Advice NI, the independent advice charity, has identified serious systemic failures affecting Universal Credit claimants, in particular Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) claimants moving from ESA to Universal Credit (UC).
It’s been a busy few months on the advice line. People concerned with the Welfare Mitigations Cliff Edge due at the end of March 2020. Something that could affect up to 35,000 households in Northern Ireland. See below for some recent cases from the Welfare Reform Team.
It has been a busy year for us all in the advice sector with very little prospect of any easement in workload. Indeed, if some of the predictions regarding the impact of Brexit occur, then things are likely to get more difficult for many of our already hard-pressed families and communities.
A client phoned the Independent Welfare Reform Helpline for advice on a PIP decision that was taking a long time. The client had migrated from DLA to PIP and in doing so had asked for a paper assessment.
With sole traders and small businesses struggling due to lower consumer spending, higher rates and other overheads, higher wage costs and the looming Brexit uncertainty, saving may seem like an extravagance that many just cannot afford.
The independent welfare changes Helpline has seen an increase in calls from clients who have due to their vulnerability, inadvertently made a claim for Universal Credit which was not in their best interests.