DWP identifying UC claimants in specified accommodation

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please could you provide some documentation on the process by which DWP obtains information about specified accommodation as explained below.

I have been made aware of people who have been refused UC for housing costs because they appear to live in specified accommodation (and so should claim HB for housing costs) but who have been refused HB because the LA is not satisfied that their accommodation qualifies as exempt.

The only information on how DWP should make their decision is in HB Circular A8/2014, specifically the following section:
"Identifying those in “specified accommodation”
36. There will be a need to identify these cases consistently by LAs and Universal
Credit to avoid overpayments. As Universal Credit staff will have a limited
knowledge of the local housing stock, LAs would be better placed to identify the
supported housing in their area that meets the definition.
37. It will therefore be essential that properties falling into the new definition are
identified accurately from the outset so that housing costs are attributed correctly
to either Universal Credit or HB.
38. We jointly with LA representatives will be developing ways to collate and
exchange this information in time for implementation from November 2014 and
further guidance will be issued in time for that.
39. The default position for all those in supported housing will be that their housing
costs will be met through Universal Credit or subject to the benefit cap unless
they are identified as “specified accommodation” and informed of the availability
of HB. The prospect of help with their rents being restricted, subject to the benefit
cap, assessed/paid on a monthly basis or routinely paid direct should provide an
incentive for providers to seek to identify their properties to the LA where they
satisfy the definition of “specified accommodation”.
40. Information held by the LA will be used by Universal Credit to identify those who
will not have help with their housing costs included in the assessment of their
Universal Credit. This will mean that those not on the list will receive help with
their housing costs through Universal Credit, ensuring the accuracy of Universal
Credit assessments as well as preventing duplicate payments. Those not on the
list should not receive HB because the list should accurately reflect the LA’s view
that the home is “specified accommodation”. "

Please note that:
- Para 38 states that further guidance would be issued - please could you let me know where this can be obtained
- Para 39 states that the default will be that housing costs will be paid through UC- but this does not appear to be happening as people are sent "from pillar to post" with neither UC nor HB covering housing costs, and risking eviction

I would be grateful for anything you are able to share, to show what procedures should happen.

Yours faithfully,

Glenys Harriman

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 27 September 2016 unless we need to come back to you to clarify your request or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

show quoted sections

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

I note your response is delayed- I would appreciate a speedy reply.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Glenys Harriman

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Please respond - now long overdue

thank you

Yours sincerely,

Glenys Harriman

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'DWP identifying UC claimants in specified accommodation'.

THIS IS STILL LONG OVERDUE FOR A REPLY

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

Glenys Harriman

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

show quoted sections

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

3 Attachments

 
 
Glenys Harriman
 
Please see copy of your FoI request attached
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org