Call us: 0151 459 1556

Call us: 0151 459 1556

Raise Bulletin: January 2022

1 February 2022

Raise Bulletin: January 2022

Universal Credit

Autumn Budget Changes

Work Allowances

From 1st December 2021 the Universal Credit work allowances increased by £500 a year (£42 a month.) This is the amount someone can earn before their Universal Credit award is reduced. However, this is only for households with children or a disability, so this fails to benefit a large portion of Universal Credit claimants

The revised allowances are: 

  • £335 per month (was £293), where UC includes help with rent.
  • £557 per month (was £515), where UC doesn’t include help with rent.

Universal Credit Taper

Also from December 1st, the Universal Credit taper rate has dropped from 63% to 55%. This now means working households claiming Universal Credit will get to keep an additional 8p for every £1 of net income they earn over their work allowance.

However, this change doesn’t help those claiming Universal Credit if they are looking for work or unable to work which is over 60% of claimants. It also fails to help the one million people still claiming Working Tax Credits.

Case Study

Client A’s Situation

Client A is an Iranian national who had been subject to horrific abuse in her home country, they were a political prisoner and tortured. We completed a benefits check for the client and recognised they should apply for Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

How did we help? We completed a home visit in 2019 and assisted with the PIP application form and a UC medical assessment form. Thankfully the PIP was awarded and posed no issue, however the client was told that they had failed the UC medical assessment. Upon the review the decision wasn’t changed so we requested an appeal and represented them at a Tribunal.

What were the results? The Tribunal was a success and decided the client does in fact have limited capability for work-related activity. As a significant amount of time had elapsed between the start of the UC medical assessment process and the Tribunal decision, Client A was entitled to a significant amount of back pay [as well as extra money each month with her UC]. Although the date of the decision was 14th October 2020, the medical assessment process began in September 2019. This means as well as an extra £79.30 a week in her Universal Credit, they were entitled to arrears of £8157.

Client B’s Situation

The support provided by Raise’s ENABLE services has been Client B currently lives with their mother. The mother is in receipt of DLA and the client is in receipt of PIP. The client’s mother had been getting her Severe Disability Premium within her Pension Credit, but the client had never claimed his.

How Did We Help? Recognising that both the client and their mother were eligible for a Severe Disability Premium (SDP) we realised the client had not claimed his. We advised the client they were eligible for the SDP and sent off an IS10 form.

What were the results? The SDP was backdated to the beginning of the clients PIP claim all the way to 2013, seeing the client paid arrears of £22,800.

What we have seen

A Day in the Life of Our Triage Coordinator

My name’s Sharon, I am the person that receives and assesses your referrals for advice. It is a busy job. and I must be very careful with my time due to the urgency of some of the referrals. We need to ensure those without income or those with priority debt are dealt with as soon as possible. Therefore, my Coordinator and triage role focusses on checking the referrals daily and prioritising them. I don’t do this work all on my own I have a team that supports the work I do, which includes our volunteers. One of the team members is the Duty Triage Welfare Caseworker. They are given a priority list of 12 cases each day to ring and provide support. If the tenant is available, we will open the case and provide the advice and support they need. The Duty Triage Welfare Caseworker is an experienced casework like me so is able to assess and provide specialist advice on all complex issues.

We also ensure that we keep in touch with tenants that need benefit forms completed. They might not have the form or need to send this on to us for completion. We keep in constant touch with them to ensure we are able to reassure them about the process. Often your tenants, like many clients are worried about talking about their personal details and it can take some time and reassurance to build up their trust and confidence in our service. We try to be very warm and welcoming with each and every call and try to explain the form filling process in detail so they are aware of how we work.

If you have any problems making a referral or you want an update on a referral you have made them please give us a call on 0151 459 1556.

Positive Futures and New Horizons

Phil, our volunteer coordinator attended an awards ceremony recently at Positive Futures for local mums who had graduated successfully from their family support programme. He was lucky enough to catch a speech by one of our New Horizons volunteers about the journey she had been through to turn her family’s fortunes around thanks to the Positive Futures programme.

This proved to be a great networking event as he was able to supply the assembled award ceremony attendees with details of how the Enable project functions and the benefits of signing up for one of its projects. A growing relationship between Raise and Positive Futures also saw Positives Futures offering to supply its training room and facilities so that we could run our Welcome Day induction training with our new volunteers.

