Universal Credit Hits New Problems.
The Guardian reported a few days ago,
Equipping benefit claimants with the digital and financial skills to use the government’s new universal credit welfare system is likely to cost hundreds of millions of pounds, unpublished research commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has found.
The study, carried out by three London councils using DWP data and a methodology agreed with Whitehall officials, found they would each need to spend about £6m over a two-year period to support vulnerable claimants to get online, help them open bank accounts and manage monthly budgets.
The research, seen by the Guardian, , reveals the extent to which socially excluded claimants will struggle with the huge cultural and behavioural changes demanded by universal credit, and warns that without help, those who fail to get to grips with the new welfare system will face debts, arrears and eviction, leading to a rise in homelessness.
It suggests councils, charities and private companies will be required to deliver millions of hours of specialist training and support face-to face and over the telephone to ensure claimants are confident and technically proficient enough to use the system.
Around one in 10 users of the system are likely to need intensive or ongoing support, it finds.
It is no surprise that this seems to be leading to what posters on Ipswich Unemployed Action have noticed as increasing local burdens for local authorities and various ‘bodies’ concerned with the unemployment.
We confidently predict that the unemployment business will be involved.
Conference: Meeting the challenge of welfare reform at a local level
20th December 2013
Prospero House, London
PLEASE NOTE THE NEW DATE: 20th December 2013
Registrations priced from £63.75 +VAT*
In February this year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced its intention to work in partnership with local authorities and other agencies to ensure that effective support is put in place for claimants who need additional help when Universal Credit is rolled out. This includes help with budgeting support and with the management of claims on-line.
The ‘Local Support Services Framework’ orignally published by DWP in February of this year is currently being updated to provide guidance on the development of local delivery partnerships and on potential funding for these to provide the required support for vulnerable claimants, including those with mental health and additcitin problems.
This one day conference will provide an early opportunity to consider the updated Local Support Services Framework and will feature examples of best practice in the planning and delivery of services sharing learning from the Universal Credit pathfinder projects as well as drawing on the experience of local authorities, housing associations, and third sector organisations in the delivery of budgeting support, debt advice and financial inclusion inititatives, local welfare schemes, and digitial inclusion projects.
*delegate fee calculated on early bird charity/voluntary sector rate with CfRC subscriber and bulk booking discount (15%). Fee includes entrance to full conference, refreshments throughout the day and lunch.