Centre involved and preparing a range of
cases for Tribunal
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Cases opened between 25/2/13- 16/10/13
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602 Cases
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558 Direct Referrals to Visiting Officer
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44 Cases opened by Advice and Information
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Applicants must accept a claimant commitment, are placed in 4
groups
Subject to no work related requirements; limited capacity for
work due to health, support group of ESA, lone parent or main
carer in a couple with a child under one, carers with regular or
substantial care for a severely disable person, person earning
above a set threshold
Subject to work focus interview requirement only; lone parent or
main carer in a couple with a child over one but below the age of
5 , Lone foster carers or main carer in a couple with a foster child
under 16, people who become the main family and friends carer
for a child in the past year. This group is expected to attend
periodic interviews to discuss plans to return to the labour
market.
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Subject to work preparation requirements; people with limited capacity to work
because of health and disability (work related activity group of ESA) The group is
expected to take reasonable steps to prepare for work, attending skills
assessment, improve personal presentation, to part in training or employment
programme and undertake work experience or work placement
Subject to all work related requirements, everyone else, default for claimants
including lone parents and main carer in couple with children over the age of 5.
This group is subject to work search requirements (including making applications
and registering with employment agencies) and work availability requirements
(subject to limitations as agreed)
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Each adult in a household is placed into a conditionality group
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In work conditionality, unless earning at least the minimum wage x 35 hours must
look for more work or less if reduced availability has been agreed
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Available for work of any hours up to 35 and type within 90
minutes of travel from home
Take all reasonable action to look for work (usually 35 hrs of
searching per week
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Be willing and able to immediately take up work
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Be willing and able to immediately attend an interview
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Look for more work, or better paid work if the claimant falls
below an administrative cut off.
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High Level – imposed for failure to meet the most
important requirements, such as taking up an offer
of paid employment without good reason
Medium Level – Claimant fails immediately take up
paid work or more paid work
Low Level – Not meeting requirements designed to
help claimants prepare for work
Lowest Level – failure to participate in a work
focussed interview
Issues of good cause for failure can be raised
Sanction
Applicable to Duration
Duration
Duration
1st Failure
2nd Failure
3rd Failure
High Level
all work
91 days
182 days
1095 days
Medium
Level
all work
28 days
91 days
91 days
Low Level
all work,
work prep,
work
focused
Open ended
until comply
or no longer
required
plus 7 days
Open ended
until comply
or no longer
required plus
14 days
Open ended
until comply
or no longer
required
plus 28 days
Lowest Level
Work focus
interview
only
Open ended
or no longer
Until client
Subject to
Complies
requirement
s
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Subject to high, medium, low 100% of standard allowance for
specified period
Subject to lowest level will be 40% of standard allowance
Can apply for hardship, only payable once claimant has
complied with requirements, payment is repayable and would
amount to 60% of the amount within the sanction
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12.5 million claims will be replace by UC
Single withdrawal rate 65% (earnings disregard)
Child care support available for any hours worked
Claims and administration online, digital by default
Increased conditionality and sanctions
One monthly payments to claimants account,
including housing costs
Additional amount payable so no one is worst off
when moving from old benefits to UC
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Department of Works and Pensions
Claimants will only have one system to work
with, no need to provide repeat information
Default electronic claims
Similar system will reduce claimant error and
official error
Reduce fraud in system
Phased implementation of credit with first
applicants October 2013 followed by gradual
closure of existing benefits and tax credits
Complete transfer October 2017
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Single person or a couple jointly
Age at least 18 (regulations may prescribe a different
age in special cases)
Under qualifying age for pension credit (61 and 10
months in October 2013 rising to 65 by 2018)
Capital rules apply same as income support with lower
and capital limits and tariff income applied between the
limits, people excluded savings over £16,000
Income disregards for example DLA (personal
independence payment) other income taken into full
account
Net earnings above the disregard will be deducted at a
rate of 65%
New minimum income will be assumed for self employed
claimants (minimum wage x hours worked
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Personal amount for single claimant or couple
Children or qualifying young person, additional
amount for children with disabilities
Rent or mortgage
Childcare
Limited capacity for work
Limited capacity for work related activity
Regular and substantial caring responsibilities for
severely disabled person
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£246.81 (under 25) £311.55 (25/over) single
£387.42 (under 25) £496.06 (25/over) joint claim with one at least
25 and over
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£272.08 eldest or only or qualifying young person
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£226.67 each other child or qualifying young person
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£123.62 disabled child lower amount (child get DLA or aged 16 and
over gets PIP)
£352.92 disabled child higher amount ( child gets high care rate of
DLA or enhanced rate daily living component of PIP or registered
blind)
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Additional amount can be added to standard allowance if claimant or partner
are ill or disabled.
