October 2014 – Universal Credit Update
In a speech to the Conservative Party conference Mr Duncan Smith said that universal credit in the North West of England was due to be rolled out to include families over the next few weeks and to more than one in eight jobcentres by Christmas.
He also announced plan to accelerate the delivery of universal credit from the New Year, bringing forward the national roll-out through 2015/2016 to every region Great Britain.
Current figures for Universal Credit show that between April 2013 and 14 August 2014, a total of 13,260 people 'started' on universal credit (i.e. completed the claim process and accepted a claimant commitment) and that, on 14 August 2014, the provisional total caseload of universal credit claimants was 11,070.
Plans were also announced to require social landlords to assess whether their tenants required specified assistance to manage their financial affairs. The DWP has launched a consultation to ask for views on draft regulations allowing the Secretary of State to share relevant information with social landlords in respect of tenants who have made universal credit (UC) claims or receive UC.
The regulations are intended to come into force in January 2015 and to be implemented from February 2015 onwards. Under the proposed amendments, social landlords would have responsibility for assessing whether their tenants require appropriate types of advice or support in relation to managing their financial affairs. In order for the landlord to make such an assessment, it is proposed that the Secretary of State will share details of tenants who have made a claim for or have an award of UC.
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