Universal Credit – here it comes, ready or not!

The constant delays and changes to the implementation of Universal Credit have been hugely frustrating for landlords. Some still have a lack of understanding of the potentially serious impact UC is going to have on collection performance. 

Universal Credit – here it comes, ready or not!

The link between tenant engagement and getting paid is vital; tenants will not only have the responsibility to pay their rent, but the choice. People who have money problems pay the person who shouts loudest and the ones they have the relationship with, first. Landlords need to engage with tenants to ensure a smooth transition from legacy benefits to UC.

A fuller understanding of UC is needed by the staff who will be cultivating these customer relationships. DWP Jobcentre Work Coaches have been trained to be ‘Housing Confident’ to have a better understanding of housing issues; staff should be trained to be ‘UC Confident’.

This course focuses on staff becoming UC Confident and includes:

  • A step-by-step guide of what tenants needs to do when claiming UC
  • Creating a reflecting ‘To-do List’ for staff
  • The differences between Digital UC and Live UC - including the changes to the way APA’s are paid
  • A thorough understanding of the basic assessment period
  • Identifying advantageous timings to report changes of circumstances and how these affect payment of UC – including fines for the tenant
  • Troubleshooting problems the tenant will face - online claiming, missed appointments leading to claim closure, backdating issues and problems with their journals (standard method of communication with UC)
  • How to resolve queries - including using explicit consent and dealing with delays
  • Overpayments – who has responsibility?
  • Using data to trigger timely and appropriate customer engagement responses.

Who should attend

Income officers, lettings staff, neighbourhood officers and support staff and everyone dealing with tenants and may need to offer support and information about claiming UC.

Alison Markantonis

Income management Alison Markantonis

Alison Markantonis is an experienced welfare benefits, financial capability and employment skills practitioner, who has worked successfully in the affordable housing and benefits sector for the last 27 years. She has worked with many housing and support organisations and brings her extensive experience to specialise in demystifying the benefits system, money management and employability skills training for both frontline staff and tenants. Her approach is participative and interactive, using case studies and her own experience to take the complex, and make it not only simple, but also applicable.

training track record

HQN has a track record of helping organisations achieve real and lasting performance improvements. If you are interested in accessing this training package, please contact us by emailing training@hqnetwork.co.uk

Universal Credit – here it comes, ready or not!