Most local authorities are preparing for Universal Credit, finds DWP research

20 July 2015

The vast majority of local authorities (LAs) have taken action (91%) or are planning to take action (95%) to prepare for Universal Credit, a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) survey has found.

Other key findings from wave 28 of the local authority insight survey are:

Many LAs hold data on use of housing benefit online (41%), but not about access to digital services more generally.

Most frequently LAs prepare claimants by directing them to DWP or Money Advice Service (MAS) websites. They are however working to improve information provision on their own websites.

LAs are generally working to prepare both social (83%) and private (68%) landlords.

Both internal (74%) and external (77%) partnerships are fairly common, and these generally are said to work well. Jobcentre Plus 1 With the exception of one LA which requested not to be re-contacted for future waves of the Local Authority Insight Survey during wave 26. 5 (JCP) and Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) are most commonly partnered with externally.

Co-location is less prevalent, but JCP (20% are already co-located) and CAB (19% are already co-located) are still most common. Setting up co-location can be expensive initially, especially if extra office space is required. Exact costs were unknown or hard to quantify.

Lack of consistent or clear information from DWP can be a source of frustration, and often prevents LAs from being able to prepare or be confident in their preparations.

Read the findings in full here.