Are You Ready For the Transition?

Are you ready for the Transition

Universal Credit

Introducing Universal Credit

Universal Credit replaces Income support, Income based job seekers allowance, Housing benefits, Child tax credits and Working tax credits

and will be introduced in three phases starting now April 2014 – 2017 The new benefit replacement is already in operation in Greater Manchester, Northern Ireland and set to be rolled out to the rest of the UK. All lone parents, sickness beneficiaries, widows with no children under 14, are now required to look for fulltime work. According to a report on universal credits by turn2us in order to be accepted to claim universal credit instead of job seekers allowance you must fit the following criteria please check out the following turn2us pathfinder criteria link

Other new obligations include drug  and alcohol testing for jobseekers in relevant industries.

 The Government’s new benefits cap comes into affect

The benefits cap restricts the total amount of benefit 16 to 64 year old (working age) people can get in England Scotland and wales. However you will not get jobseeker’s allowance once you reach the current state pension age, witch is currently 65 years of age for men and 60 years of age for women, your benefit option will be ether state pension or pension credits. If you are deemed fit to work your employment, support allowance or incapacity benefits will be stopped and you will then have to prove your ready to work before you can apply for jobseeker’s allowance.

These changes affect everyone specially existing long term claimants who are on the current work programs and failed to find a job with in two years.
Claiments under 25 will have to have been claiming job seekers allowance for a minimum of three months to qualify. Claiments over 25 year olds need to have been claiming JSA for a year. For couples where each partner is out of work and at least one partner is over 18 they will be required to both make a Joint Claim,
Under 18 year olds (16-17) will only get jobseeker’s allowance for a short amount of time if for example they have been forced to live away from home or have a partner and dependant children. The job centre work schemes are broken down into to parts the following is an example

The community work program

On the community work program you will be expected to volunteer to work every day for an arranged total of hours each week, you will be required to visit your local job centre for a ten minute appointment every working day and will be able to continue to claim wile on placement.

Sector-based work academy training schemes

The Training schemes offer training and work experience for up to 6 weeks in a particular industry or area of work. Most training academies offer a guaranteed interview for a job or an apprenticeship.

Your active search for work will be checked on a daily or weekly basis this will be a mandatory part of your jobseekers agreement. Your jobseekers agreement is a signed declaration setting out what is expected of you regarding seeking work. You must be available to work straight away or under specific circumstances 48 hours, however cares must be able to start work within one week, benefits are paid directly into your bank account building socity or post office account.

If you are working and left your job you will have to prove your actions were reasonable. If you were dismissed from employment the job center will contact your previous employer to ask what the reason for your dismissal was before making a decision, you could be struck off benefits form 13 weeks to 156 weeks if the job centers decision is deemed against you. sanctions can last up to 3 years depending on what you do or don’t do. You will no longer get JSA if you cant or do not prove you are available for work and have been looking for work. If you make a new claim for JSA within 13 weeks, you will have your new claim stopped for up to 4 weeks. If this happens more than once in 52 weeks you will have your new claim for JSA stopped for up to 13 weeks. If you fail to follow the Job seekers direction with out good reason you will loose your benefits for 4 weeks or13 weeks for missed interviews. Benefit Sanctions can cause you to loose your entitlement for 13 weeks, 26 weeks or 156 weeks If you don’t take part in a mandatory work program without good reason

  • Failing to take part in an employment schemes,
  • Turn down a place on a training program
  • Get Thrown off a programme for behavior
  • Leave your job with out good cause
  • Loose your job because of your behaviour
  • Turn down an offer of work with out reason

If you  loose your entitlement you might be able to still apply for a hardship payment if you have young children living with you or have a health condition.

Families living in Council or Housing Association properties will have there housing and council tax entitlement reduced as the new rules come into affect and only allow one bedroom for each adult or couple. Two same gender children under 16 are expected to share a room. Children under 10 years of age are expected to share regardless of gender.

To get jobseeker’s allowance you must be:

  • 18 or over
  • Have a job seekers agreement
  • Not be in relevant education
  • Be available for work
  • Have paid national insurance on income
  • Have savings under a certain amount
  • Not be in relevant education
  • Live in Great Britain

400,000 unemployed people lost benefits due to sanctions in one year

For more information I have added the following links

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