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Welfare Reform . Information Session. Today's Session. Rationale for Reform Welfare Reform Agenda Welfare Reform Bill Welfare Reform Regulations - Housing Benefit. Today's Session- cont’d . Wider Changes Timetable for Reform Mitigating actions.

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Welfare reform

Welfare Reform

Information Session

Today s session
Today's Session

  • Rationale for Reform

  • Welfare Reform Agenda

  • Welfare Reform Bill

  • Welfare Reform Regulations

    - Housing Benefit

Today s session cont d
Today's Session- cont’d

  • Wider Changes

  • Timetable for Reform

  • Mitigating actions

Governments rationale for reform
Governments Rationale for Reform

Making Work Pay

  • Consider current system to have failed

  • Overly complicated

  • Too expensive

  • Does not encourage people into employment

  • Open to fraud

Agenda for reform
Agenda for Reform

  • Simplified, Streamlined Welfare System

  • Reduce Bill for Welfare Benefits by 20%

  • Encourage and incentivise people to work

    • Ensure those not working , no better off than working households

    • Break the cycle of Welfare Dependency

      Increased Sanctions attached to all elements of Welfare Reform

Benefits being abolished
Benefits being abolished

  • Income support

  • Income based jobseeker’s allowance

  • Income related employment and support allowance

  • Housing benefit

  • Child tax credit

  • Working tax credit

Universal credit
Universal Credit

  • Introduced October 2013

  • One benefit payment to be paid in or out of work

  • Payment to one member in a household

  • New work related activity requirements

  • Stronger sanctions

  • Real time IT system

  • Payments may change to monthly in arrears

Personal independence payment
Personal Independence Payment

  • Replaces disability living allowance

  • 2 components: mobility and daily living with 2 rates for each component

  • Assessment by way of medical examination

  • Initially only for working age claimants

  • Entitlement to PIP part of gateway for carers allowance

  • Plans to introduce a habitual residence test instead of ordinary residence test (DLA)

Housing benefit 2011
Housing Benefit2011

  • LHA – capping, change to 30th percentile

  • Ending of excess payment award

  • Increase in rate of non-dependant deductions

    These applied to new claims from April 2011. Changes were delayed for existing claimants for 9 months after the 1st anniversary date of their claim after April 2011. Change started from January 2012

Welfare reform

  • Age range for Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) extended to 35

  • Capping of LHA for existing claimants

  • LHA at 30 percentile for existing claimants

Welfare reform


  • Reduction in HB award for under-occupation in social rented sector

  • Overall cap on benefits received

  • Increase in LHA rate limited by rate of Consumer Price Index


  • Introduction of Universal Credit

2014 2017

  • Phased transfer of existing HB caseload to Universal Credit

Supported housing hb reform
Supported Housing HB Reform

  • Grouping of different ‘types’ of supported housing with different payment rates : flat rate/geographical rate

  • Identifying types of additional activities and pricing these

  • Intensive housing management costs to be separated from HB and administered by local authorities under personalisation agenda

  • Housing benefit to be paid via Universal Credit

  • Tied to personalisation agenda

Potential impacts
Potential Impacts

  • Increased competition & demand for housing

  • Remove/Limit housing choice

  • Prevent move on & impede progress

  • Financial impact on housing providers due to a number of changes: direct payments, communal areas, intensive housing management

  • Rent Shortfalls - Debt/ Arrears

  • Loss of Accommodation/Homelessness

Other key elements
Other key elements

  • Income support for lone parents

  • Contributory ESA limited to one year

  • ESA in youth to be abolished

  • Benefit cap to be introduced – problematic for disabled people

  • Social Fund community care grants, budgeting loans and crisis loans abolished from 2013

  • Childcare gaps

  • Passport benefits

Procedural issues
Procedural Issues

  • Changes to right of appeal

  • Overpayment recovery

  • Benefit penalties and fraud

  • Immigration status and entitlement

  • Access to welfare advice

Ni welfare reform bill
NI Welfare Reform Bill

  • Due 2012. Welfare Reform Bill GB received Royal Assent 14.03.12

  • Possible Accelerated passage

  • Social Fund

  • Lack of a work programme

  • Childcare

  • Forecasted longer recession recovery

Timetable cont d
Timetable cont’d

April 2013

  • DLA replaced by PIP

  • Mobility provisions for people in residential care to be reviewed

  • HB entitlement to reflect family size

  • LHA to be uprated in line with CPI

  • Benefit cap £500 p/w for couple/lone parent. £350 p/w for single people (does not apply to those on DLA, working tax credit & war pensions)

    October 2013

  • UC introduced

  • Community care grants and crisis loans abolished

Mitigating actions
Mitigating Actions

  • Support financial capability

  • Promote realistic housing options

  • Develop relationships with local employment services

  • Develop relationships with local PRS landlords

  • Lobby MLAs for changes to HA regs to allow better use of existing stock

  • Respond positively to the Housing Strategy for NI consultation when available