July 2013 Benefit Cap to be Phased

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This is an update for those who have attended our Welfare Reform courses.  Instead of introducing the benefit cap nationally over a 10 week period, the DWP has outlined new principles to be used in a phased roll out.

In HB General Information Bulletin G6/2013, the DWP advises that, in developing the national implementation approach, a set of principles have been developed focused on the experiences of the 4 pilot rollout local authority areas, in Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey.
The principles are:

no big bang approach – the learning from phased rollout local authorities is that it is beneficial for the data to come from DWP to local authorities for capping over weeks and not days;


two tranches – this was recognised as the ideal way to control implementation and local communications and ensure that this change was delivered safely;


ramping up volumes – to learn from phased rollout so that, if possible, local authorities could see smaller numbers in week 1 of the tranche and adjust local processes accordingly;


tranches ordered based on volume of cases - the ordering of tranches should be based on volumes of capped cases and as such each tranche should contain local authorities with similar volumes;


order should be lowest then highest – this approach recognises that it would be beneficial for local authorities with the highest volumes of cases to have further time to prepare for implementation;


DWP selection of cases to cap will be random, based on National Insurance numbers, and as such, whilst it is possible to estimate the overall numbers to be handled over the agreed period, it is not possible to provide exact daily or weekly volumes; and


the tranche which a local authority will fall in to is based upon May 2013 data, and as such will not change even if numbers of potentially affected households change between now and July 2013


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