Universal Credit rollout continues

Millions of families will make a Universal Credit claim in the coming months, many of whom will turn to local authorities for support for the first time. We work with councils to show the cumulative impacts of welfare reforms on people and help target personalised support.

Councils will lose sight of vulnerable residents

Local authorities are set to lose vital admin data on vulnerable low-income families, currently collected via Housing Benefit. As Universal Credit rolls out, this information will disappear, drastically limiting councils’ ability to support people. There is no arrangement between DWP and councils to systematically share similar admin data available through Universal Credit. Local authorities have a statutory duty to support their most vulnerable residents, and have good reasons to be concerned.

We need to act

Not replacing the adminstrative data available from Housing Benefit with Universal Credit is a huge mistake. Not only will this undermine local authorities’ ability to fulfil their statutory duties but may also result in higher costs to the public in the form of increased demand for temporary accommodation, increased levels of indebtedness and a less effective use of public resources.

We call on the Government and Parliament to urgently consider how to share Universal Credit data between the DWP and local councils across the UK. Please join us.

How councils use adminstrative data now

Universal Credit transition support

How the LIFT Dashboard can help you support vulnerable households as they move onto Universal Credit.

In the meantime …

As Universal Credit rollout continues, Policy in Practice is helping councils to track and have visibility over around half (40%-60%) of all households on Universal Credit.

Families are tracked through their Council Tax Support claim data, meaning it is focused on the lowest income households on Universal Credit. Our advanced analytics engine enables us to learn more about the household, and match families to past records.

Local authorities will continue to have a statutory responsibility to support their most vulnerable households, even as Universal Credit rolls out. They will be supporting pension age households, and families in temporary, emergency and supported accommodation through Housing Benefit, and need to have sight of those on Universal Credit as well.

Policy in Practice’s Leading Lights Network is engaging with DWP on how to make relevant information on Universal Credit claimants available to councils, and other government departments. We have shown how this data can be used to make government services better targeted, and help improve outcomes.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Sign our open letter now

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