welfare reform

  • A new poll tax?


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    In April 2013 the national system of Council Tax Benefit was devolved to local authorities, along with a 10 per cent funding cut. While several London boroughs have found the additional savings needed to bridge this cut in funding, the majority have introduced a Minimum Payment.

  • Families on the brink: welfare reform in London


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    London has the highest child poverty rates and highest housing costs in the UK. This means that the capital has been hit particularly hard by changes to the benefits system, particularly cuts to housing benefit. London households have lost almost £7 per week more than the average UK household.

  • Northern Ireland


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    Community care grants and crisis loans are no longer availabe in Northern Ireland but people experiencing a financial crisis can apply for Discretionary Help from the Finance Support Service.

    According to the nidirect website, Discretionary Support provides quick, short-term financial support and -

  • Parliamentary briefing on 'welfare cap' and Charter for Budgetary Responsiblity

    March 2014
    briefing

    At the Budget in March 2014, the government announced it would be amending the Charter for Budgetary Responsibility to implement a new 'welfare cap' policy.

  • Dealing with destitution

    Level: Standard

    training course

    Advisers are often faced with clients who have been left destitute due to a problem with their benefits. This course will cover issues that frequently cause clients to be left without any income and focus on the practical steps advisers can take to get their clients benefits in payment as quickly as possible.

    The course covers:

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    Dates:
  • Bedroom tax

    Level: Standard

    training course
    The controversial ‘bedroom tax’ has seen thousands of the  lowest-income households lose some housing benefit and has been responsible for an alarming rise in rent arrears. This course looks at the benefit issues that the measure throws up one year on with particular reference to an update on the varied legal challenges that have emerged.

    It includes:

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  • Challenging PIP decisions

    Level: Standard

    training course

    This one-day course looks at how to challenge personal independence payment (PIP) decisions. There is an opportunity to discuss how the different PIP criteria affect appeal tactics, and think through how to go about getting the right outcome for clients. 

    The course covers:

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    Dates:
  • Tax credits - key issues for advisers

    Level: Standard

    training course

    This one-day course rounds up all the outstanding issues you may encounter with tax credits, including in the transition to universal credit. Tax credits will be with us for some time yet, and continue to provide vital support to the majority of families with children and to low-income workers. The course is suitable for people wanting a refresher on the rules and an update on recent changes. 

    The course covers:

    • Claims and decisions
    • Overpayments
    • Reconsiderations and appeals
    • Stopping tax credits and moving on to universal credit

     

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    Dates:
  • Foodbanks: Briefing for Opposition Day debate, 18 December 2013

    December 2013
    briefing

    This briefing raises CPAG’s concerns about rising demand for food aid from UK families. It also presents initial findings from CPAG’s foodbanks project.

    In particular, we emphasise that provision of high quality welfare rights advice must be more widely available and the DWP must urgently start utilising the ‘short-term benefit advances’ (STBA) system.

  • Co-ordinated working and potential partners


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    Authorities need to coordinate responses, to prevent duplication and to ensure partners can both manage issues and maximise the potential solutions welfare reforms may present. The sort of coordinated responses that were talked about often requires establishing some sort of multi-agency welfare reform or poverty group.