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full service transition roll-out dates - changes or rumours?

 

WillH
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I keep hearing rumours that various areas have had their full service roll-out dates postponed. These are coming from local authority staff for the most part. My understanding was that the only actual postponement was Kensington.

Just to give you an example, in the government’s rollout schedule (lastest version July 17), it still gives March 2018 for Stockport JC+ to go full service.

But Stockport LA staff assure me they have had an email telling them it’s been postponed until August/September 18.

Is there anything in this? Are there in fact other postponements which aren’t in the public domain?

     
Daphne
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Interesting! - the ones that were meant to be in July 2017 were spread over July and September - I haven’t heard anything more about delays but individual local authorities might be the first to know. We have a stakeholder meeting on 5th Sept with a UC update so may get more info then. Be interested to know what others have heard?

     
Clara
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Hi, yes in Brighton and Hove they have put the date back for certain postcodes! We had dates of 4.10.17 and 29.11.17 for Hove and Brighton and now certain postcodes have been delayed until ‘mid Jan 2018’ including central Brighton.

     
MattG
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We’ve had the same in Bournemouth.  They are staggering the roll out to 14 postcodes in November and then the remaining 14 in January.
I was told by one of our partnership managers this is a ‘test and learn’ activity to try and stop the Job Centres being swamped with new claimants.  If it works I guess it will continue into next year.

     
WillH
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Thanks Clara and Matt.

Daphne, can you emphasize on 5th Sept the importance of updating the transition rollout schedule in the public domain (ie gov.uk)? Just telling local authorities isn’t enough. If you’re advising on a national helpline, say, you could go very wrong if you assumed that the current rollout publication was correct and your client was expecting a change of circs after what appeared to be the date their area goes full service….

Hope this makes sense. There’s lots of organisations in this position who don’t necessarily get the updates LAs are getting. Ta.

Will

     
Daphne
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I’ll flag that up now Will in advance in the hope that I might get an answer on 5th…

     
WillH
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Thanks Daphne. Much appreciated. You can probably imagine or have experienced that it’s quite difficult in training situations as well, but there I tend to assume that LA staff are better informed than I am!

     
Daphne
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I’ve been told that there isn’t an overall delay but some of the bigger postcode areas are being done over a longer period - I guess that’s what’s happening with you Matt and Clara.

The advice I was given is to contact your local partnership manager to get the details of the rollout in a particular area - they should have about 26 weeks notice. I realise Will that’s not very helpful to you Will if you’re advising on a national basis!

     
Peter Turville
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Oxford City have been advised that roll out for Oxford Jobcentre has changed from 4 to 18 Oct. No indication of further phasing for relevant postcodes (or delays for other Oxon Jobcentres).

Is there any indication of when the next batch Commencement Order will be laid?

     
HB Anorak
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I hear these rumours from local authority staff too.

We are currently approaching the half-way stage of the summer “fire break” in UC full service roll-out.  I assume this fire break was planned to allow some evaluation of how things are going and to give ministers an opportunity to slow it down if the teething troubles are getting out of control.  We will know for sure whether there is a significant slow-down when a Modification Order removing gateway conditions in the October full service sites does or doesn’t appear in about a month’s time.

     
WillH
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Thanks Daphne. I think this means the transition rollout schedule document has to be treated with caution. A postcode led approach is the only safe way & if advising about a change of circs in the future I’d say - check your postcode before claiming.  Which is pretty much what we are already doing but a further reason not to assume every JC+ on the list is going entirely full service on the date given in the rollout.

     
Daphne
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Our postcode checker tool - universalcreditinfo.net is kept fully up-to-date and we try and get the new postcodes on within a day of the regulations coming out… :)

     
WillH
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I make a point of recommending this all the time Daphne! And I know that some services are using it as a standard part of an advice call. Good to know you update it as soon as you can

     
JoW
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We have some properties that claim HB from Trafford MBC. Trafford JCP has gone onto full service from 19/7/17 and I thought tenants at these properties would come under full service but the postcodes show gateway conditions applying on this postcode checker. Is JCP area different to Local Authority (HB) area? Having a confused moment.

      [ Edited: 4 Sep 2017 at 04:19 pm by JoW ]
shawn
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Daphne - 01 September 2017 10:09 AM

Our postcode checker tool - universalcreditinfo.net is kept fully up-to-date and we try and get the new postcodes on within a day of the regulations coming out… :)

And indeed the Lasa/LITRG postcode checker is now on gov.uk

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/jobcentres-where-you-can-claim-universal-credit

     
Jon Blackwell
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JoW - 04 September 2017 03:34 PM

.... Is JCP area different to Local Authority (HB) area? ..

Unfortunately, yes.  Sometimes JCP boundaries match up (more or less) with LA boundaries but often they don’t (even though DWP likes to imply that they do).  Some LAs have significant areas of both live and full service.

Which postcodes were you looking at?

 

     
JoW
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Thanks Jon. I am convinced this is the case now. I remember years ago working on a project somewhere where DWP and LA boundaries didn’t match but it hasn’t come up again for ages.

We have a very small number of properties with an M23 postcode where the tenants claim HB from Trafford but when I put their postcode in the checker it says Gateway conditions still apply. When I put their postcode in the “Find your local JCP office” it comes back as Wythenshawe JCP (which is in gateway). When I put postcodes in for random properties that are in more central Trafford it comes back as Full Service and identifies Jobcentres in Trafford.

This explains a case we had last week where we thought a Trafford tenant making a new claim would be UC (as we thought they were in Full Service) but they were told to claim ESA and HB. Good for us and the tenants really as it delays the chaos for a while longer….

     
Jon (CHDCA)
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shawn - 05 September 2017 10:42 AM
Daphne - 01 September 2017 10:09 AM

Our postcode checker tool - universalcreditinfo.net is kept fully up-to-date and we try and get the new postcodes on within a day of the regulations coming out… :)

And indeed the Lasa/LITRG postcode checker is now on gov.uk

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/jobcentres-where-you-can-claim-universal-credit

That page links to the Lasa tool, and I’ve just noticed that, as of fairly recently, this page links to the CitA postcode checker. Is it normal for gov.uk to link to third party databases like this? Not implying that either site is unreliable, I just find it odd that gov.uk don’t use their own info.

(You can always go through the pre-claim screening questions here and get gov.uk to tell you whether you can claim, but you need to input an NI number etc for that.)