UNIVERSAL CREDIT- LOTS OF NEWS HERE

Created 03/04/2018
UC- Housing Costs Update
2 important changes (regulations here) announced at the end of last year are coming which should aid claimants (DWP guidance)-
Housing Benefit run on- HB run on for the first 2 weeks of the UC claim (from April 2018) ‘This will be unrecoverable, automatic and received early in the frst assessment period. This payment will be made by LAs and will not require any additional intervention from the claimant, unless they have a change of
circumstance such as moving address, in which case they will need to inform their local authority.' Temporary Accommodation- this will be paid for as part of HB instead of UC housing costs for new claims from 11/4/2018 (except for those already getting UC housing costs in temporary accommodation on that date).  
 
click here for guidance on how free school meals will be allocated under UC (those with earned income of less than £616.67 per month).
 
 
UC- Changes in Rent this April
 
Full (digital) service claimants will be expected to go onto their online account and explain changes in rent. The DWP in a letter to the National Housing Federation, says '...In an effort to mitigate the demand on Landlords during this period, DWP has taken a risk based approach and have decided not to request verification in every case...'. Another letter confirms that those in the live service should ring up to declare changes or their landlord may declare
the change before April via SOCIALRENTED.SECTORSCAN@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK
 
 
UC- can you Upload documents?
Generally no but perhaps soon? the government say- '...We are currently developing a new functionality for Universal Credit online accounts, which will allow claimants to upload evidence of their childcare costs via their online Universal Credit account. This new function should be available to use in Spring 2018, making it even easier for claimants to provide evidence of these costs.'
 
Other changes- The regulations also remove the need for a 7 waiting
day period at the start of a claim (from 14/2/2018), allow the assessment period to be changed if the date of claim is later changed to avoid disruption to the claim (from 11/4/2018), increases the work allowances a little to either £198 or £409 per month from 9/4/2018), HB claimants (for example supported accommodation) on UC if applicable would be entitled to the lower work allowance(treated as having housing costs), reduce the time in which a claimant is required to supply information and evidence when making an application for a supersession in relation to a change of circumstances advantageous to the claimant from one month to 14 days (from 11/4/2018) and DHP's should be available for those in supported/ temporary accommodation on UC.
 
UC- Latest Statistics