Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) have already stated that we believe that further roll out and managed migration of UC should be paused until the many issues affecting our clients have been resolved. We note that the intention is to start migration on a small scale from January 2019 before ramping up volumes once process has been tested. While CAS welcomes the changes that have been made to UC during roll out it is clear that there are still issues to be resolved. To proceed with managed migration before resolving all the issues will negatively impact a significant number of people.
- Managed migration should be delayed until the current issues with Universal Credit (UC) are fixed.
- Current natural migration should cease until Transitional Protection (TP) can be awarded.
- Legacy benefits should not be stopped if claim has third party deductions, DWP should treat all such claimants as vulnerable.
- DWP should consider automatic migration, i.e. remove the need for everyone to claim but they should transfer claims over and then hold initial interview where applicable.
- DWP must plan for a significant number of claimants who will not have digital access or necessary skills to make and maintain an online claim.
- Some legacy benefit claimants will be housebound and have no digital access. DWP should show how they will handle an increasing number of home visits.
- The right to transitional protection should not be withdrawn if first attempt at UC claim is deemed unsuccessful.
- Couples who separate should not have their transitional protection withdrawn.
- The three month rule on earnings and ending of transitional protection should be extended. This rule particularly impacts certain groups of seasonal workers.
- Clarity should be provided on how the order of managed migration is organised. This should be done either progressively by Jobcentre Plus area, or on a benefit-by-benefit basis.
- Notifications to Scottish claimants should advise them about the UC Scottish Choices that they can request.