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Universal Credit pilot to launch

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Today (24 July 2019), regulations will come into force to enable the delivery of a Universal Credit migration pilot based in Harrogate.

The Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 were laid before Parliament on Monday 22 July 2019. The regulations act to initiate the pilot of migrating existing legacy benefit claimants to Universal Credit and to also provide support to claimants in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium before they were moved onto Universal Credit.

ARLA Propertymark has been corresponding with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Harrogate Job Centre since the pilot was announced earlier this year. We have received written confirmation from the DWP that the pilot will begin this week. The pilot had been due to begin on 17 July 2019, but due to parliamentary constraints, it could not begin until the regulations had passed.

Claimants in Harrogate will not be instantly moved onto the pilot. The first few weeks will largely focus on conversations between Harrogate Job Centre and claimants about the new scheme. Only once a claimant has made the decision to move forward with the migration will there be any limit in time for them to begin receiving the new benefit.

ARLA Propertymark is attending meetings with Harrogate Job Centre to better understand the migration pilot and how it may impact our members. For those participating in the pilot, Housing Benefit will be replaced by the housing element of Universal Credit. The Minister clarified that claimants under the pilot would have access to additional financial support before receiving the first payment of Universal Credit. This will include two weeks of housing benefit, the discretionary hardship payment and advances.

Speaking to Parliament, Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said:

“Today I am laying regulations to commence the pilot, for no more than 10,000 claimants, which will start this month as promised.

“There is a possibility that the pilot will be extended to further sites as it progresses. We will be able to learn from putting processes into practice, and to adapt our approach accordingly.

“The Department will continue to work closely with expert stakeholders to ensure that the pilot supports the most vulnerable ad hard-to-reach claimants.”

Amber Rudd also reaffirmed that the Department would soon be launching a new service to enable landlords in the private rented sector to receive the housing element of Universal Credit directly from the DWP.

ARLA Propertymark will continue to update members should we be made aware of any developments.

Resources

News story: More needs to be done to improve Universal Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions is developing new, simplified and visual guidance to support agents and landlords following feedback received from landlords and agents. ARLA Propertymark members can also download a Fact Sheet on Universal Credit in the member’s area.

DOWNLOAD FACT SHEETS

GUIDE FOR LANDLORDS