universal credit

  • Universal credit: recent rule changes

    Issue 249 (Dec 2015)
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    Simon Osborne describes a number of new regulations which make some important changes to the universal credit (UC) rules.

  • Short-term benefit advances


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    Short-term benefit advances (STBAs) are small, repayable loans of future entitlement to certain benefits. They are for claimants who are in financial need due to delay in paying their benefit.

  • Universal Credit Advances


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    The rules about advance payments of Universal Credit (UC) are similar to the rules about short-term benefit advances of other benefits.

  • Safeguarding guidance: a tool for practitioners

    Issue 248 (October 2015)
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    Safeguarding procedures exist within DWP guidance to protect vulnerable claimants if their claim is about to be stopped. Greenwich Welfare Rights Service has found that querying with the DWP when the guidance has not been applied has regularly resulted in benefit being reinstated quickly. Owen Stevens and Corin Hammersley explain current safeguarding guidance for employment and support allowance (ESA) and universal credit (UC).

  • The universal credit gateway: early experiences

    Issue 246 (June 2015)
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    The ‘national expansion’ of universal credit (UC), which began this spring, is anticipated to bring the new benefit to every jobcentre in the UK by 2016.1 Evidence has emerged that misunderstanding of the rules governing who is eligible to claim UC – known as ‘gateway conditions’ – has meant the wrong people making claims for the new benefit. Dan Norris explains how advisers can help.2

  • Tax credits: new problems

    Issue 245 (April 2015)
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    Although the Welfare Reform Act 2012 provides for the abolition of tax credits, it is still possible for people who are not entitled to universal credit to make a new claim for tax credits for 2015/16 and the majority of claimants will see their awards renewed as normal. There are also some new developments in policy and legislation, described here by Mark Willis.

  • Tax-Free Childcare, universal credit and tax credits

    Issue 244 (February 2015)
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    Mark Willis describes a new scheme due for introduction during 2015, aimed at assisting with childcare costs for some families, and its exclusive interaction with universal credit (UC) and tax credits. UPDATE: Tax-Free Childcare will not be introduced until 2017.

  • Is universal credit working?

    Issue 243 (December 2014)
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    Paul Treloar describes an official report on the impact of universal credit (UC).

  • Universal credit: get ready

    Issue 243 (December 2014)
    article

    With universal credit (UC) due to begin a significant nationwide expansion from February 2015, advisers should be ready for the main rules determining access to the UC system, and the main problems and challenges likely to arise for claimants. Simon Osborne and David Simmons explain.

  • Overpayments and official error

    Issue 242 (October 2014)
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    Simon Osborne reviews rules on the relationship between benefit overpayment recovery and official error, with reference to some recent decisions from the Upper Tribunal.