Agenda item

Lisa Smith, Head of Benefits, Taxation and Income will provide a presentation to Members about Universal Credit.


Lisa Smith, Head of Service, Benefits, Taxation and Income, Wendy Betts (Benefits Manager),  Michelle Kaye (Service Manager – Housing and Welfare) and Joanne Dearnley (Local Partnership Manager, DWP) delivered a presentation to Members about Universal Credit Full Service.


Key points included:

·         Universal Credit (UC) replaces JSA, ESA, WTC, CTC, Income Support and Housing Benefit.

·         UC applications, claims and appointments are made online, paid monthly in arrears and is only for working age people.

·         UC went ‘live from 13th September 2017.  There are currently 3000 people in Barnsley on UC, 1855 claimants have moved from HB to UC.

·         Claimants are responsible for paying their own rent. 

·         Advances are available before the first payment is due and a further payment is issued at week 5. 

·         UC tapers off as wages increase

·         A grant has been given to Barnsley Council for budgeting and IT support, which is widely available through Berneslai Homes ‘device doctors’, digital champions and the CAB.

·         IT support is available


Members asked a number of questions and appropriate responses were given, including the following:

·         Information is shared between organisations within 5 days and is  processed as soon as possible.  Over 90% of payments are made within 5 weeks.

·         There is no evidence of an increase in homelessness, arrears or increased use of hostel provision.

·         It will no longer be possible to obtain information regarding mapping of benefits/need/criteria across wards, which raises a policy planning issue and is of concern to members.



(i)            Attendees be thanked for their attendance and contribution;


(ii)          The presentation and Implications thereof be noted, and


(iii)         Copies of the presentation and details of Digital Champions offering IT support across wards be circulated.