Welfare Reform Act: New data sharing powers 24 July 2012 King’s House, Manchester
Title here House Keeping Fire Alarm: none expected Fire Exit: follow fire exit signs Fire Assembly: car park across road Toilets: past top of stairs Smoking: outside Refreshments: in here
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Open and frank opportunity for discussion • Helping councils get to grips with data sharing elements of WFA • Helping the DWP understand perceived issues and challenges
Carol Foster-Middleton, DWP Beverley Winnimore, DWP Data sharing & the Welfare Reform Act
Sharing Social Security Data with Local Authorities New measures in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and associated regulations
Sharing data with local authorities Review of data sharing policy • In 2010 we undertook a review into the policy and practices relating to data sharing between DWP and LAs. • Key findings: - many LAs wanted wider access to social security data to help deliver a range of local services - lots of confusion about what the law allowed
Sharing data with local authorities Outcome of review • Published guidance for LAs explaining what can be done with social security data. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/data-sharing-guide.pdf • Decided to seek new legal powers to allow data to be shared more widely.
Sharing data with local authorities Welfare Reform Act 2012 (section 130) • New provisions in the Act allow LAs to tell other parts of the same LA, another LA, or DWP, if a person they know of has been admitted to or discharged from hospital or residential care, or needs overnight care at home. • Purpose is to help ensure people have their social security benefit paid at the right amount.
Sharing data with local authorities Welfare Reform Act 2012 (section 131) • Provides DWP with the power to share relevant information with qualifying persons (QPs) for welfare services or council tax purposes. • Allows QPs to share welfare services information with DWP, for a social security benefit purpose. • Enables QPs to share relevant information between and within themselves, and in some cases with RSLs, for a welfare services, council tax or housing benefit purpose.
Sharing data with local authorities Welfare Reform Act 2012 (section 131) • Welfare service includes services which provide accommodation, support, assistance, advice or counselling to individuals with particular needs, and for these purposes ‘assistance’ includes assistance by means of a grant or loan or the provision of goods or services.
Sharing data with local authorities Welfare Reform Act 2012 (section 131) • Relevant information means information relating to any relevant social security benefit; or welfare services. • Relevant social security benefit has the meaning given in section 121DA(7) of the Social Security Administration Act.
Sharing data with local authorities Welfare Reform Act 2012 • Qualifying person includes all types of LA. • Applies to LAs in England,Scotland and Wales • Regulations can prescribe additional qualifying persons, and this is being used to include Registered Social Landlords in some cases.
Sharing data with local authorities The Social Security (Information-Sharing in Relation to Welfare Services etc) Regulations • Regulations came into force on 2 July 2012. • They prescribe information, and some additional benefits that are affected by the provisions in section 130. • They prescribe the purposes where data can be shared under section 131. • And they prescribe RSLs as a QP for some purposes.
Sharing data with local authorities Purposes for which data can be shared: • Blue Badge parking permits; • Discretionary Housing Payments; • Disability Facility Grants; • Domiciliary and residential care financial assessments; • Homelessness; • Supporting People. Plus: • Benefit cap, under occupancy rules; • Troubled Families.
Sharing data with local authorities How will this work in practice? • LAs can set up their own arrangements for sharing data with other parts of the LA, another LA or RSLs. • DWP will be setting up a process to supply data for Blue Badges, Res/Non Res Care, and DFGs. Likley to be some months before this is resolved. • In meantime it is ‘business as usual’, although LAs no longer need to supply proof of customer consent. • Guidance will be published shortly.
Sharing data with local authorities Further legislation • October 2012: regs will be brought into force which prescribe council tax as a purpose for data sharing. • April 2013: regs will come into force prescribing local social fund schemes as a data sharing purpose. • 2013: some additional gateways between DWP, LAs and landlords for UC purposes.
Sharing data with local authorities • Happy to take questions • You can contact me by email at: Carol.firstname.lastname@example.org
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Workshop: Key questions and issues • Getting all the questions tabled • Identify the key points for Q&A session after break • Develop this community of professionals
Part 1: Key questions and issues • Introductions • Willing volunteer - scribe! • Share and capture key questions and issues • Wrap up in 20 mins
Part 2: Top 4-5 items • Discuss the key questions or issues you feel / think are most important • Highlight the top 4-5 questions • Have a break before the Q&A • 10 mins
Carol Foster-Middleton, DWP Beverley Winnimore, DWP Question and answer session
Phil Swan Wrap up and next steps
Wrap up • Write up the issues and questions here and circulate them • Follow up on unresolved issues with DWP and LA colleagues • Ask for feedback
Take a moment to reflect on the session today • What is something useful that you will take away with you? • What follow up activities would you appreciate? • Write this down on a post-it note and stick it on the suitcase flipchart (located on the wall)