Leaked document outlines proposed changes to UC
Leaked documents seen by the BBC outline proposals to:
- Delay the UC managed-migration roll out.
- Introduce a 2 week run on for Income Support, Income-Based JSA and Income-Related ESA when the claimant makes a new claim for UC.
- Set a maximum deduction level for Advance Payments.
- Look at how self-employed earnings are treated under UC.
The Government appear to be delaying the roll out of UC. This proposal does not affect the current roll out of Full Service UC across the UK - which we assume will continue as planned, but the start of the managed-migration of legacy benefit claimants on to UC that was set to start next June. The leak confirms a statement made by Esther McVey earlier this week and suggests that the pilots (due to start in the new year), will not start until summer 2019, when small batches of claimants will be moved onto UC and the managed-migration proper, ie large batches of claimants would not now start until November 2020 (instead of June 2019). This means that UC will not now be fully rolled out until Dec 2023.
Two week run-on
The Government are looking into the possibility of introducing a two week run on of IS, IB-JSA, and IR-ESA - we assume the rules would be similar to the rules that govern the HB two week run-on introduced earlier this year ie that the IS, IB-JSA or IR-ESA would be ending because the claimant has made a new claim for UC
Maximum deduction level for Advance Payments
Advance Payments are normally set to be recovered over a 12 month period. This proposal will set a maximum as to how much this deduction can be, in any one month, to 30% of the claimants Standard Allowance. This will only impact on those claimants who accept a large Advance Payment as generally deductions for most claimants are already below this level. We assume that if the Government do introduce this maximum, then some families will be paying back an Advance Period for longer than the current 12 month limit.
We do not know exactly what is being proposed, but the BBC report says 'more help is set to be given to the self-employed, after warnings they could be left in serious financial trouble because of incorrect assumptions by the Department for Work and Pensions about their earnings.'
It also says that "We can currently offer no assurance that ultimately these proposals will prove to be deliverable, can survive legal challenges where they can be delivered, and do not invite new political criticism by generating new policy issues."