Previously delivered

Recently delivered

Coming soon UBBC 3.0

For customers whose record you retrieved from the calculator’s History we’ll help you keep things organised. When you’re ready to save a calculation you’re now prompted to note what changes occurred.  So if your customer has had a child since your last meeting enter this information in the text box to create a record.

When you next open the History menu and click on Show revisions for that customer, you’ll see all the changes captured, and which advisor made them. This makes it easier to follow changes in customers’ circumstances even if you don’t see them for a while.

Additional fields to capture sources of income in a simpler, improved way, have been added to the calculator. You can now enter the exact sources of income that your customers may have.

Select up to six sources of income from a list containing the most common income sources. Then enter an amount and how often the customer receives it. You can enter the same income type twice (e.g. child maintenance from two partners).The calculator then applies any disregards and calculates how this income affects the customer’s benefits.

The postcode feature saves you time by allowing you to directly enter a postcode instead of manually selecting local region, local area and local authority.

The option to use the old input fields is still available; simply click the blue ‘manually fill the location fields’ button above the postcode field.

Old cases from your history that were saved without postcodes will still contain the inputs that were previously entered. To view just click on the blue button to change the format.

Switch back to the new postcode display at any point, by clicking on the blue ‘enter the postcode’ button.

A new option in the drop-down menu of the admin bar will now lead you to our Help page at www.policyinpractice.co.uk/help. There you can find resources to help you with the Universal Benefit Calculator: a user guide, 18 short training videos clips and 4 training cases with answers.

If you have any questions whilst using the Universal Benefit Calculator you can ask for real time help from our support team by opening the chat window in the bottom right corner of your screen. They’ll  respond to you as quickly as possible to help you continue your calculation.

Many of the benefit breakdowns have been amended or enhanced to provide a clearer explanation of benefit assessment. In some instances, the breakdowns for assessments did not fully separate out ‘earned’ and ‘unearned income’. This has now been amended.

A tool tip has been added to clarify when a claim is considered as starting before 1 May.

A tool tip has been added to the field for second earnings that advises on the minimum income floor and national minimum wage.

Display of carers allowance and carers premium have now been brought more into line with other income and premiums.

The income boundaries for non-dependants changed in April 2016. The correct values, selected from a drop down box, have been updated to current levels.

A new budget header for a vehicle’s MOT has been added.

The calculator now allows the working tax credit disability element to be selected independently of receipt of ESA. This therefore enables correct WTC calculation for the more unusual cases where eligibility for the element exists but ESA is not in payment.

In a few unusual situations where pensioners had income above pension credit level, a disability and a non-dependant, the incorrect premium was being included in the Housing Benefit applicable amount. This has been corrected.

SSP and SMP are treated differently for DWP benefits and Housing Benefit purposes. For Housing Benefits, an earnings disregard is applied. The calculator has been amended to take account of this different treatment.

The display of total pension credit is now broken down into its constituent parts; the minimum guarantee pension credit and the savings pension credit. This should assist advisors explaining amounts to clients and advising clients of support eligibility.

An in-depth calculation breakdown is shown for Housing Benefit. This will assist advisors in providing explanations for clients.

Where rent free weeks occur, the client should enter the rent-free week figure (ie not the 52-week figure). The calculator will display the weekly and monthly rent and housing benefit based on a 52-week average. If a customer’s rent is £100 per a week, and they have 5 rent free weeks. Their monthly HB will be £391.66 and their weekly HB will be £90.38.

Advisors may wish to note that the rent-free week figure (ie not the 52 week) is shown in Step 3 ‘costs’ and in the Budget PDFs.

There is a new field on the calculator “Do you have limited Capability for Work Y/N”. If “Yes” is selected the enhanced disability premium is awarded for Housing Benefit. This field is to account for situations where this premium should be included in the Housing Benefit applicable amount, even where relevant benefits are not in payment. This should only be the case if the client has been found to have limited capability for work but is excluded from relevant benefits due to eligibility criteria.

Advisors should only select “Yes” if a decision has been made by a DWP assessor.

The display of childcare costs displayed though the bar charts in the Better off in Work Calculator have been amended. The graphs now show the net cost of childcare ie the difference between the childcare tax credits and the cost of childcare. This provides enhanced information for the client in deciding if they will be better off in work.

Where there are rent-free weeks, an explanatory alert will be added next to the Housing Benefit display to explain that the rent-free equivalent is available on the PDF budget printouts and in Step 3 – Costs.

The weekly budget printout now shows the rent payable taking account of rent free weeks rather than the 52-week figure.

Benefit labels have been amended to indicate whether these are contributory or means-tested.

The budget calculator now displays current benefits and Universal Credit side-by-side to allow for easy comparison.

For DWP benefits the pension age is amended every three months. This is a transitional phase and will continue until pension ages are equivalised at 65. The calculator has been amended to ensure definition of pensioner changes in line with the DWP ages for pensioners.

The ESA calculation hover now shows the components that comprise the ESA award.

  • Fully refreshed design with clearer fonts, clever use of colour, better on screen layout
  • Improved navigation using tabs to make it easier and quicker to see a different view
  • New home page giving advisor option to open an existing case or start a new case at a glance
  • Faster page and calculation load time
  • Additional tenancy / tenure types to choose from, eg temporary accommodation, supported housing
  • Additional demographic types to choose from, eg students, refugees
  • New modules to signpost customers through the benefits available and pathways to work
  • More benefit advice, eg who should claim and what should be claimed
  • Create and compare different calculations based on ‘What if ..?’ scenarios
  • Show how fluctuating earnings affect take home income
  • Advisors don’t have to enter information twice
  • Help keep records up to date
  • Displayed on every page
  • Automatically updates as changes to calculations are made
  • New hover functionality enables quick or more detailed assessment breakdown
  • Can be set by advisor or organisation

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