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What are the key issues and implications for the Council and local partners?
The roll-out of Universal Credit in Tower Hamlets raises a number of issues which the council and local partners need to consider and address, such as:
- Digital by default – English language and literacy skills for vulnerable residents making online claims. As the scheme will be administered digitally by default, there will be very limited customer facing contact. Consequently the rollout of Universal Credit will impact on local councils and LA commissioned services.
- Preparing residents for budgeting and managing crisis with direct monthly payments in arrears.
- Payment of housing costs by DWP.
- Clarity and processes for requesting Alternative Payment Arrangements.
- Effective data sharing between DWP, council, landlords and other partners.
- Waiting for payments - inevitably, this will lead to increasing debt and rent arrears, particularly in vulnerable households.
- Staff training and awareness.
- Funding for local support services to assist with managing and maintaining claims.
- Universal credit FAQ's