News from Housing Systems

The planned merger of Pension Credit and Housing Benefit has been pushed back to April 2025

The government had been planning to create a new element of Pension Credit to replace pension age Housing Benefit from April 2023. This has been pushed back by 2 years to account for delays to the full rollout of Universal Credit. This suggests they plan to have UC fully rolled out by April 2025.

Cohabitees with children will be entitled to Bereavement Support Payments (and Widowed Parents Allowance) from around September 2022.

Earlier this month, the DWP announced that it was extending the deadline for closing Post Office accounts to November 2022 – HMRC have noThese benefits are currently only available where the couple were married or in a civil partnership. It will come into effect after it has been approved by parliament – expected to be around September 2022. Some claimants will receive back payments to August 2018.

News from Rightsnet

Changes to the terminal illness rules for universal credit and ESA will be introduced in April 2022

Minister for Disability, Health and Work Chloe Smith has confirmed that changes to the terminal illness rules for universal credit and employment and support allowance (ESA) are to be introduced in April 2022.

The intention is to replace the current 6-month rule for terminal illness with a 12-month rule. Plans are underway to change the rules for PIP, DLA and AA but they need primary legislation to be drafted first.

Around three quarters of households on universal credit will be worse off as a result of removal of £20 uplift despite changes to taper rate and work allowances

Three quarters of households on universal credit will be worse off as a result of the removal of the £20 per week universal credit uplift despite the reduction in the taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent and the £500 per year increase in work allowances announced in this week’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, according to the Resolution Foundation

Around three quarters of households on universal credit will be worse off as a result of removal of £20 uplift despite changes to taper rate and work allowances

Three quarters of households on universal credit will be worse off as a result of the removal of the £20 per week universal credit uplift despite the reduction in the taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent and the £500 per year increase in work allowances announced in this week’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, according to the Resolution Foundation

News from Raise

Chief Officer Retirement

Emma Cook, our Chief Officer joined Raise in 2016 when Alan Bornat retired. Emma has spent the last five years building on Alan’s success with the development of Raise Advice Services. With Emma’s leadership we have built on our delivery of advice services with an additional three housing associations. We have expanded our advice services into employability support; we have transitioned from a purely home visiting service to a multi channel delivery provision; we have improved our quality and performance processes and continue to meet the Advice Quality Standards; we have rationalised our case management system and updated our website; we have developed and supported our staff to achieve and believe in the value of Raise and its life changing advice to your tenants. This leadership will continue with Penny Brown at the helm from 1st February 2022.

Emma leaves us at the end of January 2022 to spend more time with her family, Emma would like to say goodbye to you all.

“I have loved my time at Raise and I am sad to be leaving. I have been proud to be part of an organisation that can make a huge difference to peoples’ lives. Being able to support people to access the benefits they are entitled to is an honour. Reducing the stress that someone feels day in day out, due to (what they perceive is) insurmountable debt is a privilege. Helping someone to get their dream job when they have been unemployed and fighting the system for years, is a dream. Every one of the Raise family will go that extra mile for their clients, your tenants, and it makes me proud to have been one of the team. We love your tenants just as much as you do! I will miss my Raise family and all our partners and funders, its been a true privilege, best job ever!“

New Website & Social Media

Raise has a new website! You can find us at where you can find all the relevant information about Raise. We will also be publishing our monthly bulletin on our new site, however if you prefer a PDF copy, let us know and we can arrange it.

Not only do we have a fresh new website, but we also now have socials. Give us a follow and share on the links below.

Raise Advice | LinkedIn

@RaiseAdvice | Instagram

@RaiseAdvice | Twitter

@RaiseAdvice | Facebook

Further support, information and training

Find all Raise Benefit Bulletins on our website

CPAG produce useful updates for professional in Welfare Rights Bulletin. You can also sign up to receive the paper version at a cost.

The DWP produce useful items for professionals in Touchbase: DWP news about work, working-age benefits, pensions and services.

Newcastle Welfare Rights provide benefit bulletins for professionals.

Housing systems also provide an newsletters for Housing Association professionals. 

Citizens Advice produce useful updates via Advisor.

About Raise Advice

We are a charity covering Liverpool and the surrounding areas. We receive funding from Registered Social Landlords to provide welfare rights, debt and financial capability advice to their tenants. To make a referral please visit our referral portal

About Raise Training

We have provided Welfare Rights training to Housing Associations since 2008. Please see our website for a list of training available. Our training is written with Housing Association tenants in mind and we use our clients to inform the content of all our training material. All of our training can be tailored to meet the learning requirements of your staff. If you wish to speak to us about bespoke training, please email us at