Response: SSAC universal credit consultation

By: Kate Webb  Published: August 2012


Summary

Our response focuses on the areas which SSAC has indicated are of particular interest and highlights a number of additional changes which are of concern to us. This is not a comprehensive list but reflects the areas we think should be prioritised for revision.

Key recommendations
  • SMI payments to be based on claimant's actual interest rate, subject to a reasonable cap.
  • SMI waiting period to be retained at 13 weeks under Universal Credit.
  • Telephone and face to face applications to be retained until digital inclusion is fully achieved.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions works urgently with the banking sector to ensure adequate financial products are available to support direct payments.
  • Households working “mini jobs” should be exempted from the benefit cap.
  • Households in temporary accommodation should be exempted from the benefit cap or the cost of TA excluded.
  • Existing 13 and 52 week protection rules for households should be retained.
  • Households facing an unavoidable delay in moving into a new home or threats of violence or abuse should be entitled to housing cost support for two properties for a limited period.
  • Under 25s on JSA or ESA should be exempted from a housing cost contribution.

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