Disabled people moving on to UC losing out

NAWRA has written to Neil Couling, Director General of UC, to express concern about his assertion that the SDP payments made under the Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 ensure that claimants do not see a cash loss – NAWRA does not believe this is correct.

NAWRA calls on the government to ensure that claimants who migrated to universal credit prior to 16 January 2019 receive the same level of protection as those who will be managed migrated.

Read the letter and the reply from Neil Couling.

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Fraudulent universal credit claims being made to obtain advance payments

NAWRA members have reported via the rightsnet discussion forum that clients have been
contacted by a loan company offering a ‘government grant’.

The loan company then takes information sufficient to verify ID and submit a universal credit claim without the client’s knowledge, arranges an advance and then keeps a substantial amount of it for themselves. The first the client knows is their legacy benefits have stopped, and they find they are now a universal credit claimant with a large advance to repay that they did not receive.

NAWRA has written to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd with our recommendations to prevent this fraudulent activity.

Read our letter and the reply.

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Date of claim for UC – NAWRA’s letter to the secretary of state for work and pensions

NAWRA members have raised concerns about the date of claim for universal credit claimants who access universal credit via the Help to Claim service operated by Citizens Advice.

NAWRA has written to Amber Rudd, secretary of state for work and pensions to ask for clarity on the government’s position.

We received a disappointing reply and we responded on 20 June.

The latest reply from Amber Rudd (12 July) does not address our points.

Please send any comments to daphne@nawra.org.uk

 

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DWP to pay compensation to wrongly advised claimants?

Amber Rudd and Neil Couling have told the Work and Pensions Committee that the DWP will pay compensation to claimants who have been misadvised, by the DWP, to claim universal credit and have lost out as a result.

Giving evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee, Amber Rudd and Neil Couling were questioned about the evidence that Jobcentres were misadvising claimants to move on to universal credit. This was as a direct result of evidence provided by NAWRA in our written response and in our oral evidence.

You can watch the evidence being put to Ms Rudd and Mr Couling, and their responses, here.

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Impact of welfare reform

The Equality and Human RIghts Commission have published their final  cumulative report on the impact of government Welfare Reforms.  The report suggests that children will be hit hardest with an extra 1.5 million being pushed into poverty.

In addition, the report finds that the child poverty rate for those in lone parent households will increase from 37% to over 62% and households with three or more children will see losses of around £5,600.  They also identify significant and disproportionate impacts on disabled families, on women and on Bangladeshi households.

The report concludes that these negative impacts are largely driven by the freeze in working-age benefit rates, changes to disability benefits, and reductions in Universal Credit rates.

David Isaac, the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is responsible for making recommendations to Government on the compatibility of policy and legislation with equality and human rights standards, said:

“It’s disappointing to discover that the reforms we have examined negatively affect the most disadvantaged in our society. It’s even more shocking that children – the future generation – will be the hardest hit and that so many will be condemned to start life in poverty. We cannot let this continue if we want a fairer Britain.”

The Commission calls on government to reconsider existing welfare policies and to review the level of welfare benefits to ensure that they provide an adequate standard of living.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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