Take-up before 2013

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  • #39970
    Anonymous
    Guest

    What work are HB services doing to improve take-up of certain benefits before they are abolished?

    For example, checking or data-matching HB records to identify all those with a disability premium who aren’t getting DLA and sending them a letter tentatively suggesting they consider claiming DLA and/or get advice about this and really pushing take up of CTB among working age people (esp those on low wages where take up is worst). Presumably this would increase the amount of funding of local C Tax support.

    Back in 1987 there was a lot of take-up activity to soften the impact of the 1988 changes, but it feels like very little is going on. Essential to involve the welfare rights sector in this.

    #114088
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Very good point. I think you are right that little is going on with this; the loss of enthusiasm with constant cuts, restructuring, more cuts etc. is something that often gets forgotten.

    #114089
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Sure, I fully understand the difficuties facing practitioners in HB services. However, it will ease the longer term pain for LAs if they do effective and consistent take-up work over the next few months. Many people also find it makes for an enjoyable change to routine.

    #114094
    RobBox
    Participant

    It is still very unclear what base-line is to be used in setting any Council Tax support grant to be given to L/A’s. If it is 10/11 as some expect, less 10%, any take-up especially pensioners could put your authority in a very challenging positon come April 2013. :((

    #114103
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have mentioned this is another thread – but i am looking to try and get a scan of local customers claiming tax credits who arent getting HB/CTB (similar to the scan we used to get for pensioners getting pension credit)

    Its really tricky trying to find who to approach about this – any thoughts?

    #114121
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Not straightforward. Using HMRC data is likely to produce a vast number of unhelpful and nugatory claims if it includes those just getting the family element of CTC.

    If they can provide you with data for WTC and/or CTC paid at more than family element this may be more productive if then matched with HB/CTB records. Well worth trying a sample of say 100 initially. But do remember that take up of TCs is about 80-90%, so use of HMRC data is limited. Also, not everyone on CTC/WTC is liable for rent/C Tax.

    Another method is to have well-targeted publicity aimed at tenants/homeowners working for a low wage who are I think the biggest under-claimers. Use of case studies and illustrative figures is often helpful: “Joe Bloggs works as a gardener and takes home £x per week. He has a partner who does not work and two children. His rent is £y per week and he gets £z per week Housing Benefit towards his rent”.

    Also, perhaps JCP and/or Work Programme contractors could agree to give out leaflets for you promoting this and perhaps their staff could signpost people who are moving in low paid work (one lives in hope?).

    Buses, schools and health centres are quite good places to advertise to this group.

    #114167
    Andi M
    Participant

    I am with Neil on this one. LAs as a whole have been excellent on targetting obvious demographics for take up campaigns, the elderly, lone parents etc. The one that I personally feel has been missed out is the people who are just on a low wage. I have lost count of the number of times when delivering training to to partners (charities and voluntary organisations) they have shown surprise at the result of calculations for people with no special circumstances who are on a minimum wage.
    But if we want to maximise benefit for this group we need to do it quick, with the introduction of localised council tax support their entitlement will take a hammering.

    #114290
    mattk
    Participant

    If you have access to ‘Mosiac – Public Sector’ software, (it may be that someone in your LA has already used purchased this), this could be a very useful tool.

    This will provide you with some very granular demographic data. If you then cross reference with multiple deprivation data by Ward or SOA level, and those not already claiming the results here were relatively good.

    #114295
    RobBox
    Participant

    …..even tells you if they read the Daily Mail :bigsmile:

    #114419
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Is it worth having a push to improve take-up of council tax disability reductions and carer discounts for those under pension age? This will help reduce the impact of the 10+% cut in CTB for some people.

    LAs tend to rely on the enclosed notes with council tax bills, but I think that a higher profile and repeated effort is needed – for example, a staggered mailshot to everyone on CTB who also gets DLA or CA (they won’t all qualify, but underclaimers are more likely to be found in these groups).

    I suspect that large numbers of those on maximum CTB who qualify for a disability reduction or carer discount have not applied because there’s currently little incentive to do so. However, that will change.

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