Operational problems in universal credit full service areas – NAWRA’s letter to Neil Couling

NAWRA has sent an email to the Director General for the Universal Credit Programme, Neil Couling, to highlight the concerns reported by NAWRA members in universal credit full service areas.

In particular, we have raised the problems experienced by claimants applying for new-style ESA in a full service universal credit area and also the ongoing errors in the natural migration from ESA to universal credit.

Update 6 Aug 2018: We’ve received a reply from Neil Couling.  He asks for details of any cases where there are problems claiming new style ESA.  Please send specific case examples to daphne@nawra.org.uk

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PAC evidence session with Neil Couling and Peter Schofield 9 July 2018 – ‘listening to stakeholders’

NAWRA has written to the chair of the Public Accounts Committee Meg Hillier MP to draw her attention to our correspondence earlier this year with Neil Couling, Director General for the Universal Credit Programme.

We wrote to Neil Couling about specific major problems within the operation of universal credit.  His response did not engage with our concerns and refused to address circumstances where UC is not operating as it should.

In the Public Accounts Committee evidence session on 9 July 2018, Neil Couling repeated the view that lobbying from some stakeholders was about policy rather than the implementation of universal credit.  NAWRA disputes that this is the case and plans to write again to Mr Couling on problems claimants are experiencing migrating from ESA to universal credit and the regulations not being followed correctly. We hope that following his assurances to the Public Accounts Committee he will be more receptive.

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Mike Shermer

NAWRA would like to pay tribute to Mike Shermer, former committee member for the East of England region, who passed away peacefully on 17 May 2018, aged 74 years.

Mike was one of the original members of the NAWRA committee and demonstrated a commitment to the organisation throughout his time with us.  Mike was a dedicated welfare rights adviser with Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council and had also served as a Town Councillor for March in the Isle of Ely area of Cambridgeshire.  Following his retirement, Mike still kept in touch with welfare rights matters and he is sadly missed by all of us at NAWRA.

NAWRA would like to pass on condolences to Mike’s wife, Jeanette, and to all the Shermer family.

Mike Shermer
Mike Shermer
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