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Latest analysis, policy news and updates from Policy in Practice
In this issue
  • Low Income Londoners and Welfare Reform project update
  • New policy work for MNDA and Cambridge City Council
  • We're helping MP's caseworkers support constituents
  • Work with us - new vacancies at Policy in Practice
  • Webinars on helping disabled people into work, tackling homelessness and council tax support
  • Blogs on vulnerable utility customers and preventing homelessness
Phase Two: Low Income Londoners and Welfare Reform
This week we shared a Phase Two summary findings report with participating local authorities and will publish the related blog posts this month, for wider communication.  

The findings highlight four aspects of the Low Income Londoners project that allow policymakers to ask a different set of questions:

  • A datastore holds over 10 million records allowing us to see the impact of reforms on small cohorts of households
  • Our policy engine allows us to model changes now and in the future, such as Universal Credit and self-employment
  • Tracking households over time allows us to understand causal relationship between the benefit cap and employment outcomes
  • We can benchmark the impact geographically to understand drivers and pinpoint support to individual households

Layered over this is an analytics engine the allows councils to take a proactive and predictive approach to supporting families on low incomes, and track the effectiveness of their interventions.

Request Phase Two findings
New policy work: How does the introduction of Universal Credit affect the income of people living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND)?
Policy in Practice helps make the welfare system simple to understand
The Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) want to better understand the impact Universal Credit might have on people living with the disease, in order to inform their advocacy work and the support they offer to people with MND.

There is a concern, for example, that the overarching emphasis that Universal Credit places on employment could be problematic and inappropriate for people with MND, particularly those at a later stage in the disease for whom work is very unlikely to be an option. In addition, the removal of current disability premiums will have an impact on the income of a significant proportion of those living with MND.

The MNDA has asked Policy in Practice to identify the range of financial and other implications that Universal Credit could have for people living with MND, to provide a comprehensive description and analysis of the different levels of impact it might have, and an indication of the numbers of people living with MND who are likely to be affected.

Well done Cambridge City Council, IRRV Welfare Benefits Team of the Year
Policy in Practice would like to warmly congratulate Cambridge City Council for winning the prestigious IRRV Welfare Benefits Team of the Year award in the IRRV Performance Awards 2017.

We're also delighted to be working with this award winning team to help model the migration of customers from housing benefit onto Universal Credit, and the implications for the council. Data analysis of the migration will inform strategic resource planning of the department, as well as their understanding of the impact on their customers.

Find our more about our policy work
MPs use our Benefit and Budgeting Calculator to help with casework
Following our recent attendance at the Work and Pensions Select Committee where we gave evidence on the roll out of Universal Credit, we were pleased to offer Committee member constituency MPs and their caseworkers complimentary support and access to our enhanced Benefit and Budgeting Calculator.

We recently visited the office of Emma Dent Coad, MP for Kensington and Chelsea, where we gave case workers access to the calculator. As well as using it for daily casework support, the team has access to immediate technical and policy advice through our online chat capability.

Request complimentary access to the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator
Work with us - new roles at Policy in Practice
We are recruiting for the following positions and want to hear from people who want to make difference:

  • Business Development Representative
  • Policy and Operations Intern (paid)
  • Business Intelligence and SQL Developer

View job descriptions and how to apply
Forthcoming webinars
Webinar: Support disabled job seekers on their journey into work

Wednesday 21 March at 10:30 to 11:30
Can’t make the date? Register anyway to get the recording and slides

Learn how frontline advisors are helping disabled job seekers understand benefit changes as Universal Credit changes roll out. With guest speaker Marise Mackie, Pluss.

More details and register here
Webinar: Proactively tackle homelessness

Wednesday 18 April at 10:30 to 11:30
Can’t make the date? Register anyway to get the recording and slides

Hear about our work with local authorities to proactively tackle homelessness by identifying local predictors using existing household data. With guest.

More details and register here
Latest on demand webinar
The roll out of Universal Credit full service will change both the amount of Council Tax Support households receive and how much this will cost the council.

To best support all households, councils must understand the full impact of moving on to Universal Credit full service in their area. Armed with this understanding, informed consideration can be given to scheme changes that support the most vulnerable households.

In this webinar, we explain the detail of how Universal Credit affects the Council Tax Support that households receive, the impact on cost to the council, and offer some rules of thumb on typical winners or losers and who may need most support.

Listen back to learn:

  • how to model the impact of Universal Credit in your CTR scheme
  • why changing your CTR scheme for Universal Credit roll out is important
  • how certain groups of households will be affected
  • the impact on council spending
  • what you can do to protect vulnerable groups

With guest speaker Jenny Hoare, Wolverhampton City Council.

Listen to recording and view slides here
Latest speaking engagements
Using benefits data to study employment trends in London
ERSA Employment Support London, 22 February
view slides here

How data can help support vulnerable utility customers
Utility Week Consumer Debt conference, 27 February

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