Limited capability for work element £123.62, completing questionnaire and
attending medical, conditionality applies, may be entitled to ESA
(contribution based) if so separate assessment for UC
Limited capability for work and work related activity; £303.66, this
assessment considers whether illness or disability is so serious that
currently you should not be expected to return to work may be entitled to
ESA (contribution based) if so separate assessment for UC
Special rules for terminal illness
Carer element £144.70 if regular and substantial caring responsibilities for
a severely disabled person
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If in paid work and paying for formal childcare, registered
child minder, nursery, after school club and paying for child
care. You are treated as working of you are on SSP, MA or
SMP or paternity and adoption pay
There are no minimum hours worked requirement
70% of actual childcare costs up to a maximum £532.29 per
month for one child and £912.50 per month for two or more
children
Single mother aged 26 with 3 children living in
private rented at £500 pcm;
Standard:£311.55
First child :£272.08
Other children :- £453.34
Rent :£500.00
Total :-
£1,536.97 ( £354.68 per week)
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Appropriate amount added to credit to help
meet costs of rent and mortgage interest
Payments similar to payments under current HB
system
Rates in private rented sector based on lowest
third of market rents
Size criteria
Further consideration in terms of payment of
housing component
Support for people not eligible for credit, over
the upper age limit will be through pension
credit
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Universal Credit Regulation 2013, Schedule 4
Renter/joint renter entitled to one additional bedroom
if one or both requires overnight care, 2 conditions
need to be met
First condition the renter is in receipt of Attendance
Allowance or Middle or highest care rate of DLA or Daily
living component of PIP
Second condition, one or more people who do live in
the renters home are engaged to provide overnight care
for the renter and to stay in the accommodation on a
regular basis; and overnight care is provided under an
arrangement for that purpose
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Part of the Universal Credit
Paid direct to the claimant
Concerns expressed by Councils, RSL’s and Scottish
Government
Elements of direct payments being tested June 2012
and June 2013
Initial feedback increased rent arrears in
demonstration areas (Dec 2012), Press stating
substantial increases in rent arrears
Consider trigger points in which direct payments
should be sent direct to landlord (tenant falls into
arrears)
Vulnerable claimants and pensioners housing costs
will be paid direct to landlord
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Announcement from Lord Freud, 27th June 2013
“Letting claimants pay their own rent is an important
way of breaking down barriers to help people in work”
3 Levels of protection
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Decisions about whether tenants should receive direct
payments will be made in collaboration with social
landlords
If arrears build up to the equivalent of 1 months rent
the decision to make direct payments will be reviewed
If arrears reach the equivalent of 2 months rent, the
claimant will have housing payments switched to the
landlord or managed payments
Circumstances
Monthly amount if
housing element
Monthly amount if no
housing element
Single person
£111.00
£111.00
Couple
£111.00
£111.00
Couple with children
£222.00
£536.00
Lone parent
£263.00
£734.00
Limited capacity to
work
£192
£647.00
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Note some households exempt
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Sliding scale will not apply
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Housing Costs Contribution
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Non-dependent will contribute £68 per
month (£15.69 per week)
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A person under 21
A person in receipt of state pension credit
A person in receipt of care component of DLA,
middle or high rate
A person in receipt of AA
A person in receipt of daily living component of
PIP
Entitled to 3 above but not receiving under
Social Security Regulations
A person in receipt of carers allowance
A person who is a prisoner
A person responsible for a child under 5
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Help claimants to adapt to single household payments, paid
monthly and rent paid direct to the claimant
Two key elements, money advice to help claimants cope with
monthly payments and paying bills on time
Alternative payments arrangements for claimants who
genuinely cannot manage standard monthly payments and
are at risk of financial harm to the claimant or their family
Claimants will be offered money advice when they make a
claim for UC and will be given to those in clear need
Different levels of advice, some claimants will be signposted
to online services, some may be offered single session over
the phone others intensive face to face session with follow up
calls
External providers with relevant expertise are expected to
deliver money advice
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Payment of housing costs direct to landlord, making more frequent
payments, splitting awards between partners, applications for this will be
considered on a case by case basis
The priority given in terms of alternative payments ;
1.
2.
3.
Safeguard the claimants home
Consider more frequent payments for example bi-monthly
Split payments, financial abuse, domestic abuse
Payment combinations could include;
Housing only, frequency only (non-householders), housing and frequency,
housing and split, frequency and split, (non-householder couples) housing,
frequency and split
29th April 2013
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28th October 2013 to April 2014
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End April 2014 to Late 2015
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End of 2015 to October 2017
New unemployed persons in the
Ashton-under Lyne pathfinder will claim
UC rather than JSA, this is restricted to
single and seeking work, this will be
rolled out to other pathfinder areas
Rolled out to 6 Jobcentres by March
2014, only one in Scotland, Inverness
Claimant commitment will be rolled out
to all Jobcentres moving to the new UC
commitment regime
Access to digital services will be
improved
Significant volumes moving to UC
throughout 2014, change from full roll
out
3 million household receiving Housing
Benefit will transfer to UC on a Local
Authority boundary basis as the old
system winds down. UC and natural
migration will continue throughout this
period
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Changes the appeal procedures on a range of welfare benefits from 28th October 2013
for example JSA, ESA and PIP
On negative decision for example you not been awarded less than 15pts in your Work
Capability Assessment, if you wish to appeal you must firstly request a statutory
reconsideration from the DWP, this must be done in writing or the phoned within 28
days of the failed Work Capability Assessment
During the period of reconsideration ESA would stop, prior to this the benefit would
continue during the appeal period
Following a request for reconsideration the DWP will notify the claimant of the outcome
in the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice and it is only on receipt of this a claimant can
appeal.
An appeal is now to HM Courts and Tribunal Service using form SSCS1, the Mandatory
Reconsideration Notice should be attached to the appeal, then benefit is reinstated
pending outcome of the appeal
In South Ayrshire Welfare Rights have prepared a standard reconsideration form further
information contact Enquiry and Information Team
If benefit is suspended then HB/CTB is stopped it is very important that contact is made
with the Council, could be housing officer/housing benefit and advise that you have
zero income

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