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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit migration  →  Thread

DWP plans for both managed move to UC and voluntary move to UC

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Owen_Stevens
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MARKG - 13 September 2022 07:53 AM

I believe Bolton and Medway have had a further 250 cases each (para 17 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/la-welfare-direct-bulletins-2022/la-welfare-direct-62022)

“five hundred across two locations, Medway and Bolton” - so 250 in each, no?

Daphne
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I think they did another set of 500 across Bolton and Medway - https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/dwp-to-test-alternative-version-of-universal-credit-migration-notice-in-bolton-and-medway-before-issuing-notices-truro-and-falmouth-from-25-july-2022

As you will all be aware, in early May we issued a total of 500 migration notices across the Bolton and Medway areas. Building on this, we will now be issuing further migration notices in Bolton and Medway over the next couple of weeks, on a similar scale to the initial test. This will enable us to test an alternative version of the migration notice and to increase our learning by bringing more people into the journey, which in turn will allow us to further develop and iterate our approach as we gain greater insight moving forward.

Owen_Stevens
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Ah, alright - cool.  Completely missed that

Daphne
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Brief notes from latest Move to UC meeting today - summary ‘we can’t tell you anything yet’

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Daphne
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Daphne - 31 August 2022 12:47 PM

Here’s my reply to Clive’s query from DWP -

Thank you for your email.  We will inform local authorities when we are sending migration notices to HB claimants in their area, but are not planning on informing local authorities about the individuals that have been invited to move.

I’ve gone back to them (at Clive’s suggestion) as to who in the local authority they are notifying and how much notice do they give

Also here’s the response to my further questions -

During discovery we have been engaging with Local Authorities at the earliest opportunity once we have identified the sites and agreed these with Ministers. For some sights this has been a few weeks in advance of go-live, for others it has been a couple of months. We completely appreciate the benefits of earlier engagement so will always seek to engage as far in advance as we can.

In terms of who we engage with, we have been reaching out at both Chief Exec / Director level and then with our working level contacts in the Housing Benefit teams. The Minister has also engaged with the relevant local MPs who may then pick up conversations with the respective Councillors.

Through our discovery phase so far we have sent migration notices to claimants in receipt of the full suite of legacy benefits and different benefit combinations. Where Housing Benefit is involved in particular, we work with the respective Local Authority teams to collate the required information about claimants’ previous HB entitlement in order to calculate transitional protection, as this process is not yet automated.  Where a claimant previously in receipt of Housing Benefit moves to Universal Credit the Local Authority will need to take the relevant action to close down their HB claim (in the same way they would for a claimant who naturally migrates to UC).

 

MARKG
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That ‘Move to UC’ meeting: where was it, who was there?  Are these somebody’s notes of the meeting? It would be nice to have some context.

Owen_Stevens
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Daphne - 29 September 2022 03:03 PM

Brief notes from latest Move to UC meeting today - summary ‘we can’t tell you anything yet’

A few points on what DWP told us at this meeting…

“Don’t have data to share yet even on Bolton and Medway as migration notices went out at different times - can’t say when it will be available at moment”
a) DWP told us, at an earlier version of this meeting on 26/05/22, that the notices all went out on 9/5/22.  I suspect (but don’t know) that the earlier statement was probably incorrect (it surprised me that they would send them all on the same day), but still…
b) I assume that DWP will not release any stats until after 20/10/22 (i.e. after the objection period to the regs which remove the 10k cap on migration cases)

“Is there an Equality Impact Assessment? Yes there is but not public yet - in iteration phase!”
a) https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2022-04-20/156348 & https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2022-05-23/6680
b) I suspect that the impact assessment is for the migration plans as a whole (i.e. including natural migration) - that could explain this response https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/uc_managed_migration_impact_asse

[ Edited: 3 Oct 2022 at 05:14 pm by Owen_Stevens ]
P_Carysforth
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Hi Owen,
I’ve requested a review of the FOI response to clarify this x

Daphne
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MARKG - 03 October 2022 05:01 PM

That ‘Move to UC’ meeting: where was it, who was there?  Are these somebody’s notes of the meeting? It would be nice to have some context.

Sorry Mark - should have been clearer - it was a DWP organised meeting to update stakeholders where they are up to in the managed migration process. I attend representing rightsnet and NAWRA (and Owen comes representing CPAG) and the notes were my very brief ones of the key points that came up.

Owen_Stevens
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New stats on the Harrogate pilot attached

See also this earlier answer: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2022-06-06/hl640

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Andrew Dutton
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Hail all.

