Universal credit: the basic facts and how it will operate

Universal credit is a new benefit that will be introduced in October 2013, replacing current means-tested benefits and tax credits for working-age people. This factsheet outlines what is currently known about universal credit and how it will work.

 

Welfare reform: what it means to families at risk of poverty

The Coalition Government has targeted the social security budget with unprecedented cuts in expenditure totalling £22 billion a year by 2014-15.

This factsheet is a summary of the reforms, and the impact on families.

Universal credit

This factsheet outlines the process by which universal credit will replace many existing benefits and summarises the main rules affecting claimants. It has been updated to include changes from April 2017, and a revised timetable for Scotland from the DWP.

Housing benefit problem areas

Level: Standard

Housing benefit is there to help with rent and avoid eviction, including for the growing number of people in low-paid work. Yet over four billion pounds of housing benefit goes unclaimed by over one million households. With the roll out of universal credit not due to complete until 2022, housing benefit remains as important as ever.

This one-day course looks in detail at a number of common areas of dispute that housing benefit claimants may face and how they can be resolved to ensure maximum entitlement is received.

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Income maximisation for older people

Older people commonly do not claim all they are entitled to. This course gives you an introduction to pension credit and aims to help you with effective benefit checks to maximise income.

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Appeals to the Upper Tribunal

This course is essential for any experienced adviser who wants to challenge decisions of the First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) effectively. The main aim of the course is to equip you to understanding of what is an error of law and give you practice in finding errors of law in the First-tier Tribunal statement of reasons.

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Benefits for non-benefit advisers

Level: Basic

This two-day course is aimed at professionals who work with low-income clients. It is for those who will not be advising on benefits themselves (eg, social workers, supported housing workers, support staff) but want to support clients to maximise their income and signpost at the right time for more advice.

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Kinship care, looked-after children and the benefits system

This course looks at benefit issues where there is social work involvement with a child and their family. It covers kinship care and children looked after by the local authority away from home or away from birth parents eg, in a residential unit or with foster carers.

It provides an opportunity to consider the implications of recent changes in kinship care assistance and look at the new Scottish Government guidance, Support for Kinship Care. Participants will also have a chance to look at what universal credit means for kinship carers and for local authorities.

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Benefits for disabled children and their families

Level: Basic

This half-day course offers practical advice both on checking that a family is getting all they should and on how you can help make claims effectively. It aims to help you recognise important issues, and equip you to advise directly or refer for specialist advice.

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Training for trainers

This two-day course aims to increase the skills and confidence of those new to training and to allow more experienced trainers to re-examine their style and methods.

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