Social Fund Guide and Benefit Changes

First off – a disclaimer! The following post reflects my own thoughts and is not representative of the ELPF as a whole (well, maybe it is, but I’d rather not assume!).

I’ve noticed the changes in the benefit system seem to be happening on an almost weekly basis with little reference to them in the news unless it’s to do with assements relating to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), increasing levels of unemployment, or when the Lords suggest amendments to Bills and the Westmister Government ignores the recommendations and ploughs on ahead with ‘reform’ regardless. Or you keep up to date with the Guardian’s Society pages.

I get email bulletins from a raft of organisations and thought it may be worth sharing a few articles that I’ve found interesting. Here’s the Social Fund Guide from the DWP. Here’s the DWPs line on Welfare Reform and a bit on the impact of welfare reform on landlords and tenants. There are already concerns that the benefit cap will result in people being unable to afford to stay in Scotland’s cities as their housing benefit will not cover higher rents.

Universal Credit is another scary thing. I can understand the wish to reform benefits into a single, easier to manage/maintain payment from a bureaucratic point of view, but for some people managing money paid a month in arrears is going to be incredibly difficult and with the proposal that the the funds will be paid to a single member of the household, the opportunities for abuse of family finances by controlling family members or substance misusers is already worrying me. More recently there have been responses from children’s charities on the impact of welfare reform and universal credit on children. Do we start helping our service users prepare now for what is to come? Or do we blindly carry on as we are and hope we can deal with it when we get to it (October 2013 for those of you preferring the latter option).

Would there be support for an ELPF meeting looking at benefit reform and the impact it is having/potential impact for our clients? We had a rough plan to look at the impact of budget cuts etc. on local SW services (both statutory and voluntary sector) and perhaps this is something that could tie in quite nicely? Answers on a postcard (if you can afford the stamp) or alternatively comment below and get involved in the debate.

See you all on the 26th!


3 Responses to “Social Fund Guide and Benefit Changes”

  1. 1 ldh26 April 12, 2012 at 14:43

    Hi Ciara, I tweeted a couple of days ago about this. We had a very helpful representative come to our team from the Welfare Rigths team at the Advice Shop. She went through all of the changes and implications for our particular client group. It was a very useful session but fairly depressing. I can easily get hold of her name and I agree that it would be a good topic for ELPF.


  2. 2 ciarawebbonweb April 12, 2012 at 14:48

    Thanks! If you could email me directly or use the ‘Contact Us’ that’s be great 🙂 (also must follow your Twitter!)


    • 3 ldh26 April 12, 2012 at 14:50

      Will do!

      PS feel free to follow, although I mostly tweet about my cats or what I’ve been eating. It’s reasonably dull 🙂


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