Apologies for banging on, Cassandra-like, about the need for DWP to talk to Adult Care providers, and to talk to them now, not later - but a conversation with a colleague this morning about UC third party fraud has reminded me of some worries I raised a while ago.

Without adequate support for vulnerable claimants as UC moves ‘to scale’, I fear that not only may vulnerable claimants drop out of the benefits system because they did not reply to the Migration Notice in time, but they may fall into the hands of fraudsters.

I think word will get around that the Notices are going out; fraudsters will target vulnerable people by offering them a nasty version of ‘help to claim’. If they get it right, the fraudsters will not only get the UC advance, they will be able to control claims and help themselves to regular payments. I can even see them ‘managing’ people’s claims, for a ‘fee’, and living off them long-term. Claimants may not even think they are being cheated, they may regard the fraudster as their friend, who helps them navigate an otherwise impossible system.

There has been at least one case of the fraudster attending Jobcentre interviews, posing as the claimant, to keep things going.

DWP has so far been utterly complacent about UC third-party fraud. There needs to be a strategy to stop Move to UC becoming a gravy train for exploiters.

This is yet another reason for consulting with Adult Care providers, without delay.

What thoughts, all? Do I worry too much?

.

keith
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My team is part of ASC and it’s something we’re concerned about too. At the moment although we’re in the discovery phase it’s only supposed to be tax credit claimants who aren’t also getting HB who have been contacted. But that doesn’t mean vulnerable clients or fraudsters know that, so we do try to get the message to front line social work teams about keeping an eye out for vulnerable clients who don’t have appointees. Our deputyship team is also based in ASC so vulnerable people with no alternative appointee who are assessed as lacking capacity will have their claims managed by them. Too often though, the referral to the deputyship team comes after some financial abuse. DM me if you want to talk ASC more generally.

Owen_Stevens
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Owen_Stevens - 04 July 2022 10:15 AM

And what does ‘complete’ mean?  At q(f) it is used to mean initiating the transfer: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1064459/ssac-minutes-8-december-2022.pdf

It seems ‘complete’ does mean ‘initiating the transfer’.  The plan is now to complete rollout by March 2025

See para. 4.101 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1043688/Budget_AB2021_Print.pdf

(this discrepancy (or not?) was pointed out by Rightsnet here: https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/government-confirms-that-dwp-will-be-provided-with-funding-of-671-million-to-support-rollout-of-universal-credit-by-march-2025 )

Seems that DWP revised their forecast in Spring 22, see discussion here: https://twitter.com/ReddawayJoshua/status/1582300574543847424

Edit- the revised forecast was apparently to the numbers expected to move and the speed of that move as opposed to the date of completion (which, depending on what you mean by ‘complete’ is still apparently the end of 2024 - though by that definition MM will be ‘complete’ while there’ll still be lots of people on legacy bens waiting to move): https://twitter.com/NeilCouling/status/1582334773045125121

[ Edited: 18 Oct 2022 at 01:21 pm by Owen_Stevens ]
Owen_Stevens
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P_Carysforth
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results from internal FOI are in - see attached.
In an nutshell, FOI response that said there wasn’t an impact assessment was incorrect - there is one but they won’t release it.. 

“In relation to the release of the information which relates to the Discovery phase, we
recognise that there is an inherent public interest in transparency and accountability of public
authorities. We also recognise the broad public interest in furthering public understanding of
the issues which public authorities deal with such as policy considerations in implementing
welfare reform in the UK. There is a clear public interest in the work of Government
departments being transparent and open to scrutiny to increase understanding of the issues
we deal with.
Balanced against this is the public interest in protecting the Government’s ability to discuss
and develop policies and to reach well-formed conclusions. The Information Commissioner
has recognised that policy development needs some degree of freedom to enable the
process to work effectively and we consider that there is a strong public interest in protecting
information where release would be likely to have a detrimental impact on the ongoing
development of the processes and policies. There is a strong public interest in protecting
against encroachment on the ability of Ministers and officials to develop such processes and
policy options freely and frankly.
In this case, we consider that disclosing the information held, which relates to an area of live
development of these processes and policies, would be likely to prevent officials from
conducting ongoing assessments of the current options available to them, and that disclosure
would risk closing off discussions and the development of options now and in the future.
On balance DWP is satisfied that in this instance the public interest in maintaining the
exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. Therefore, the information you seek
will not be released.”

 

[ Edited: 31 Oct 2022 at 05:53 pm by P_Carysforth ]

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